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The Sin Eater's Daughter

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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?

336 pages, Paperback

First published February 24, 2015

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About the author

Melinda Salisbury

18 books1,330 followers
Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian The Sin Eater's Daughter is her first novel. She can be found on Twitter at @MESalisbury, though be warned, she tweets often.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,711 reviews
March 20, 2015
Setting: the Yellow Brick Road

Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are merrily on their way to Emerald City. Dorothy stops.

Dorothy: Do you hear that noise? It sounds like someone's crying! Look over there, that poor book!

Everyone stops at the side of the road, there's a book discarded, pages torn out.

Dorothy: Oh, no! What happened, book? Why did someone throw you away?!

The book is openly sobbing, they can hear the sound of uncontrollable weeping. Its own ink is ruining the pages. The title is The Sin Eater's Daughter

Book: *blubbers* It's not my fault! My reader threw me away! That cruel woman! Her name is Khanh, and she was so mean as to rip me apart. She was going to throw me into the fireplace, but then she realized that her home doesn't have a fireplace! *howls*

The Cowardly Lion: *shivers* So mean! Is she around here? Do we need to hide?! DOROTHY! DO SOMETHING!!!

Book: No, no. She's probably writing some mean review about me right now. I don't think she'll actually hurt you.

Dorothy: But why would she throw you away like that, Book? What happened?


The Tin Man: So what you're saying is that you're a waste of a tree.

Dorothy: Tin Man! That's not very nice!

The Tin Man: Well, I don't have a heart.

Dorothy: Touché. But book, what happened? Why do you suck so much?

Book: *sniffles* I had so much promise. I'm supposed to be about a girl who can kill with just her touch! She was supposed to be so kick-ass! Everyone's afraid of her!

Dorothy: But that sounds wonderful! I would totally read that shit. So what happened to make Khanh throw you away?

Book: *says bitterly* Well, it was great...in theory! In actuality, for the entire fucking book, my main character did nothing but mope, embroider, observe things (while moping), and chat and make cow eyes at her guard...while flirting with her betrothed prince. Oh, but that's not all! It's such an exciting book! She also prays all day. And sings! Listen to this shit!
It’s the only part of my life that I love, when I can sing and forget. When I sing I could be anyone, anywhere. When I sing I am free.
Everyone recoils in horror

Dorothy: She can KILL people with just her touch, and she spends the entire book doing nothing at all?! Oh, no! I can start to understand how Khanh became so angry now!

The Tin Man: Did I hear you correctly? She fell in love with two guys?! It sounds like she has too many hearts!...Maybe she can give me one of them.

Dorothy: But she's got this awesome power! How can this be! Does she actually kill anyone in the book?

Book: No comment. It's just so frustrating! I suffer too! It's her shit that's printed on my pages. I mean, she's supposed to be this awesome chick and she does nothing at all. She's worried! She's hurt that people don't like her! She's scared, she's a pussy. She's got so much power, so much potential that just went to waste.
She must have been laughing herself sick watching me mope around, with my long face and my limpid eyes, melting into the shadows like a ghost and hiding behind the skirts of the Gods, longing for something that didn’t exist. She knew me for the coward I was.
Everyone can see it. Khanh could see it! People are scared of her, so why should she give a fuck! I mean, why would you care about being liked?!

Everyone is silent with shock

Dorothy: This book is about a girl who's got the power to kill people with just her touch, you say?

Book: *nods sadly*

The Scarecrow: It sounds to me like your main character could use a brain.
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
June 26, 2018
I did it! I did it people, I finally finished it! Woohoo!

It took me months. Months. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that bad. In fact, I had very high expectations and the story seemed very promising, but there were some factors that prevented me from enjoying it (although the second half was way better than the first).

1. Do you see this gorgeous cover? With the girl contained in a vial? That is exactly the feeling I got while reading The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I felt claustrophobic, Twylla's life in the first half with all the helplessness was more than I could bear. I read because one way or another books make me fly, but this was suffocating.

2. The NOTP. Seriously, I got nauseous every time Twylla and Lief had a scene together (and believe me,there were many). They just weren't right, I could not witness the relationship between them and the lovey-eyes and lovestruck smiles without rolling my eyes.

