The Sin Eater’s Daughter
by Melinda Salisbury
(The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)
Hardcover, 312 pages
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…
The Sin Eater’s Daughter was my most anticipated book of 2015. Back last year when I saw its gorgeous cover and read its awesome synopsis, I said, That book is for me! It’s fantasy (my favorite genre), it sounds like it’s going to be very dark (I slurp up dark fantasies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), it sounds like it could have some interesting mythology (I adore mythology), it’s definitely going to have some romance (love triangle unknow, though, hmmm), and there looks like there might be an evil queen (yaaaaaaas). Plus, the title is intriguing: The Sin Eater’s Daughter. How are sins eaten? Why is this sin-eating so important as to merit the book’s title? And is the protagonist’s mother going to be essential to the story?
This book was good, but… Yes, there’s a but. I flew through it, intrigued by the world and the initial concept. Twylla is Daunen Embodied, the daughter of the gods, and a redhead if I may add (seriously, can’t we have any heroines with hair besides red?), and her skin absorbs the poison she drinks so that anyone she touches dies. She’s the kingdom’s executioner, therefore, and is betrothed to the prince (the royal family are immune to her godly powers), and controlled by the queen (well, everyone is controlled by the queen. The queen is batshit crazy). Twylla was supposed to be the next Sin Eater, but she gave up that path when she agreed to become the next Daunen. Fast forward to the present day when the actual story takes place and Twylla’s been assigned a new guard and her fiance, the prince, has returned home after two years abroad. Cue romance and potential love triangle!
The book’s downfall: Nothing really happens plotwise for a very long time. Twylla falls for her new guard, Lief, and starts to befriend the prince, Merek. The queen pops in and out of the picture when it’s convenient to the plot, though the times she is present are definitely memorable (she’s cray-cray. I love mad queens!). Anyway, the book takes it sweet time going anywhere. There are things that do happen, but nothing that really seems to matter. Twylla mopes around a whole lot. There’s nothing really interesting about her palace life. Merek was about as appealing as chalk, and I never found myself attached to Lief. I could see Lief and Twylla becoming friends, but when they kissed the first time there was no buildup, nothing that made it seem believable. I couldn’t believe they were madly in love. Their relationship just explodes (a semi-mild case of instalove, I’d say) and they make plans to run away but oh my gosh look now the prince is deciding to be a nice guy and suddenly Twylla’s torn between saving the kingdom or choosing her handsome guard and her guard is getting all jealous and frizzled because she’s having second thoughts and just agh. It got too melodramatic for me, a little too cliche. I’m tired of these sorts of stupid relationship dramas. They’re overdone.
But the end. Holy cow, the book’s ending, the climax… Just wow. Things went off the rails and my emotions were all tangled up and I literally at one point had to stop reading and literally exclaim out loud “WHAT” over and over until I (somewhat) calmed down. Some of the twists are predictable and can be seen a mile away, but there were a few that surprised me. The book (kind of) redeems itself in the end. What was mostly a slow, uneventful, angst-ridden journey (that was, granted, very well written and had great descriptions and world building) turned into the ultimate shitfest. Sorry, there’s no better word. Because the end is absolutely craaaaazy! In the best way possible! (The epilogue, however, left me unsatisfied. But that’s just me being nitpicky.)
Let’s talk about the sin-eating. It’s… important to the world, but not necessarily to the plot. There are a lot of flashbacks when Twylla remembers her childhood, accompanying her mother, the Sin Eater, to Eatings, a ritual for the dead. These portions (get it? Portions? That was terrible, wasn’t it) were fascinating to read, but, again, they didn’t end up being very significant. Which kind of ticked me off because the book’s title makes it appear that the sin-eating is going to be substantial to the story! The book’s title is misleading; it really doesn’t fit the actual story.
In the end, The Sin Eater’s Daughter was a fascinating, unique (in a few ways) fantasy that had so many cool concepts (the Eating ritual, the mythology) but fell flat when it came to the plot (almost nonexistent), the characters (all meh, even Twylla, although the queen, while a psycho, was the most interesting by far), and the romance (eye roll). The ending is the book’s best part by far, but it’s going to take you 250+ pages to reach it (yup, doesn’t sound fun). I did enjoy this book, but it really wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. I still recommend it if you’re interested, but don’t expect to be blown away until the last fifty pages, when all hell breaks loose and twist upon twist is thrown in your face, like that dive-bombing bumblebee that honestly was so random and so obvious that I laughed. ♦
So tell me…
Have you read The Sin Eater’s Daughter? If so, what did you think? If not, would be interested in reading it now? What’s another book you think has a misleading or ill-fitting title? And do you not love this book’s cover?! Comment below letting me know your thoughts! And, as always, happy reading!