Series: The Sin Eaters Daughter #1
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Love & Romance, Royalty, Young Adult
Audiobook Narrator: Amy Shiels
Source: Free audiobook download from Sync summer audio pairings
Description: A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner. As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful 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 a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an 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 sounded like a fantasy type novel to me at first, but it turned out to be a lot more historical royal court drama and less fantasy. The story takes place in an ancient kingdom, where the people believe in various Gods and where the culture maintains customs that we find utterly silly today. One of these is Sin Eating. While this is not a major plot line, since the main character is the daughter, the flashbacks, and depiction of Twylla’s Sin Eater mother explain her upbringing. But there isn’t much fantastical about eating for people’s sins at their funeral is there?
Twylla was in training to take over as Sin Eater for her mother one day, until the day the Queen decided she was a goddess-embodied, and brought her to the castle. With her raising in these customs, she absolutely believed what everyone told her she was. She was required to drink a poison every moon and prove, by not dying, that she was the goddess indeed. Then, with the poison running through her veins, she would punish those accused of treason by her very touch. Leading a very lonely existence, as a girl no one could touch without dying, she clung to her faith in the Gods and the knowledge that someday she will marry the prince – who, by royal blood, would be able to touch her without consequence. Again, not really a fantastical thing so much.
“I am the perfect weapon, I can kill with a single touch.”
Then we get into the real plot line of the book – the love affair, lies, betrayal, adultery, murder, and all that lovely stuff that goes on at court to make everything full of drama and anguish and yearning and despair. I must admit I did enjoy the romance aspect of the book – a slow progression that developed naturally for our goddess protag. Then when all the truth and lies came to light, things got cray cray, and desperate people did desperate things, which of course we know shows their guilt.
“How could there be different Gods, Lief?”
“I don’t believe there are any at all,” he says quietly. “But I believe there are men and women whose lives are made easier by believing someone is watching over them.”
Lots of royalty drama, and I mean lots, but not so much fantasy in this book. I am curious about the Sleeping Prince subplot and am wondering if that will turn out to be for realsies or just a legend used to control the masses. We’ll see, maybe, if I choose to read the next book.
“In the stories of old, a hero is the one who sweeps in with a drawn sword and noble face, to kill the Dragon and free the princess. In the stories of old it never seems to dawn on the princess that she should be careful not to put herself at mercy of those who would do her ill in the first place.
I don’t live in the stories of old.”
I did enjoy the audio of this one. Good pacing and voices.