3. Twylla

She.deserved.everything.that.happened.to.her. She was one of the worst heroines I have ever read about. The word heroine is too much for her, since the only thing she did was whimper about her misfortune to marry the prince and become queen (boo hoo hoo poor girl) and complain about the lack of choices when, as the queen-bitch put it, she had choices, she just didn't like them. She never tried to change things, she was always, always afraid and her cowardice and selfishness almost doomed the kingdom in the time of need. The only choice she ever made was to get involved with her guard and that was the stupidest thing she could do.

The storyline was quite intriguing though, and the last chapters set me on edge because everything went to hell. There were many plot twists and the queen was a very... villainous villain, one of those you love to hate. I liked Merek, although I don't know why he wanted to marry Twylla, and I will read the next book out of curiosity. I am just sorry this one didn't reach my expectations.

Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,083 followers
May 25, 2018
I think the last trilogy I read with the same format of different main character in each book is the Graceling trilogy. I am curious to see how the story will move forward, and I understand why the main character has to change in the next book. The ending of this book with these characters unraveled a whole plot but the plot doesn’t take effect with these characters so it makes sense that the location and characters have to change in the next book.

The book is definitely focused on the romance aspect of the protagonist and most of the plot takes place in the last 3 chapters but the author fed bits of the whole scheme into each chapter so it would gather and reveal itself at the end. Since the plot was revealed at the end and the storyline only just came into view I feel like I will enjoy the next book more than this one(not that I didn’t enjoy this one), if it is more plot oriented than this one, but I’ll never know till I read it since the blurb of the next one also hints at another romance.

In this book we follow Twylla, a girl who was supposed to the future Sin Eater but is now Daunan Embodied. Daunan Embodied is supposed to be a gift from the gods to benefit the kingdom. Her role is to play executioner to the royal family as her touch seems to be lethal. If she touches anybody other than the royal family they will die as is from poison. We see her struggle with her role in palace and question her duty to the gods.
Now Twylla has a new guard who sees her as another victim of the throne, a simple girl, not as the throne’s most deadly weapon. But he is hiding something from her, and finding out would mean endless sorrow for Twylla.

I felt like the story could be compressed a bit more, but I only had the thought when I finished reading it didn’t feel too dragged out or anything while I was reading. I liked watching Twylla finally question her role in the palace and her future. Twylla must follow the orders of the queen for if she denies her, Twylla’s family would be left to starve. She questions her childhood decision of coming to the palace and playing the role of Daunan Embodies instead of taking on her mother’s job of being the Sin Eater of Lormere. Twylla is not the best protagonist, and as confused as she is, she always did crave the life of royalty and riches but watching the story play out in the last few chapters was interesting.

I am curious to see how the tale of the Sleeping Prince plays out in the next book. I rate this book 3-3.5 stars
757 reviews2,349 followers
November 29, 2017
I love the feeling of absolute enjoyment and surprise from a book that I went in expecting to hate because of the extremely low ratings. The Sin Eater’s Daughter isn't the greatest book to exist and has its flaws, but it isn't necessarily horrible either.


●Oh my god, y'all the world building is absolutely incredible. It has a huge religious/mythological aspect to it and it's incredibly well written. This world is dark, dangerous, fucked up yet beautiful and you can't help but be drawn into it.

○Marrying your siblings and children is totally normal, didn't you know?
○Let's fucking poison innocent people to death because WHY NOT? And better, let this girl believe she's responsible for the murders because "her touch kills them." Let's just fuck with everyone's head.
○Guys she married her own brother to keep the bloodline pure.
○She then poisoned her 2nd husband.
○She then planned on marrying her ACTUAL S O N and produce a pure royal blooded heir for the kingdom.
○SHE LIED TO THE ENTIRE FUCKING KINGDOM. She made up make believe Gods and manipulated the entire kingdom to keep them in and get them to do whatever she wanted. She poisoned a 15 year old and cut out the tongue of this other guard that found out. SHE IS FUCKING MANIPULATING EVERYBODY.
○She's an evil bitch and I'M KIND OF IN AWE BECAUSE DAMN GIRL. I hate her but like,,, shit, if I were ever to be a villain I'd want to be like her. (minus the marrying your family part because ew.)

○There's so much death, blood and death and holy shit I was here for that too. This book IS dark and I love how the author didn't shy away from these type of subjects. There are description of slow poisoning and death. Wow it was great.

