Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie Review: Too Many Tears From Too Many Emotions

February 29, 2016 by Aila J. | 3 stars, ARC Reviews, Books, Reviews

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie Review: Too Many Tears From Too Many EmotionsBurning Glass (Burning Glass, #1) by Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 1st 2016
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Romance, Young Adult
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Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.
BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.

From the first page of this book, we’re thrown into action, and Sonya is at the heart of it. I think what stands out throughout the book were the characters: their motives for what they do, the consequences they go through, and the growth that completes it all. While I don’t mind character development, I can’t help but admit my frustration with the main character at times. Some dumb choices were made throughout the book that I thought were quite unnecessary. Also… she tended to cry a lot. Lots of tears blurring her vision, tears burning her eyes, tears streaming down her face, tears leaking from her eyes, the list goes on and on.

These character flaws made Sonya all the more real, and while I didn’t exactly enjoy it, I can appreciate it.  So Sonya is basically empathetic to everyone around her, which makes her power pretty important.

Being born with the gift meant becoming the property of the Riaznin Empire and being trained in this convent for one purpose only – to protect the emperor.

The story starts off with Sonya at her convent, and it being burned down, with her as the remaining girl left with enough developed powers – although they are unstable. The emperor has need for her to protect him, so he makes his brother, Prince Anton, pick her up. Cue sparks flying when they meet. Our main character has to navigate her way through the court and take control of her powers at the same time, all the while making sure the emperor survives.

But there’s a revolution going on, and the people want Sonya in on it. You may think that her empathy would help, but sometimes she can empathize too much. And you know what they say about having great power… (great responsibility comes with it.) Throughout the book we see Sonya trying to gain control of her tumultuous powers.

I was more than wild, I was a walking keg of gunpowder.

This book is only the start of the revolution, so I’m expecting to see much grander schemes in the books to come! We focus a lot on the emperor himself, and his capricious attitudes. I was surprised to find how three-dimensional Valko was, and how much I could empathize with him despite my intense dislike towards the guy. In fact, all the characterizations were really well-written and fleshed-out. I reveled in their victories, cried with them in their failures (inwardly, not tearing like Sonya all the time), and rooted for them along the way.

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Although the romance is advertised as a love triangle, rest assured that Sonya leans towards one guy. The love triangle, like the rest of the book, becomes sorted out as the characters start to realize what they want and discover who they are. The romance between the two characters involved is quite intense and has more than a little angst to add to the drama. I’m pleased to say that although the romance is a large part of the plot, it doesn’t dominate any of the other drama going on in the court – rather, the two go hand-in-hand with each other and are equally represented.

‘I want you to listen to me, and I want you to listen carefully. You are not a curse.’ His brows lifted in earnestness. ‘You are a gift,’ he said softly. ‘You are my gift. A savior to me.’

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The ending was very satisfying and has a nice conclusion with lots of room for more. Despite my enjoyment, I couldn’t get past the frustration I had with Sonya at times. I can understand her ordeal, but that doesn’t make me less irritated. I’d recommend this for lovers of Red Queen and fantasy lovers who like to see emphasis on characters with an intricate plot in the background. I will definitely be looking out for the sequel!

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Thanks to Epic Reads for sending a review copy!

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Aila is a young adult reader who loves to transport herself to new dimensions through reading. She's currently an undergraduate student at university in the US. Let's talk about our obsessions on Twitter @aila_1woaa!

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22 responses to “Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie Review: Too Many Tears From Too Many Emotions

  1. *fans self* That last quote was so swoon-worthy haha. This sounds like an interesting read and I'm happy to hear that there was action from the very beginning. But I feel like I'd be a bit meh about some of the other elements. The MC sounds pretty annoying and there's nothing I hate more than when they make stupid decisions that don't make any sense. I hate it when there's unnecessary drama because of stupid actions… But I'm really glad to hear that the romance is pretty good and there's not really a love triangle.

  2. I liked this one. I had some issues with it too, but I liked it. I didn't mind Sonya's crying, but I think that is because I am a pretty hardcore crier myself, so how could I be mad at her? But she DID do a few things that I side eyed.

    I agree with the Valko thing too. It was weird because there was a small period of time where I was actually confused MYSELF about the romance- which I have to say is some pretty good writing, because I should NOT have been confused at all! But I kind of felt like I so immersed in the story, that the whole thing was working. I'll definitely be reading the sequel too! Great review 😀
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  3. Ack. I feel like this book is going to put me through the wringer – in more ways than one. I don't think I'm ready for this jelly.

    • Ahhhahaha yeah, I've seen a lot of mixed reviews around the blogosphere for this one. The length is quite a bit off-putting too. But if you go in expecting an intriguing plot, then it'll definitely be worth it!

    • Yeah I'd definitely be wary for the main character's tears. At least you know, though! When I first started reading it, I was SO PISSED because of her decisions. :'D All other parts of the book definitely kept me hooked.

  4. Princessica Of Books

    I've been hearing some iffy stuff about Burning Glass and, unfortunately, it doesn't seem like a book for me. Though the synopsis sounds amazing, I can't deal with annoying main characters and I didn't like Red Queen so I probably won't enjoy this one, haha. I actually won an ARC about a month or two ago but I'll be passing it on to a home that'll appreciate it more than me :).
    My recent post Farewell & Foresight // Feb ’16 ↠ March ’16

    • That's sweet of you Jess!

      But yeah, Red Queen was iffy for me. I came for the hype, and the only reason why I'm still reading that series is to know what everyone else is reading, LOL. Although Sonya was annoying, every other aspect was really quite interesting, which is why I will be continuing with this trilogy. Sorry this one doesn't sound like one for you!

  5. Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm

    Sonya sounds like she will frustrate me too! I definitely prefer fantasies with a strong plot and not so much character driven. Thanks for the honest review!

    • Oh definitely Jade. Strong heroines are just great in general, and Sonya really didn't express that kind of personality.

      (You can always count on me for honest reviews hah)

  6. While I'm glad you enjoyed this one Aila, I really don't think it's for me. The power of empathy may sound good in theory, but it kind of sounds really annoying in practice particularly if she's always crying. Lucky I read your review – I wasn't a fan of Red Queen either! Lovely review <3

    • LOL JEANN for real though, Sonya was such a pain to read about sometimes! The intriguing plot and writing was what kept me reading (just like Red Queen), but the main character could be just ridiculous at times (just like Red Queen). Save yourself from this crying mc. :')

  7. OOo I really wonder what I will think of this. I will most likely be started this sometime soon, but my one hesitation is that this is 500 pages, and is that worth it? I guess I will have to see for myself!

    Awesome review Aila! I'm sure I'll be annoyed by the main character, because I really am not a fan of characters that make bad decisions. I'm really hoping that the plot makes up for it!
    My recent post ARC Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us

    • I really think it did, Valerie! I plowed through mainly because the plot kept me riveted, despite the length. Hopefully if you pick this one up, you'll find things you enjoy!

  8. Book Blather

    This sounds intriguing! And the fact that the love triangle gets clearly resolved in a natural way appeals to me. I am a huge fantasy lover so I shall definitely look out for this title! Great review. Thanks!

    • Yayy I'm glad you're not put off by the love triangle haha. 😀 YES WE FANTASY FANS MUST CONGREGATE TOGETHER.

  9. Bieke (Nelly B.)

    I haven't seen any overwhelmingly positive reviews so far. They're all similar to yours. So I might pick this one up, but probably not very soon.

    • Yup, it took me a loooong time to really start liking Sonya. I agree though Nick, the character really makes the book, and in this one I couldn't give it more than 3 stars because of her. The plot totally made up for it!