Title: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2015
Summary: 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…
This book was not at all what I expected, and while sometimes that can result in a pleasant surprise, this is not one of those cases. There was so much potential here but everything just fell flat.
The first problem I had with this book was the appalling lack of personality and life in the main character, Twylla. It just left like we didn’t actually get to know Twylla as a character, she felt lifeless and one dimensional. I found that she whined a lot and was very bitter about her life, but never actually did anything to change it. There isn’t anything that frustrates me more than a main character that just does absolutely nothing. The few things that she actually does do are centered around stupid decisions and I just found myself constantly cringing, knowing that disaster was just around the corner.
The romance was just as lacking. This book has a dreaded love triangle and I couldn’t understand Twylla’s affections for either boy, or theirs for her. I mean, they are definitely all similar in the way that they have no personality and are kind of whiny, so maybe it’s exciting for them to finally find someone equally as bland. We don’t get to know much about either boy but they are, of course, instantly and madly in love with Twylla. Not only was the romance not particularly interesting, but it also took up a huge portion of the book that would have been much better off focusing on something else.
As far as the villain goes, there is no doubt that the queen was evil and twisted. However, I really have a problem with villains like this, ones that are absolutely evil but give no indication as to why they are they are that way. We got no background on the queen, no history behind her or story as to how she ended up where she is, unleashing rabid dogs on people and killing whoever she wants. One of the things that can really make a book for me is well developed villain, which this book was lacking.
The main thing that I did enjoy about this book was the world and the mythology incorporated into it. I found the concept of the Sin Eater really interesting. In this world, when people die, their families will cover their coffin with food that symbolizes the sins the person committed during their life. The Sin Eater, Twylla’s mother in this case, will go and eat all of the food and in doing that, it’s like she can declare them pure enough to continue into the afterlife. The different beliefs and gods in this world are all fairly interesting. On top of that, the different countries and their histories were intriguing too, although we don’t get to learn nearly as much as I would like to.
The plot of this book really suffered from heavy amount of romance and not much else. There is this plot line centered around wanting to change the way things are run and fighting against the queen’s tyranny, but while the political aspects and a rebellion could have been a driving force behind this story, it was such a small part that was overshadowed by the romance. Also, I was really hoping we would get a lot of focus on Twylla coming to understand her powers, but that is also a small part of the story. I like the concept behind it but Twylla actually never does anything about her power, she just feels sorry for herself a lot and mopes around. There was also this very random feeling plot line centered around the myth of this “Sleeping Prince” that just came out of nowhere and didn’t seem to really have anything to do with the rest of the story. Although this book does get kudos for the ending that I definitely did not see coming.
In the end, while the world and story had lots of potential, nothing in this book was half as interesting as the summary implies. With boring characters and an insta-love and a love triangle that takes over most of the story, it was difficult for me to trudge through this one. Aspects of this book were interesting and if the author had decided to build onto those, the story would have been much more successful.