●The character's:
○Twylla is our perfectly flawed main character.
○She is the Queen's personal weapon, there to execute the traitor's.
○She "kills" people with her touch and she hates it every time. She's forced to do it and has no choice.
○She's clever, smart and learns from her mistakes.
○Like, shit, dude this girl's entire existence was lie.

●The slow pacing:
○This is incredibly slow paced and is mainly focused on character growth. It has a slow build up and the action and big reveals happen towards the end.
○Don't go into this book expecting action and something to happen because you will be disappointed.
○However, Twylla's character growth is well done throughout the book.

○Shit, no I wanted to delete myself from the earth because *throws up* it was bad.
○There is a love triangle between the prince and her guard.
○She falls in love with the guard. (but like, betrayal happens at the end and who knows where this love will go now)
○I liked Lief and Twylla friendship. They were supporting, caring and there for each other and I absolutely hated the fact that it turned into romance because bleh it was NOT NEEDED.
○I liked the prince's cold, closed off demeanor and shipped him with twylla but like, when he becomes desperate and needy at the end,,,,, no, bye, no more shipping.
○She'll probably end up with Lief le sigh, whatever.

○Oh no honey, I saw that plot twist coming from page one.

Overall, this book really surprised me and I definitely recommend it for anyone who like very slow buildups with evil queens and crazy plot twists!

3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,960 followers
August 14, 2016

This freaking book! The freaking Queen is an evil jerk! How in the world can I review this without telling all of the evil things she has done and it's still not the half of it!

Okay, poor old Twylla is told she is a Daunen Embodied - has to do with gods and stuff. She's supposedly poisonous to the touch and she's the Queen's Executioner. The King doesn't ever have too much to say, but he does like to hear Twylla sing. The Queen wears the pants in the family!

And the Queen has a son from her previous marriage named Merek. One day he is supposed to marry Twyla and only him, the king and queen can touch Twyla without dying.

One would ask why Twyla doesn't go back home or run away because she hates killing people. Supposedly the Queen is giving extra money to Twyla's mom and little sister. So in this case Twyla doesn't want anything to happen to her little sister. Twyla's mom is a Sin Eater and that is something you can read about yourself. Sounded crazy as all get out to me. Uggg.

Twyla has to kill her best friend because he did some stuff for treason and the Queen wanted him to die. Hell, the Queen wants everyone to die. She has people killed left, right and center! I loathed her so much I could Hulk Smash things! Yeah, you will too if you read about her and read all of the stuff she has done to people. I mean there are some nasty, bad stuff!

Twyla has a guard named Dorin who I just loved! He's an old man and he does the best he can for Twyla. She is supposed to have at least two guards but they all keep quitting because they are afraid of her. Well, one day they get a young man from over yonder and his name is, Lief. I really loved Lief too.

Then more people start dying off, or being killed off I should say. Then Twylla finds out these horrific revelations and she is beyond devastated! I mean, I can't even! I must be stupid because I didn't see half of that craziness coming at all. Well, what happened with a couple of people I did because it was obvious, but for the most part I was clueless.

I'm just hoping to read about someone setting that Queen on fire for all of the evil she has brought about! It better be in the next book!

If your looking for a book with action, this is not it. I loved it for what it was and if your looking for some evil stuff then you have the right book!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Ria.
652 reviews90 followers
April 3, 2015
**1 disappointing star**

[edited 3 April: added a bit more stuff and changed some of the wording]

This book. Sigh. Where to start? The Sin Eater's Daughter was a very disappointing read. It tells the story of Twylla, Daunen Embodied - a daughter of a god who brings life and another that brings death. Twylla's touch is "deadly" and her skin emits a poison that kills slowly. She is Lormere's executioner. That's it! She doesn't go on a journey or anything or leave the castle let alone kingdom. She gets assigned a new suspicious guard, some huge secrets get revealed.. But that's all that happens.

The book is heavily romance driven and that's about the ONLY thing it has going on. About 60% into the book the romance kicks in, and about 80-90% we get some actual plot progression. I'm a big fan of plot progression, the build up, the climax and then the aftermath. But this book didn't have any build up or anything because it was all smothered by the romance. Everything before 60% was world building and Twylla complaining or monologing EVERYTHING that happens. The book had heaps of potential too!

