The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury Review: A Twisty Fantasy

May 6, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury Review: A Twisty FantasyThe Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. Australia on Feburary 24, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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...

Secrets, lies, twists and turns, evil queens, sin eating and killing touches…I really enjoyed The Sin Eater’s Daughter. It contained some really awesome concepts, including:

  1. Sin eating – Clearing the deceased of their sins by absorbing them through a feast
  2. Daunen Embodied – the Queen’s personal executioner and descendant from the Gods, who absorbs poison and kills with a single touch

The rest of The Sin Eater’s Daughter is made up of:

  • A young executioner, who resents her situation
  • An evil, cunning and manipulative queen, who executes if you dare to defy her
  • A forbidden romance between the Prince’s betrothed and her guard

You’ll never know what to expect when you pick up The Sin Eater’s Daughter, which is filled character manipulations, secret agendas and unexpected twists and turns. Reading The Sin Eater’s Daughter, is like lending your mind to the unexpected, where you’ll never ever predict how the story will turn out, or where it will lead. Each and every character here had the potential to deceive, to twist and manipulate the situation in their own way.

And that was the extent of my role, the price I paid for being favoured by the Gods; I was to become an executioner. A killer. A weapon. 

Twylla can kill with a single touch and she’s revered for it, as a descendant from the Gods and the Daunen Embodied, the Queen’s executioner. Although everyone treats Twylla with kid gloves, she has a fire about her, to look after her own interests. She abhors what she does, and looks for an escape. I loved how Twylla was self aware of her power and importance, being cunning and vicious when she needs to be. As someone controlled by her kingdom, Twylla could be seen as a victim of her own circumstances, but she took the best of her situation, and made it her own.

Lief was an interesting love interest, a farmers boy and Tregellan who constantly defies his kingdom. As Twylla’s guard, he’s chatty, talkative and often forgets to use the court’s formalities. With his protectiveness over Twylla and his personality quirks, I found him endearing and charming. Although what kind of a name is Lief? Every time I saw his name I picked Peter Pan, or even Link.

I’m not the Sin Eater’s daughter. I’m not Daunen Embodied. I’m something else, something new. Not a monster in a castle, not a nightingale trapped on a thorn. 

The evil queen executes people for defying her, whether that’s having a baby or smiling in court. She’s incredibly feared, cunning and manipulative, armed with threats and power.

Most of the book revolves around the romance, with Twylla and Lief getting to know each other and seeking their happy ending. As the Prince’s betrothed, they have gotten themselves into a nasty situation. I felt sorry for the Prince Merek, he’s lonely and only looking for a friend and a wife, and Twylla pretty much never gives him a chance. Although he clearly has no idea about true love, but that could be because he’s been sheltered.

“Being the best at duelling isn’t all that high on my list of qualities a husband should have,” I say tartly.

A few reviews have mentioned the slowness and lack of events actually happening in the book, however I didn’t mind this too much. As with many fantasy books and first books in series, it takes its time building up the characters, the romance and the world. I found it put all of these elements in stride and was a well balanced story.

epiloguepink

I loved the unexpected nature of The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and never knowing what to expect when it came to the characters or the plot. Although it’s heavy on the romance, with a love triangle, I loved all of the unique concepts and the unexpected journey it offered. With an open-ended epilogue, I’m not sure whether we’ll see more of Lief and Twylla in the sequel, but I sure hope so.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Thank you to Scholastic Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review! 

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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45 responses to “The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury Review: A Twisty Fantasy

  1. Romi

    Ooh, nice review, Jeann! This is actually… the first truly positive review I’ve read for this book, though at this stage I’ve officially decided it doesn’t sound like the book for me and aren’t actually planning on reading it anymore (who knows, though: the sequel could certainly change that), but I’m really glad it was able to be a really enjoyable, different book for you, and one that you’re excited to continue the story with. The potential for the book (and the series, I guess, since I expect they’ll continue with the same world) is massive and I’m glad it really did work for you- the whole sin eating idea sounds really fascinating to me, and I would like to see it explored!
    Xx
    Ooh, nice review, Jeann! This is actually… the first truly positive review I’ve read for this book, though at this stage I’ve officially decided it doesn’t sound like the book for me and aren’t actually planning on reading it anymore (who knows, though: the sequel could certainly change that), but I’m really glad it was able to be a really enjoyable, different book for you, and one that you’re excited to continue the story with. The potential for the book (and the series, I guess, since I expect they’ll continue with the same world) is massive and I’m glad it really did work for you- the whole sin eating idea sounds really fascinating to me, and I would like to see it explored!
    Xx

  2. I've been apprehensive about this one, just because there's been a bit of negativity surrounding it, you know? But hey, you liked this one so I may just have to read it asap! ( CONTRARY to all my IG posts, I pick it up AND KEEP ABANDONING IT :OOOOO ) I want to see all this manipulation as well! Side note, I keep thinking Lief is LEAF. Damn, I can't take him seriously LOL Fantastic review, Jeann! x
    My recent post Seeking Saturday's Read #29: A Contemporary To Thaw My Cold Heart, the Secret To Juicing Green and Quiet Before the Storm

  3. rlsharpe

    Great review Jeann, I'm so glad you loved it. I had a love hate relationship with this one. I enjoyed the writing and I didn't feel it was slow. I prefer when a romance is built up, which I thought was done well in this book. It was the twist involving Twylla that annoyed me though, and made me hate it a bit. But overall I thought it was a great read and I'm looking forward to book 2.

