Sunday, February 1, 2015

[Review] The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury


The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Rating: 5 Stars
Series:  The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1
Version: Advance Readers Copy
Release Date: February 5, 2015

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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?

 When I first read the synopsis, it reminded me so much of Graceling with the whole "main character is kingdom's executioner with a crazy monarch" element, but this book has some of the most unique elements in YA literature and I'll talk more about that later in the review. As soon as I read the synopsis on goodreads a few weeks back, I knew I HAD to read it; everything about it appealed to me and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint.

There are so many crazy twists and just when you think you know where the plot is going...bam! You're in for a ride. Melinda's ability to keep her readers at the edge of their seats throughout the entire story is truly a talent. So although the premise may seem very similar to Graceling, the writing and story is actually very different and it is truly an adventure of it's own.

In terms of characters, I for some reason tend to favor supporting characters so I'm disappointed there wasn't as many prominent or important supporting characters. I found Twylla, the protagonist, to be such a pushover and I kept shouting "take charge!" at her in my mind every time she had any kind of interaction with the Queen. Although I am satisfied with her development throughout the story, I personally find her dull and find the supporting characters far more interesting.

Speaking of supporting characters, Leif is probably the most interesting and multi-dimensional character in the story and despite everything, I still have a soft spot for him since I credit Leif for Twylla's transformation and development. The Prince is pretty boring and bland compared to Leif and I didn't care too much for him. The King is also interesting and one of the more likable characters, and the Queen is so crazy that it becomes fascinating, and it definitely makes her a very interesting character. The Queen's nefarious deeds is probably one of the elements that make this story so wildly crazy and twisted and Melinda did a spectacular job creating her character. Overall, there was a pretty good mix of characters although stronger supporting characters wouldn't have hurt.

One of the most unique things about this book is the ending. You don't see many endings like this one in YA novels, especially those with a love triangle. I thought Twylla made an interesting choice, and the last few sentences served as a nice cliffhanger. Even though this is a series and the actual ending of the entire series will probably be different, I commend Melinda on ending this book this way.

I look forward to reading the second book and cannot thank Scholastic enough for providing me with an ARC!

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