- There could've been more Tregellian's in the book. I mean why not? Lief is a Tregellian. Are you saying that Lief is the only Tregellian willing to step foot in Loremere? It just makes no sense. If there's one, there should be many?
- Location could've branched out into that part of the world. But sadly every event in the book takes place within the castle walls.
- Could've focused more on the tension and politics between both kingdoms. I mean it didn't even feel like there was any thing between the two.

The Lormere kingdom is just so damn plain and boring. No one stands out. No one wants to be heard out, they're all doormats and pawns waiting for orders from the queen. Hell, even the king is weak.

The most ironic thing about the book is the title, I mean The SIN EATER's Daughter, all we ever get is random flashbacks of her observing her mother Sin Eating, and only one scene where The Sin Eater is actually present. I kept wishing that Sin Eating (eating food off a coffin to cleanse their sins -- each sin as a designated food) would be a bigger part of the plot but no. It wasn't. It wasn't really explained that well either, I feel as though if it's mentioned in the title, it should be an important aspect of the book. Right? I mean if you don't make a big deal of the whole Sin Eating thing Twylla might as well just be any other persons daughter.

Throughout the whole book Twylla was a doormat. Twylla sit this way, Twylla sing for us, Twylla sing louder, Twylla you will do this, do that. She never stuck up for herself. She complains for the entire book about how unfair everything is and how she has no choices. Ugh! She's very childish aswell. What does she do when she sees a pretty maid? "She’s very pretty. I don’t like her." Well hey, very mature possible-future QUEEN of Lormere. *slowly claps*

Another thing that annoyed me was her "powers", she can "kill" people with a touch right? Isn't that like, and awesome ability to have in a fantasy novel? The whole premise is so misleading. I was expecting a strong heroine who could fight with her "powers" or do something PRODUCTIVE, not just sit around all day following orders. I mean jeez, everyone in the kingdom thinks she can kill with a touch, so why not escape if she's so miserable at the castle? T_T

All the other supporting characters were just as bad.

Lief , the love interest and personal guard. He's Tregellian, so he's an outsider and can relate to Twylla well. But shit, their love happened faster than the speed of light. One moment they're trying to find mutual ground to become friends the next minute "I LOVE YOU! KISS ME! Literally.

(Lief)“But I can still kiss you?” he says. “When we’re alone?”
(Twylla)“Are you so hungry for my kisses?”

Oh I'm sorry, am I suppose to ship and cheer them on when they built their "love" on nothing? Sure they know a few - real emphasis on few - things about each other but it just came out of nowhere! It felt very forced to me.

Merek , our other "love" interest and the Prince/Heir of Lormere. So... Prince Merek and twylla are betrothed, already arranged to be married. Merek and Twylla also don't know each other that well since Merek went off somehwere for two years and only just returned. He was done very badly, in the beginning he's very aloof around Twylla, often smirking and showing up at random places but later on he's suddenly all serious and straight-forward. Where was his character development? It felt very jumpy and abrupt. Also, he wasn't even in much of the book despite being an important character... He had no presence. None of the characters did.

Then there's Dorin and Tyrek , both characters were pointless. Dorin (a long time personal guard) wasn't even there long enough for me to form an attachment to. And Tyrek? (Dead bestfriend) Well, I'm sure I was suppose to feel something for him but he was barely brought up throughout the book despite being "important" to Twylla. Lame. I think he was the only one who piqued my interest out of everyone, and he's not even alive for the duration of the book. Lol.

And finally we have the evil guy -- or woman in this case. The Queen , sigh... she was a horrible baddie. She wasn't even present for over 80% of the book and the scenes she was in were her filled with complaining about treason, the state of Lormere, the royal bloodline blah blah blah. I was more annoyed with her than upset about her actions. The end was so anti-climatic, it just went like

*the crowd murmurs*
The Queen: NO IM NOT!
The Queen: *fumes because her evilness was exposed*

The "big" reveal wasn't a big reveal at all! WE ALL KNEW SHE WAS EVIL! There were no plot (excl. the romance) twists or anything!

The whole love triangle was a big fat fail. I don't mind them if they're done well, but all characters present in the triangle were underdeveloped. Plus, it's pretty clear that Twylla feels nothing for Merek -- maybe that will change, but it was more of an unrequited love than love triangle.

