Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #1
Published by Scholastic on February 24th 2015
Pages: 320
Format:ARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

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My thoughts? You expect me to somehow manage coherent thoughts? Clearly, this is a joke. tumblr_lm0f01OBud1qdlkgg

Oh, no? You want real words? Buy. This. Book. Not later, not next week. Just run along and pre-order it. I’ll wait. Alright, let’s give this a shot, shall we?

I was captivated by Twylla’s story from page one. There was a lot going on from the start as we learn Twylla’s role in her kingdom of Lormere. Short version: Twylla wasn’t born into royalty, but to the current Sin Eater (this is a real thing, I looked it up-here- but the book is extremely accurate about it) and was training to be the next Sin Eater. The Queen brought her to the castle for two purposes: As Daunen Embodied (which basically amounted to her being the Queen’s personal executioner, via her touch), and to marry the Queen’s son, Prince Merek. Since Twylla’s touch means excruciating death to anyone not in the royal family, she leads a very solitary existence. Twylla is assigned two guards at all times, not only to ensure her safety, but the safety of those around here. Suffice it to say, Twylla has basically no idea what’s going on in the castle or the kingdom, save what she sees or hears from her guards.

Twylla was pretty much a giant mess when she is introduced. She knows that she kills people on the regular, including the only person she’d ever considered a friend. She isn’t the “typical” heroine who is up for battles and revolutions. She’s scared, and she’s lonely, and she’s just trying to make it through the day like anyone else. Her character evolves quite a bit during the course of the book, but she is still finding herself, and I am quite certain that we’ve only seen the beginning of Twylla’s transformation. In this book, she’s learning, for the first time, who she is, outside of being her mother’s daughter, outside of being Daunen Embodied. It is magical to watch, and impossible not to cheer for. She is imperfect, and realistic, and I adored her.

As for the other characters, I found them to be extremely well rounded and realistic. No one was completely good, and even the evilest of villains had a good moment or two. I felt connected to pretty much every character, from Twylla down to the random maid, each character was so fleshed out that it was easy to form attachments.

What I found most amazing about The Sin Eater’s Daughter is that absolutely nothing was exactly what it seemed. I thought I knew, I thought I’d figured out where things were headed, but really I had no idea. The twists and turns of not only the plot, but the characters too, had me on the edge of my seat through the entire book. By the end, I didn’t even try to guess anymore, because I had no idea what I was in store for next.

That said, this book wasn’t all action. While the plot was really great, there was a significant emphasis on the characters. That doesn’t mean that the book moved slowly, on the contrary! It moved at the perfect pace for me, with lots of plot driven scenes, but even more time delving into the characters, all while keeping me highly entertained (and full of emotions).

There’s romance. I don’t think it is even possible to explain without spoiling stuff. Are there two men involved? Yes. Is it a love triangle? No, not in the usual sense. The romance was captivating, and heartbreaking and… I’m going to just stop.

Bottom Line: I need the second book like I need air. This was everything I’d hoped it would be, and much, much more. Twylla is relatable on so many levels, there’s such a wealth of amazing characters, and the plot just does not stop twisting and shocking. I was emotionally destroyed, but hopeful by the end, and I will pretty much be recommending this book to anyone I come in contact with for a very long time.

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The ARC cover is kind of amazing, no? A million thanks to Scholastic for sending this amazing book my way!

Clearly, I am in the midst of a book hangover. What is the last book that left you with an awful book hangover? 

Posted February 9, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , , / 37 Comments


37 responses to “Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

  1. Okay, so now I’m rethinking canceling my preorder… BUT I WILL GET IT SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE! I just have so many books right now that I know I wouldn’t be able to get to it as soon as I’d like D: But yay for book hangovers!

  2. I CAN’T believe this wasn’t on my TBR! This sounds like such an interesting fantasy read mixed with some historical elements. I loved your review and it definitely wants to make me read it more!

  3. I already preordered it… I had to! I kept seeing it everywhere and now that I’ve seen your review I definitely don’t regret it, I only wish I had it already!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I mean, there’s two love interests but it’s not a love triangle? I love interesting romance, especially if it’s described as captivating and heartbreaking, I need this in my life!

