This is the third book I’ve read by Melinda Salisbury this year and I have to say, I’m a fan. She does YA fantasy that has tones of being familiar to those fans of the genre but also adds her own twists and unique little charms which is what makes me personally really enjoy her work.

So back to this particular book, it seems aimed at a slightly younger audience than the likes of State of Sorrow (you can find a review of this here somewhere) in some ways but in others I think this was a lot darker in its subject matter. The story revolves around ‘Twylla’ the daughter of a so called ‘sin eater’ and is supposedly appointed by the Gods to punish those accused of treason and the like; she does this merely by touch as her skin is deadly due to her intake of poison once a month that proves she’s chosen by Gods. The concept of being a weapon, used by the royals to kill traitors simply by touch is pretty dark in itself, made worse so by the fact in the past she was made to kill her former friend. Other than that, the book has similar themes to many YA Fantasy books about; the prospect of war, betrayal and corrupt rulers to name a few.

I personally really liked the concept of ‘sin eating’ in the book. Twylla is the daughter of a ‘sin eater’, a person who once a person is dead eats their sins in the form of specific offerings following the funeral and can choose whether or not to accept a sin. The character herself is a pretty dark and hideous one, something Salisbury captures well.

There’s a few plot twists in the book that obviously keep the book at a good pace, I did find the end quarter of the book lagged a little bit compared to the rest.

Overall, a pretty decent quickish read for fans of State of Sorrow or Court of Thorns and Roses. There’s two more in the series that I’ve ordered so I’ll get around to them sometime soon.

As always, thanks!

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