Damn, I was expecting good things. Some adventure or atleast action. All I got out of the book was a boring love story. This also reminds me of The Selection series (heavily focused on the romance rather than the dystopian aspect), so if you're a fan of The Selection you'll probably enjoy this.
Profile Image for Simona B.
898 reviews3,008 followers
February 7, 2017
"I know all about souls. Before I became Daunen Embodied, I was the Sin Eater’s daughter."

People, don't be fooled by the low average rating (by which I am exceedingly baffled): this book is utterly, absolutely, deliciously unique and splendid. I devoured it.

•The very first chapters are a bit misleading; they make for a low-profile start, leading the readers to think they're in front of no unusual YA. Around chapter three or four, though, things radically change: the world building, especially its mythological/religious aspect, begins to be outlined and explained, and that's when you fall for this story. The Sin Eater's Daughter universe is bewitching, fascinating, alluring, so much so that you can't look away; it's dark, eerie, disturbing, so much so that you feel almost sick to your bones exactly because you're compelled to keep on watching.
I loved it to no end.

Finally a book that deals with religion with an out-of-the-box approach. You've no idea how much I appreciated that in this book gods are not used as a deus ex machina or some other fabulously convenient type of plot device (yes, The Midnight Star, this is all about you). Plus, and this is a purely technical observation, I was out of my mind with admiration when . This new knowledge cause our point of view and Twylla's to be split: the result is that the reader feels catapulted outside of Twylla's head even if the narration normally continues in the first person. I have don't know it the author this on purpose, but narratively speaking, this passage is gold. It's like a sort of defamiliarization happening in itinere, something that would have occurred if Tolstoy's Kholstomer had been written starting with a man's point of view, and switched to the horse's only in the middle of the action. My literature student's brain was overwhelmed with joy.

Twylla, the main character, is not particularly exceptional, but there were two things about her that, in my opinion, are great: first, she is admittedly not perfect. She made a big, ruinous mistake when she left her home to join the Queen and take on her new role at the castle, and she understood this simple but cruel truth only when it was too late, and now she is also willing to acknowledge it. She is ashamed of what she's done when she was younger and she regrets and resents that decision, but she doesn't try to blame anyone else, which, I think, shows her honesty and and her ability to learn from her mistakes. Secondly, she is quick-thinking and sharp-witted. I'm tired of characters who can't figure out what's going on when every clue's right under their nose. Twylla is able to put it all together even with only the littlest hints. These are the female leads I like.

•Even though I ship Twylla and Lief so hard it hurts, I cannot deny the romance is probably one of the weakest things about this book. As you probably know, there is a love triangle, kind of, and that's pretty injurious in itself, but, to Salisbury's credit, I think she handled it quite well. At least, it didn't bother me almost at all, but I'm well aware that some situations are just too much (even though my heart beat all the same because Twylla and Lief are my babies and Merek has to shut up and learn his place which is not by her side you understand?).

•I'd have liked more development for both prince Merek -who comes off as rather spineless- and the Queen -who comes off as the most depraved and sick woman on the planet and that's great in a villain, but it's not as if her character goes deeper than that. They were going, but could have been better.

I fell in love with The Sin Eater's Daughter due especially to the world building, but all the rest was deliciously well-crafted as well. I've taken this series to heart and that's official; I hope the next instalments live up to my (not to high, if I'm lucky) expectations.
Profile Image for Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers).
256 reviews507 followers
January 13, 2015
4.5 Stars




But, ooh, WOW, what an heartbreaking, handshaking, mind racing, tear falling, emotional, BOMBSHELL of all book!!



I NEED book 2 like I need air in my lungs!!!

It's KILLING ME not having it!!





From it's unique and original plot, to it's fantasy aspects, twisted around the drama and evilness, that built this novel to it's fullest.

THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER is unlike ANY other book I have EVER READ!!



------EDIT REVIEW------

A stunning, totally alluring, absolutely wonderful, YA debut. Melinda Salisbury brings a whole new trend to the YA genre that is beautiful, addicting and totally fabulous!!! THE SIN EATER DAUGHTER is a must read for 2015!!!

THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER was stunning, absolutely STUNNING!!! I was quickly sucked in and wasn't even sure which route the plot was taking. But it took a totally different direction then I anticipated. And I was shocked, surprised, and left with my mouth hanging utterly open at every turn!! I was hypnotized by this book and I couldn't stop reading. I just needed to read one more chapter.