    And book hangovers are kind of awesome torture, aren’t they? They last one I remember having came after I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue and all I wanted was the next book! However, I am currently reading the Finnikin Of The Rock series and have a feeling it is going to leave me with a hangover! =)

    • Yayy! I am glad, I hope you LOVE it! It’s definitely not one of those typical and annoying love triangles. It just happens to involve three people, but it isn’t a triangle. I can’t say more for fear of ANY spoilers- this is the kind of book that has twists that blow your mind!

      That’s the worst, isn’t it? Finishing a book that has a sequel and it’s like “haha good luck with your year-long agony!”. Glad you’re enjoying the Finnikin of the Rock series (which, I always type as “Finnick” hahha).

    • It’s on Kindle sale! And yes, you must read this one 🙂 I think you’d enjoy it, because there is some historical-type stuff involved too. It was pretty great to google it after reading, and realize how accurate it all was, while still being fantasy!

  4. I’M TOO EXCITING TO FORM A PROPER SENTENCE THIS IS UNREAL OMG THIS BOOK I NEED IT RIGHT NOW PLEASE.

    I’m so glad you loved it, because some bloggers have been a little negative and it put a downer on things, because I seriously want this book so badly. I’m HAPPY AS ANYTHING that you loved it so much <333

    • I was SO scared because I’d read a few of the more negative reviews too. And I had been dying to read it, and it was my first ever physical ARC, and well, I wanted it to go well! It was seriously even better than I’d expected! I can usually predict SOME stuff, but this was so incredibly mind blowing, I seriously never had to worry about having guessed anything ahead of time!

      I hope you LOVE it!!! I am so excited to see what you think of it 🙂

  5. PRETTY PRETTY BOOK. And I think that is the first time the UK&US ARC’s ARE THE SAME. I’m shocked. Also, this is probably not going to be a coherent comment. BECAUSE ALL THE FEELS. AND THAT ENDING. AND THAT SUCKER PUNCH TO THE GUT. How they kept the royal line “clean” though, oh my god. Especially after you know what happens to the King and then her wanting to you know what her son. 0_0. Demented, twisted Queen.

    What I found most amazing about The Sin Eater’s Daughter is that absolutely nothing was exactly what it seemed. I thought I knew, I thought I’d figured out where things were headed, but really I had no idea. Exactly! I had theories in the beginning (and then when the twist with Daunen Embodied was revealed) but after that just totally went with it, wouldn’t have guessed anyway.

    My last book was this one too, haha. I’ve gotten out of it now though now I’m reading Conspiracy Girl, only lasted one book this time, whooooo.

    • RIGHT!?!?!? Oh, that Queen…. what a twisted bitch (though I suppose, we know what led to her being crazy now!) So much disgusting. The twists were just wild! I LOVE this book!!!

      I am glad you got out of yours. I am hoping Twist will help me, since I loved Loop!

  6. I actually stopped reading this to go preorder it when you told me too. See how much I trust you? 😉

    Twylla sounds like an interesting character. I love it when characters grow and blossom over the course of a book. It’s great that you can mention twists and turns and not spoil a thing, because they’re just that good.

    My last huge epic book hangover was Golden Son, but I have a small one from Steelheart which I just finished and was really really good.

  7. I’M SO SAD THIS BOOK IS NOT AT THE LIBRARY YET. Wait, when does this even come. I think this deserves my $1 on hold at the library, yes? yes. I’M GLAD YOU LOVED THE BOOK SHANNON. You even gave it a + star, wow. I’m expecting a lot now. BUT IT SOUNDS SO COOL. TOUCHING PEOPLE AND SENDING THEM TO DEATHHHHH. Sounds deadly. Yes.

    No but I also need this book. When’s the second book coming out?