    My recent post Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J. Maas.

  4. The cover is soo pretty, I especially love the other cover with the flowers around it. I'm glad you could enjoy this one Jeann! The romance sorta annoyed me although, I loved Twylla as a character, the actual plot itself was something different as well. Wonderful review 🙂
    My recent post ARC Review: End of Days by Susan Ee ♥

    • I know, I love how it looks in real life too! Yeah, the romance did tend to take over the whole thing, but I still enjoyed it. Thanks Benish!

  5. Oh, I'm glad you liked this one! Because I didn't XD

    I'm interested in reading the second book anyway, because I think there might actually be a PLOT in that one. And maybe the romance won't be so cliched and predictable. To be honest, I didn't like either love interest in this book, nor Twylla herself, so I just wasn't invested in any of it.

    However, there were some aspect I like, which make me want to read the second book in this series!
    My recent post Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    • Haha yes I did read your review! I really like twists and deception I suppose. At least it didn\’t completely put you off the series lol

  6. Hehhe yes I recently got sent it to review, so I thought it might be a good time. I think our release date was a lot later. Thanks Lily!

  7. This book sounds really intriguing. I've been wondering if I should read it or not. I think your review has swayed me! Great review Jeann!

  8. I tried this one, but couldn't get into it sadly. I think Leif is Scandinavian or one of those tulip countries, there was a famous explorer called Leif something or other, so I'm assuming it might have been inspired from that. It was really unique, but I just found it really boring. I'm not surprised you enjoyed it though, being more into fantasy and appreciating them far more than I do. So glad you enjoyed it Jeann and wonderful review <3
    My recent post Smoking Hot… A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

  9. When this one first came out I had this one on my radar but after so many mixed reviews it just came off and I completely forgot about it. I'm surprised t's popped up again Jeann but you mentioned that this one had some depth so i'm tempted to give it a try. Lovely review Jeann!
    My recent post Black Iris: Review

  10. laylapalooza

    Oh man. This is another one I've had on my TBR shelf for-ev-er. I'm glad to hear that you liked it – I've kind of heard mixed things about it, which is probably why I haven't picked it up yet. I love the idea of a lady heroine who can kill with her touch – I'm just hoping that this is as awesome as it sounds (and that there's more of her being a badass than being sad about never being able to touch people, or something).

    Blogger @ The Midnight Garden

  11. I don't want to compare, but the whole killing with touch reminds me of Shatter Me haha, but no matter, I'm still in love with the concept of this story. It sounds so fascinating and exciting! I hope I get to see this soon in my local bookstores! 😀
    My recent post Book Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover

  12. keionda

    It really is a crying shame that I have not picked this book up yet considering the fact that it's like EVERYWHERE in the blogging world. But I'm heading to Goodreads now to add it to my shelf. Woot! Woot! It's like past time that I read it. 🙂 Also, nifty 'Add to Goodreads' button. I've been struggling with putting it on my blog though. *hangs head*
    My recent post Wishlist Wednesday ^^OMIGOSH! Tell me if I’m overreacting.^^

  13. I've seen both good and bad reviews about this book, so I'm not quite sure which to believe! It really seems like something you'd either really like or really hate though, haha. But no denying it, it has an amazingly twisted and disturbing concept. And a gorgeous cover!!!

    "Reading THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER is like lending your mind to the unexpected" — Omg, I love how you describe this. Manipulation, twists and turns, deception… it definitely sounds like my kind of book. And I love that we have such an anti-hero-like main character in Twylla, too. Able to kill with just one touch? Scary but also so, so cool. Plus she sounds incredibly badass!

    The only thing I'm feeling kind of icky about is how the book revolves around Twylla's and Lief's romance. As you probably know, I'm not the biggest fan of romance, haha. Still, it sounds like it was nicely developed and not too dramatic, so that's good. xD Anyway, super glad that you enjoyed this, Jeann! I'm still not sure if I'll be reading it, but I'm pretty convinced by your review. ;D
    My recent post This Month: March & April 2015

    • Thank you for your super long comment Megan! I pretty much love books that have twists that I never see coming, and this one was filled with them. It is romance-centric, and that happens to put me off if it takes away from the focus of the book, but it didn't in this case. I really enjoyed it!

  14. Wow this book sounds really cool! The queen almost reminds me of the way the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland acts the way you describe her – "Off with their head!" This one is definitely on my TBR!

    • Oh Joy you flatter me so much! It's probably one of those ones you'd have to give a go yourself. I was hesitant because of the negative reviews, but ended up loving it.

    • Yippeee! I just love books with twists, I don't care what genre hehe. Glad to hear you're keen to read it now!

  15. paperboulevard

    I cannot wait to read The Sin Eater's Daughter. It's idea is so "unique". <3 Great review!