The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: ARC provided by Edelweiss
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
Seventeen-year-old Twylla is the Sin Eater's Daughter. A Sin Eater's job is to consume different foods laid out upon the coffin of the deceased that represent their sins. Once the "sins" are "eaten", the dead can move on to the afterlife. Twylla is supposed to succeed her mother as the next Sin Eater, but when she was younger, she was taken to the castle to live her life there. She's engaged to the prince and she's both revered and feared, for Twylla is believed to be the embodiment of a Goddess. Her power is terrifying, her touch is lethal. She's kept away from most people because they fear her poisonous skin and she spends most of her time praying to the Gods to protect her from her abilities. It is these abilities that have given her her official title...executioner.
As the Goddess Embodied, it is her job to execute those who stand against the kingdom. The only ones able to survive her touch are those with royal blood, because it is believed that they are blessed by the Goddess. Twylla lives a mostly solitary life, with just her guards as comapany and occasional visits from the prince. Her luck with friends has been nothing but tragic in the past, so when her new guard, Lief, arrives and the two begin to grow closer, she's frightened of what will become of this possibly doomed relationship.
Slowly, Twylla and Lief become more than just friends, but their circumstances do not permit such a thing to happen. Twylla herself is toxic and she's also promised to the prince, who seems to genuinely care for her. Her love life may end up being the least of her problems, though. For the Queen is truly vicious and will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who stands in her way in her quest for power. When Twylla discovers several devastating secrets, she begins to question everything she ever believed and everyone she ever knew. In her world with no choices, she's suddenly faced with the decision of making a sacrifice to save the kingdom or following her heart.
*Ok, keep in mind that these are just MY thoughts, and I seem to be in the minority regarding this book. It took me a while to read this and I even debated if I was even going to write a review, but I figured that I spent so much time on it/with it, I had to. The above synopsis is mine, I wrote it and that's what the book is about. It sounds cool. Right? A lot of people loved it. You can read my thoughts below*
My exact thoughts after finishing this book:
Oh, my stars...I FINALLY finished this. It's not what I expected it to be. I was expecting a high fantasy with intrigue and romance, this is a romance set in a fantasy-ish realm. It's very slow building. Very. I'm apparently in the minority with my opinion about this book, a lot of people loved it, so it's worth giving a chance, I suppose. Lots of info is dumped in the first quarter of the book, then the slow romance/friendship forms (and there's a bizarre love triangle and some icky incest). I also didn't quite understand why both of the guys in the book loved Twylla since she wasn't very smart or brave, she never questioned anything and all she cared about was praying to her Goddess. Although, I CAN understand why people might like the romance between Twylla and Lief since you can watch it grow from friendship to love, but I also feel for the prince (and I can't actually remember his name - Merek, I looked it up) because he was just as much a victim in this whole thing, too. I really think he meant well, but I'm not sure if he truly loved Twylla or if he was just relieved that he wasn't being forced to marry a sibling.
About 80% through, something actually happens (finally) and I pretty much saw it all coming (because I question stuff) except for some of the more icky things. There are some plot twists and what is actually a cool fairy tale twist that I wish was explored more, but it's pretty far into the book. At that point, I was just trying to finish. There is some good discussion material about why it's not a good idea to blindly believe everything you're told and there's also a lesson about how those in power use trickery and religion to keep people in line. Otherwise...I'm ready to move on. It took me a while to read this and I have tons of other books piling up and I'm really behind.
There you go. Like I said, lots of people loved it. I did not. The cover is pretty. That's about all.