When I saw that The Sin Eater’s Daughter was available via the SYNC audiobook program this summer, I immediately jumped at the chance to listen. It’s been on my TBR for quite awhile. While it wasn’t perfect, I was definitely eager to move on to the second book – luckily, it was available via Edelweiss and I was able to jump right in! I actually really loved the second book, and I even felt like some things that happened in book two helped me appreciate the first book more. Now I’m just wishing I could get my hands on the next one!!
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 336 Audio Length: 9 hours 3 min
A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner.As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, especially the fantasy elements. The fact that Twylla could poison with a touch meant that no one would dare come close to her: this meant that Twylla led a lonely life, and I felt for her. I was intrigued by the complicated religious system in the world that Salisbury created, and many questions were raised throughout the book with how much of the faith system was “real” and how much was manufactured in some way, shape or form. I was also intrigued by Twylla’s mother’s role as a Sin Eater (I appreciated it even more in the second book when more details were given about why the Sin Eater existed).
I was less enchanted by the romance element of this book. First of all, it was a love triangle, and I found myself having a hard time rooting for Twylla and Lief together when I actually liked Merek a lot better than Lief, and I felt horrible for the position that he was put in. Some of the decisions that Twylla made when it came to the men in her life just made me beyond frustrated. And then things were revealed at the end of the book that changed the whole game: I wasn’t sure these revelations helped my feelings about the romance any, but they definitely piqued my curiosity and made me eager for the next book. I give this one 3.5/5 stars!
The Narration: Loved the narrator for this book! Amy Shiels has a lovely voice that I could listen to all day.
Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.
This second book had everything I loved about the first, but ditched the love triangle. Hip, hip hooray! The Sleeping Prince takes place not long after the first book ends, but it focuses on a new main character: Lief’s sister, Errin. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this shift, but I ended up enjoying Errin’s story as much as (or more than!) Twylla’s. And, eventually, Salisbury ties the two stories together and we get to see Twylla again–this time through Errin’s eyes.
Errin has been trying to hold things together since Lief disappeared, but it hasn’t been going too well. First off, her mother has been overtaken by a mysterious illness–an illness that would put both Errin and her mother in danger if the newly superstitious villagers knew about it. Things get even worse when Errin finds out that she has to evacuate her home because soldiers are taking over the village in order to fight against the (now woken) Sleeping Prince who has taken over the kingdom next door. Errin has to rely on Silas, who is mysterious and intriguing but who Errin isn’t sure she can completely trust. She’s attracted to him as well, but Silas has rebuffed her advances. All of this makes Errin’s situation all the more confusing and frustrating.
This book added onto to the worldbuilding in the first, explaining more about the history of the Sleeping Prince, the religion in the book, and even the Sin Eater. And by the end of the book some major things had gone topsy-turvy: there were revelationns that made me not only enjoy this book more but also gave me a greater appreciation for some of the people and events in the first book. A couple of twists I saw coming somewhat, but at least one major revelation took me completely by surprise (in a very good way!!). Now I just can’t wait to get my hands on book three! 4.5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author:
Melinda Salisbury is a UK YA author, originally from the midlands, now living on the east coast of England.
Her first novel, THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER, published by Scholastic in 2015, was the bestselling UK YA Debut novel of 2015, and was nominated for multiple national and international awards. Rights have been sold in 15 countries to date. Her second novel, THE SLEEPING PRINCE was released in February 2016, with the third and final novel in the series expected in early 2017. Melinda is also the author of FLAMINGOS, a serialised three part MG story, written for Booktrust’s Letterbox Club project and released exclusively online.
As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude tothe books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers.
She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles,non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian.