Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Name: The Sin Eater's Daughter
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books
Date published: 2015
Rating: 4/5
Spoiler warning: Pretty major, to be honest. I couldn't seem to write about this book without spoiling it, to be honest.
I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.
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...
- From Goodreads.

I thought that The Sin Eater's Daughter included really brilliant world-building with the beliefs, geography, legends and all of the other details of the fantasy world it was set in being so well thought out. This was especially true with the way that we came to believe in it all too, which made it really devastating when Twylla's world came crashing down (side note: cool name, Twylla).
The great world-building was paired with excellent writing, although I noticed that the phrase "It wasn't until...that I realised I had been holding my breath" , or at least some variations on that, cropped up more than once, and while I think that it works as a phrase, emphasising tension and all that jazz, I think caution should be taken in repeating it, because it loses it's impact when it's used more often.
Another point which meant that I gave this book a rating of four rather than five, was that I wasn't sure about some of the choices Twylla made or some of the actions she took as I couldn't relate to them myself, and while I definitely enjoyed reading the story, I found I was distanced from it somewhat because of that. I also found I didn't fall in love with Lief as much as Twylla did, I did like him, but I couldn't relate to Twylla's feelings towards him, and I think I liked him more when he was first introduced than I did by the end (and not just because of what we found out about him) and I felt more sorry for Merek than I ever did for Lief.
Something else I wasn't sure about was the ending. I liked how Twylla had independence and happiness and how she had promised to return to Merek if the sleeping prince ever appeared, I thought that was the right promise to make, but I think I wanted her to stay with Merek in the castle in the first place (I'm not sure why but I think I might be Team Merek, if that's a thing). I also thought it was quite clear who it was that knocked on her door at the very end and I'm not sure how I feel about that either.
However, all in all, I very much enjoyed the book and now I'm going to go and learn about Victorian flower language, reread the book once I have done so, and then try and discover if there is going to be a follow up to this book, because if there is going to be one, then I will most definitely be reading it.

Add the book on Goodreads | Author's website


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