Here was my initial review on goodreads:
My Goodreads reviews are always done straight after I finish a book so they tend to be a load of gobble-de-gook. Whoops...
Twylla is our main character in this book and it is written from her perspective. At first, I didn't know what to make of her but now I love her strength. She grows from this kind of pathetic and Gods fearing young girl into a defiant, hopeful woman. The transformation is slow and takes a lot of trauma to actually happen. We end up with a character that you are rooting for and feel everything that happens to her as if it has happened to you.
I'm going to talk about Dorin next since he is like a trustworthy grandfather figure. Although he isn't in much of the book, he is introduced as someone to trust and confide in, someone who is loyal and determined. He has stuck by Twylla and because of this he means a lot to her, which makes him mean a lot to me as a reader.
Then we move to Lief, hubba hubba! He is admirable from the get go because he isn't used to the high life, he speaks his mind and is a breath of fresh air for Twylla. You can see what's gonna happen before it does *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge*.
I picture Lief as a strapping medieval stereotype of a guard. I really like Lief and I feel like he's the obvious choice in the love triangle, not just because of his good looks, because of his intimacy and care for Twylla...*sob*
That brings me to Merek, the Prince, who is Twylla's betrothed and I just couldn't take to. I felt like he was pompous but I soon realised that's because of his upbringing in a palace and as royalty. I think he definitely cares for Twylla as his betrothed but it's more like a sense of duty than love in my opinion.
The Queen is a serious cow. She is lethal and creepy and drastic and downright barbaric! She is not to be crossed and is HIGHLY creepy and incestuous. She should come with a warning sign!
Okay so the backstory that we learn about Twylla is that she was the Sin Eater's Daughter, hence the title...
Basically a Sin Eater is someone who eats a person's sins when they die so that their spirit can pass on. Different foods represent different sins, for example roasted crow is for murder. I thought this detail was really clever and made it seem more believable and complex. So basically Twylla's mum is the chubby sin eater, and Twylla has been the sin eater in training since forever!
She knew her destiny was to take over her mothers trade, so when the Queen arrives on her doorstep claiming that she is Daunen Embodied, her destiny is changed for the better. Daunen Embodied is basically daughter of the Gods Naeht and Daeg, come to Earth to bring hope and a Golden Age of sorts.
Since she is Daunen Embodied, Twylla can ingest Morningsbane, a poison, and not die, and her touch kills traitors to the crown. I found this at first to be a little confusing because the vocab is a lot to take in, with the Telling here and Harvests there and Moon cycles etcetera. It definitely dies down within a few chapters but I was swamped to begin with.
So enough about Twylla, Lief is who I want to talk about. He is brought in as a guard for Twylla and immediately stands out as unusual compared to everyone else in the palace. Getting too close to Twylla's skin, speaking out of turn and even showing a lack of respect for the royals...SHOCK HORROR!
So that's the very basic baseline for this book and my opinion is that there is so much I cannot say without ruining the plot! Please don't ask me to elaborate! In my opinion, the book started slow and I kind of found it hard to stick with but from around chapter 16/17 till the end the book got into the zone. I couldn't devour it enough and as you can tell by my Goodreads review, I was flabbergasted! Yeah, I just used that word...
Basically, everything happens in those last few chapters and your head is spinning with information and plot twists and love and betrayal and heartbreak and happiness and realisation and AHHHHH!
I feel like I genuinely didn't see the twist coming, or one of the twists I should say. Like, I can't even describe what happened to my heart whilst reading. It actually could have been a heart attack because it was that abrupt.
I really admire Melinda's writing and how well she managed to hide this secret throughout the book. She writes in an enchanting way that sucks you in only to spit you back out and leave you heartbroken.
Read it. Right now.
Then come back here on Sunday for my review of the second book in the series, The Sleeping Prince.
My overall feelings after reading this book are...
"ALL OF THE FEELS!"
I went through every emotion towards the end of this book, literally heartbreak, happiness, sadness, nervousness, excitement, worry, anguish! EVERYTHING!