  8. I’m so happy you loved this book because it’s on my to read list and I’m definitely planning to get it! Good characters are SO IMPORTANT. I love the extra star you added there haha

    I’ve been lucky the last few weeks – I’ve read a lot of books that I like. I finished the The Darkest Minds trilogy, which left me with a tiny book hangover because I love the characters so much, and I’m also still fangirling about Fangirl. 😀

  9. Rachel

    Having a hard time with the premise…does it get explained at all? Why doesn’t the queen just order people beheaded? Why rely on a little girl with a killer touch?

  10. Rachel

    Haha Good to know, well I’m sucked in now. 30% into the book already! Thank you for your reply – found your blog through the author of Air Awaken’s Facebook page. If you’re a rabid fan of her book like I am, then I know to trust your other recommendations. Thank you again!! 😀

    • My fingers are crossed that you like it! People have seemed to either LOVE this one or hate it. I loved it, as you can see 😉

      And that is awesome, I LOVE Elise’s books! Have you read Fire Falling yet? It is EPIC. If you haven’t, I promise that you are in for a treat (and you know, an emotional roller coaster hahah)

      • Rachel

        Gosh! Ok. I finished it. I don’t know where to begin…the intrigue turned out to be quite fascinating, as did the history (science versus religion) and the prince was a unique character that I wasn’t expecting to be a primarily good…also, I knew the relationship between her a Lief was “too easy” – the “run away with me and everything will be perfect!” plot lines are always, always FISHY! But…the passion was real. I’m glad the author didn’t ask us to believe that that was fake. I’d like to think people can’t pretend having the total hots for each other so I suppose I understand why she forgave him, I just suspect that while the chemistry was real, he’s not the “righteously good” man that she thought she fell in love with…I liked that her role was explained fully, you were absolutely right, it was completely explained! 🙂 I expected Twylla to pick the prince at the end for the greater good but with the feminist movement in fiction these days…I’m finding more and more books with female main characters are ending with vacations…where they are alone, and they love it! haha Have you by any chance read the Kricket Series by Amy Bartol?

        • I totally agree with everything that you’ve said! It WAS real- even if their intentions were different, there’s no faking chemistry- it’s either there, or it isn’t, and it WAS. I seriously cannot WAIT for the next book- though I think it is not exactly a sequel, but more of a “X years in the future” situation? Either way, I want to know ALL the things!

          I have not read the Kricket Series actually! But now I am curious! Does it have similar themes?

          • Rachel

            Hmmm, how to describe the Kricket Series? First of all, it has lovely cover art that belies the contents. I feel like the poetic titles “Under Different Stars”, “Sea of Stars”, and “Darken the Stars” of the trilogy and the pretty, romantic aesthetic of the binding is a little misleading…the pace is frenetic, the first arc has a distinct gritty, urban fantasy vibe, most of the characters have ulterior motives and the main heroine, while she has an “attitude” that suggests she is smart and savvy is established quickly as a pawn of everyone else in the book (another reason why it made me think of The Sin Eater’s Daughter)…while I can’t say I necessarily enjoyed it, all the characters were so intense (one down right psychotic) and the plot so “out there” that I needed answers!! While there was lots of fandom controversy about the ending…I for one was relieved. If you do decide to read it…I would say, proceed with caution!

      • Rachel

        Oh and I pre-ordered Fire Falling. I’m not a fancy reviewer like you so I have to wait until November 15th! 😉 I ordered the paperback of Air Awakens to admire in the meantime…my first read through was on my Kindle and boy am I glad I ordered the actual copy. It’s gorgeous!

        • Girl, I am SO not fancy. I mean, this post starts with a Golden Girls gif for goodness sake!! 😉 I know what you mean though. It is SO SOON now. Is it coming out on the 15th now!? I thought the 19th (which is my birthday, and I figured a perfect release for one of my favorite books haha) but I hope it IS earlier so you get it ASAP. Seriously, it blew my mind. And I am glad you got the paperback too- the cover art is so, so gorgeous! You HAVE to tell me when you’ve read it!

          • Rachel

            Eeek! No, just my wishful thinking it turns out…went to Amazon to double check and it is indeed, still coming out November NINETEENTH. Which *sigh* I’m okay with now that I know it’s your birthday. haha 🙂

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