Twylla is blessed, or cursed. Her touch kills, but she is betrothed to the prince – one of the few people who can touch her without fear of dying.
I enjoyed this book. I picked it up with very low expectations. The story sounded interesting and the cover was interesting. But both the cover and the back was done in a style that seemed very childish. My expectations were met, and then surpassed. But that is not to say it was perfect. This review will have spoilers in it.
‘The Sin Eater’s Daughter’ by Melinda Salisbury started off slowly. It took me a long time to get into the story and there were a number of times when I kept putting the book down at the beginning. However, once the plot got moving, all of that changed. I read the rest of the book in a matter of hours. It was exciting and thrilling with lots of twists and turns. The final 100 or so pages of the story were really good, as Twylla learns the truth of her power and her world is forced upside down.
The characters were also entertaining. The queen was devastatingly evil – you hated her from the beginning but she was a character that Salisbury did very well. Prince Merek was also fantastic, you could understand his actions and his character had the flaws and personality necessary to make for a well-rounded person. Twylla, on the other hand, I did not like so much. While an interesting character with an interesting backstory, she felt flat and, well, pathetic. She did nothing in the novel, everything that occurred was instigated by something else. Twylla was just a passive bystander who would not take control of her life – she just reacted to others. I would have loved to see more of how she dealt with her gifts, of suddenly being unable to touch anything, and see more of how her upbringing and sudden change of circumstances effected her. But the love triangle took centre-stage.
The main issue I had with this book was the love triangle. Twylla finds herself between two men – Prince Merek and Lief, her new guard. The book mainly focuses on the romance between her and Lief, which felt forced and unnatural from the start. Of course, the reasons for this are revealed at the end with Lief’s betrayal. But it did not fit in with Twylla at all. From the start, it is made clear that Twylla does not really trust anyone but Dorin (who is disappointingly underdeveloped). So her fast-moving romance with Lief is just rubbed me the wrong way. I felt that her relationship with Merek was a lot more natural and would be so much more beneficial for them as people, as well as for the country. So her betrayal of him at the end felt wrong and made me dislike Twylla’s character a lot more.
I also did not really like the epilogue. A lot of time in the books is spent on the fact that Twylla cannot read, yet a few months later and she has “read all the old stories now”. No-one learns to read that quickly, especially when they are living on their own. Not only that, but after all the fuss about the kingdom requiring a male and a female on the throne, Merek seems to be doing fine by himself. The only part I really enjoyed of the epilogue was the final paragraph which sets up for the next novel.
This review has been quite negative, but I will say that despite the negativity, I did enjoy the book. I felt the writing was strong, and while there were a number of aspects to the story that I did not really enjoy, I think Salisbury is a great writer and it will be a series that I will continue. The flaws of this book are not massive ones that cannot be rectified. And I feel that the next book will be a lot better, with the world having been set up (and what in interesting world it is too). The characters can only grow and develop. Lormere is a fantastic country that I’m looking forward to learning more about.
Let me know what you thought of ‘The Sin Eater’s Daughter’ in the comments. I gave the book a rating of: 3.5 stars
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