The Sin Eater’s Daughter Review

“Even when there are no prisoners, I can still here the screams.”

img_6351I’ll be honest, this book kind of disappointed me. I was so into it and, for most of the book, I loved the storyline, but the ending just fell flat for me. Rather than wanting more, the final few chapters left me confused and frustrated.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter started off really strong; Salisbury drew me in with her interesting concept and well developed story. This is a world ruled by a controlling queen who uses the names of gods as an excuse for her tyrany. Twylla is a naive young girl who believes that she is blessed by those same gods.

“I am lucky. I am privileged. 

I am a tool, a knife.”

The idea of the main character in a young adult novel being special is not exactly underused, but the concept of using that “gift” to kill is a new one to me. This is another book which raises a lot of moral issues in a fantasy setting, when Twylla begins to question what gives her the right to end a persons life.

Now let’s talk about the Lief and Twylla romance plot… I loved it! Until the end, that is. I really enjoyed seeing Twylla open up to someone for the first time in years. The fact that Lief challenged her views and beliefs was also refreshing. The shock that Twylla feels after her first kiss with Lief is adorable and, aside from the discovery that her whole life has been a lie, it’s so “teenage girl”. This is something that I love to see in YA novels as I feel that too often, the teenage protagonist is written with the maturity of someone much older.

But why, oh why did the author have to spend the majority of the book building up the whole big love story only to have it all come crashing down at the last minute. Maybe it was supposed to be this whole dramatic betrayal thing, but personally I just found it annoying.

“He stares at the floor and inside my chest I feel a sharp pain that I know is the beginning of heartbreak.”

The big reveal didn’t come until almost the end of the book, when I (and Twylla) had become completely invested in the relationship. All Twylla’s plans for her future unraveled as she discovered that the man she thought she loved had been lying to her the whole time.

The main thing that let this book down, I think, is that it couldn’t seem to decide if it wanted to be a fantasy novel or a realistic story. Twylla’s blessing from the gods turns out to be a myth created by the queen to control her subjects, a “twist” that was predictable but flowed well with the story. The fact that the whole “sleeping prince” story turned out to be real seemed out of place to me, and I don’t see how it was necessary to the overall story progression. It wasn’t a big plot point until the end and it felt a bit rushed and confusing.

But… this book certainly made me feel things! Joy and hope at the start of the book and then anger and frustration when it came to a close. I probably will pick up the sequels, but they definitely won’t e at the top of my to-read list.

“But it’s hope I feel as all thoughts of tiredness leave me and I open the door.”

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