I received this book for free from Pinoy Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda SalisburyThe Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #1
Published by Scholastic Press on February 5, 2015
Genres: YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Young Adult
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four-stars
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy 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 Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

The Sin Eater’s Daughter is Melinda Salisbury’s debut novel and boy, what a debut! The story is about a 17 year old girl, who, at a very young age, is relegated to the role of the kingdom’s resident executioner. She’s not the typical sword-wielding executioner, but her methods are far more unconventional. She instantly kills anyone she touches as she is Daunen Embodied—the human manifestation of the gods’ offspring. But secrets within the kingdom of Loremere begin to unfold one by one and Twylla, the prince, and the new guard are smack in the middle of it. I know what you’re thinking—sounds familiar, right? Not really. In fact, I was completely blown away with how Salisbury took these characters and gave me a reading experience that left my jaw hanging.

I was pretty much hooked to the story right from the beginning. The author was very succinct and clear with her prose, the world building and character development was spot-on. I felt like I was drawn into the Kingdom of Loremere and its people, and this story felt like it was a retelling of a fairy tale…only that it’s not. It’s a fairy tale on its own, with breathtaking twists and turns that no one wouldn’t expect. I had to admit I was initially adamant to read this, knowing that it’s written in the first person POV. My experience with this perspective was that the main character can get a bit whiny and frustrating, but I found that I enjoyed reading about Twylla’s background and her life as Daunen Embodied. The twists in the story really caught me off guard in a good way, and I found myself holding my breath at each turn of the page. The villain in the person of the Queen was truly the embodiment of a vile, loathsome antagonist, although I couldn’t help myself but envision her as Charlize Theron in Snow White and The Huntsman (she’d be perfect for this role) in terms of beauty and cunning. I was also intrigued with the concept of Sin Eating, and I think this added more layers into the story, making it more interesting and unusual in an awesome way.

My only beef with the story was the ending, particularly with my frustration with Twylla who couldn’t seem to make up her mind about which guy to choose. I’ve seen this trope before and I personally do not like love triangles just for the sake of having one. Twylla’s character grew from beginning to end, but it hit a bump in the road by having this love triangle thing. It wasn’t particularly detrimental to the story, but it’s just a personal peeve of mine. But anyway, it was still an amazing read and I’m actually thankful there’s going to be a book 2 to this. There are still some questions left unanswered at the end of the book, and I hope the second installment wouldn’t be too stretched out just to have a series for a series’ sake.

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About Melinda Salisbury

Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. 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 to the 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. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.