I instantly connected with the characters, especially the main character Twylla, and though she wasn't my normal type protagonist, their was still something compelling that I liked, and was eager to see her succeed. Twylla's character development throughout the book was tremendous, but necessary to the plot. At first she was naive, and clueless about court life and what was really going on around her. But she wasn't stupid at all, far from it actually. She just wanted to stay in her cozy little space of normality, for other wise she would go insane living at court and putting up with the lunatic Queen and her antics. But then when the Queen's true evilness is revealed, she builds herself up to be someone that is willing to stand up for the kingdoms in danger. And I admired that she was able to find the courage to do what was needed to be done no matter the consequences.

There was a slight love triangle going on, but at the same time there wasn't. I know that probably doesn't make any sense. But one love interest was chosen by Twylla, and the other was forced upon her. So yeah, she was in a "relationship" with two guys; one by choice, the other by force. But she really only loved one.

THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER was addicting!! Truly addicting and satisfying to the very end!! But, you are fair warned, there is not a lot of action or adventure in this novel. And to tell you the truth, I am SOOO surprised I even liked this book at all. Not because it's wasn't a good book, because it was. But because I usually HAVE to have some kinda of action or adventure in my novels or I lose interest pretty quick. But really, their wasn't any and I still LOVED it, it was just that good!!


Twylla is blessed by the gods, or cursed depending on how you look at it. She is the kingdom of Lormere's last hope. Gifted as the Goddess embodied she brings hope and faith back to the people of Lormere, for she is the daughter of the gods and has come to lay her deadly hands down upon their enemy, and curse them to their eternal doom.

One touch, that's all it takes from Twylla's skin, and the accused or anyone foolish enough to brush into her will suffer a death worse then anything imaginable. She is the Queen's ultimate weapon, and is used to the fullest. But she is also the Prince's bride, and soon to be Queen of all of Lormere when the Queen and King pass their title. But her Prince has never spared her a second glance since she was ushered in from her mother's home and told she was the blessed daughter of the gods, and that her calling as come. But things are different when the Prince returns from his two year journey from previous enemy territory and looks at Twylla like she is hope, like she is the last fresh fruit on the forbidden vine. And Twylla is unsure of how those feelings make her feel. Until she starts to feel things she's never experienced. Things that make her come alive, things she shouldn't feel, because they are not for her betrothed, the Prince...

Twylla is assigned a two guard team at all times to ensure her safety. But because she is deadly with just a brush of her skin, she hardly keeps guards willing to take on the dangerous task of protecting her. Except her one and only loyal guard Dorin. But when the second position of her guard duty is finally filled by a boy named Lief from the kingdom of Tregellian, and also previous enemy territory that their kingdom is still in an uneasy treaty with, Twylla doesn't know what to do or think about her brave new guard.

But when her faithful guard Dorin gets terminally ill, and Twylla is left yet again with just one guard, she's confined to her rooms, for the Queen only allows her to walk the court with a two guard escort. And now she will be alone, with him, her new guard and sole companion...

Sparks fly between Twylla and her new guard Lief, for he is unlike anyone she has ever met, and he sends chills down her body that she never thought were possible. But she is betrothed to the Prince, and she is committing an act of treason, and the penalty for treason is death, no matter who you are. But no matter the circumstances she can't help but to fall deeply bespelled by her new guard Lief, and his sure manner, deadly swordsmanship, beautiful face, compelling personality, and lovely heart that he has given to her with no attachments...?

But the evil Queen has a few tricks up her sleeve, and she is playing them in disguise. She is out for blood and war, and even worse, she may have gotten her hands on the one thing that could inflict insufferable pain and death to all who oppose her, and bring someone—or something to the kingdoms door. Twylla realizes she may be the only one able to stop the Queen and her insanity before not only the Royal family suffers her wrath, but the two kingdoms succumbs to her delusional, ludicrous schemes. But before Twylla knows what's happened, the Queen has struck hard, and her world is ripped out from under her and turned upside down. And even the Prince might not be able to get her out of the mess she's gotten into, and if so, then the kingdoms will scum to darkness, war, and death...

