TITLE: The Sin Eater's Daughter
AUTHOR: Melinda Salisbury
SERIES: The Sin Eater's Daughter (#1)
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
RATING: 2.5/5 Stars
Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.
Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.
Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...
What I Liked:
- One of the elements of this book that I really enjoyed was Salisbury's mastery of plot progression. So many twists and turns! A few of them I did predict, or at least have a sneaking suspicion about, but some of them were a complete shock to me and very nicely dropped into the story. What Salisbury really did a great job of was making sure that things that seemed minor actually turned out to be worth remembering in the long run.
- Salisbury also did a really great job with the world-building. I loved the religion that underpinned the Kingdom's actions and the way in which the tyrannical Queen chose to rule. The sin-eating was pretty interesting, and Twylla's role in court I really liked. If there had been more pages in the book, perhaps a little more of a look into the surrounding Kingdoms that put more stock in logic and reason would have been cool!
What I Disliked:
- I'm afraid to say that Twylla was not a hugely inspiring main character, and her inability to leave the castle walls also made for a fairly dull viewpoint. She whined a lot. She moped a lot. She delivered hundreds of inner monologues on how torn she was, how unfair her life was, how she probably deserved it because she was such a terrible person and in the end it became a little repetitive. I would have liked to see a heroine with a bit more personality and the desire to stand up for herself every once in a while.
- The ending really made me angry. The huge twist with Lief I sort of saw coming (though not completely) and it really made me angry. What made me angrier was her response to it and the epilogue in which, it would seem, she is willing to forgive and forget. I'm not going to spoil anything here but I'm not the biggest fan of love triangles and though Salisbury handled the trope pretty well, the conclusion left me feeling disappointed in Twylla's already dubious decision making skills.
- This issue is minor really, but I felt there were a few character and plot inconsistencies along the way in this book, especially and at times I felt like Salisbury didn't have a complete idea on how she wanted her characters to come across. Merek is the biggest example of this. Everything he did, in my eyes, seemed fairly nice and affectionate but Twylla seemed to only see the opposite most of the time. Was he supposed to be a likeable character? Was Lief? Because most of the time he kind of got on my nerves!
Perhaps I'm being a little harsh and overly analytical with this book. After all there were some really great features that I would love to see Salisbury bring to the next book (that's right, I would like to actually read the next book). Salisbury's brilliant use of cliffhangers has really won me over and I'm intrigued to see more of the world she's started to build. However I can't ignore the obvious flaws with this book: lack of characters to really root for, an annoying ending and inconsistencies. I hope that Salisbury will fix this in the next book, which I hear is from a different perspective that isn't Twylla. Fingers crossed!