Title: The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Set in Lomere, Salisbury crafts an original world. The plot progresses with a three-act structure and there’s enough bumps in the road to keep you hooked.
The narrative is told by Twylla in first-person narration. I like how she sets up the world and the back story with Tyrek and slowly releases information about her life and her world. I had an issue with her personality though. It doesn’t really shine until halfway through the story and even then, I found myself wanting more. I love the world, I love the setting and the array of characters but I just wanted more personality in the narration.
I love Twylla’s mother and we get glimpses of Twylla’s personality mirrored back to us in how she thinks about, and acts, around her mother. I love the ruthlessness of the queen and the open-mindedness and intelligence of her son, Merek. I like Lief as one of the love interests in the love triangle. The issue I had was when Twylla discovers that her sister is dead. I don’t feel any more sad when I discover this than if Morrissons ran out of fish fingers. The reason being that other than being Twylla’s sister, I have absolutely no idea who she is. There is not enough established back-story on her character for me to feel anything when this blow is delivered.
Quality of Writing:
The lexicon employed in the novel is, for the most part, consistent and words like “breeches”/”my lady”/”Queen” and so on, help to support the world and the information that is released about it. I wish the in-the-moment scenes were more immediate as I read them and felt quite distanced and on certain occasions, there are words like “rank” (referring to smell) and “slut” that don’t fit in with the established lexicon. I would also have liked to have seen the information filtered in or dramatised. At times, it’s al lot to digest and it’s big blocks of text with a lot of information coming at the reader fast.
The setting is spot-on. There’s not much else I can say. Salisbury knows her world inside-out.
The plot reminds me somewhat of Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study where, Yelena, having committed murder, must choose between execution or becoming the new food taster to the King. To prevent her escape, she is poisoned with Butterfly Dust and must take the antidote every day or the poison will kill her. Both authors create really vivid worlds. But have memorable antagonists and a good range of characters. Salisbury layers her plot with betrayal but Snyder does infuse more character into her narrative style. The main selling point of this book is the world and its secrets – secrets that can get you killed.
NOW SKIP TO THE GOOD BIT…
- Great world-building
- Could do with more character in the narration
- An intricate story layered with betrayal and secrets
- A memorable antagonist
- Layered characters that have their own agendas
If you enjoyed this review, follow me on @YAblooker and follow Mel on @AHintofMystery
Books You May Also Like:
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – for another fantasy title with forbidden love and a great world to explore
The Iron Fey series by Julia Kagawa – for a novel with an exciting world to explore, a love triangle and memorable antagonists