Book Review: Melinda Salisbury's The Sin Eater's Daughter

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The joy of finding an ARC in your local bookshop means you can potentially get a super-cool early cover, and that's definitely what I got with this copy of The Sin Eater's Daughter. It's a bit odd having a book with its name only on the spine, but this cover certainly is a work of art.

This is the story of Twylla, the daughter of a sin eater, whose skin poisons all who touch it. She's taken away from her family and hired by the queen to undertake the killing of her prisoners and those who don't obey her word. The queen's son is her betrothed, so she also has to cope with the idea of an arranged marriage to somebody she's trying her hardest to guard herself from, physically and emotionally. She is protected at all times by guards who fear her, but occasionally she makes friends with those who care for her safety. When her closest friend is incapacitated, she is assigned a new guard called Lief, who has the bad habit of questioning the queen's authority behind her back. Drama unfolds, as does romance.

I really enjoyed The Sin Eater's Daughter, despite it having a very simplistic writing style and, at times, rather standard YA fantasy characters: unique heroine, troublesome hero, power-hungry queen. However, I did still find myself invested in what happened during their adventures because the story was so different to anything I'd read before. I was drawn in by Salisbury's world-building and would really love to find out some more lore in the second installment of this series, as quite a lot of exciting things were revealed towards the end about its mythology and history.

* VAGUE SPOILERS AHEAD *

I'm never happy when someone recommends a film to me saying 'it has SUCH a good twist', but I feel with books it's a different case, especially when they're well written. I'm too invested in reading the words on the page and taking the journey the author is sending me on that I don't normally speculate twists (again, when they're well written, because sometimes twists are just annoyingly obvious). All of that aside, this book had some good twists, and none of them I could have guessed. These twists leave you with a satisfyingly juicy cliffhanger ending too, with a last line to keep you aggravated for however long it takes you to get your hands on the next book. Current release date for sequel: SOMETIME next year.

Since finishing this I've been craving some more young adult fantasy, so I've picked up a couple of Sarah J. Maas books in hoping to fill the void before the sequel to The Sin Eater's Daughter comes out. I know they will.

M x

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