BRILLIANT, Melinda Salisbury has a unique and thrilling way to get readers attention and keep it. She mastered a one of a kinda story, and portrayed it with such force and depth, that it had me hooked from the very first page! I am absolutely looking forward to book two and seeing how it all continues!!

Overall, THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER was satisfying from beginning to end! From it's even pace, to it's mystery and deception, with defiance and determination, intertwined with fantasy, murder, and romance, THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER packs a powerful punch that will leave you begging for more!!

NOTE: I received a Physical ARC from Scholastic Press for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own and are not influenced in any way!

Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews1,014 followers
October 16, 2016

Actual rating: 3.5

“That's the problem with fairy tales, they change with the telling.”

Dark, gripping, elusive, multilayered, painful, real. This is how one writes a dark fairy tale.

Three days ago when I first opened The Sin Eater's Daughter, had I known it'd become one of those books that will capture my attention and surprise me in a best way possible? No, I did not. When you expect nothing from a book and get in the end everything you dreamed of, it's a kind of revelation. This book feels magical to me, playing in sync with my tune; luring me like a Piper lured rats to their doom.

This is a story of a special girl, whose destiny was clear and unavoidable for the most of her life, right till the moment a stranger came and told her a story of manipulation, fear and struggle. The girl opened her eyes and saw that she wasn't special at all, and her destiny was only hers to make.

This is a story of three Kingdoms; one of them has fallen asleep (literally) centuries ago, and the others two - absolutely different like night and day - fighting with each other for knowledge, souls and power.

This is a story of a lonely prince, whose destiny to serve and protect his kingdom, but what that boy wants for himself? What is his heart's desire?

This is a story of a desperate woman who struggles every day to keep her power, but she's afraid her lies are a facade someone will look through, and the veil will fall, and woman's reign will end.

This is a story of a desperate boy, whose destiny led him into a different world. Brave and honorable he must save the princess from a dragon, or does he?

This is a story where every hero is a villain and every villain is a hero of their own story.

Mythology. Richness of the world Melinda Salisbury created is astounding. Every brick, every crumb have their purpose in the storyline. It's not often I encounter such well-thought through world-building, where every piece plays its role in the plot.

Twylla is Daunen Embodied - a girl who was blessed by the gods and can kill with her touch. Her blood is filled with the Morningsbane poison that kills anyone she touches, but does not affect her or the Royal family. it's a blessing of the gods, or maybe it's a curse? But Twylla is also a daughter of a highly esteemed Sin Eater, who gives absolution of sins after person's death by eating different kind of food which represent different sins. The ritual itself is something captivating:
My mother is a fat woman, made large from gobbling the sins of the dead, the meal prepared and served to her as if she were a queen for the day. For an Eating the mourners cover the surface of the coffin with breads and meats and ale and more, each morsel representing a sin known, or suspected, to have been committed by the deceased. She Eats it all; she has to – it’s the only way to cleanse the soul so it can ascend to the Eternal Kingdom. To not finish the meal is to condemn the soul to walk the world for ever. We’ve all heard the tales of the wraiths that haunt the West Woods because people less dedicated than my mother could not finish the Eating.

Twylla lives in Lormere, a kingdom ruled by the cruel Queen, whose power has no limit, it seems. Lormere is all about tradition; everyone believes that in order to preserve Gods' mercy, the royal line must stay clean and unsullied. So they marry brother to sister from generation to generation, unknowingly spreading madness and disease. Incest, add to it unwillingness to study science and medicine, and we have a Kingdom that fully relies on religion.

Religion is one of my favorite topics in books. It's often terrifying to read about nations blindly following their Gods into wars and consequently death. But this topic fascinates me, because as history proved to us time and again, there's no Gods, only manipulation of men and women fighting to preserve power and control over superstitious people. When Twylla starts questioning her religion, her world crumbles around her.
“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.”

I loved how subtly the author intertwined myth and religion; the story took on a darker and more compelling side.

Villains. Gosh, the Evil Queen in this book is really demonic. Like evil incarnate type. I was afraid of her most of the time and that rarely happens to me. You should read the book if only for the sake of meeting the Queen, and a box of chocolate to anyone who'd be able to stay five minutes in her company without pissing their pants. I failed.

Often villains in stories are villainous for the sake of being bad. The Queen has so many layers, and every time you unravel one, you find a nest of worms and poison, and with every layer there's more something nasty to find. The bitch is terrifying! The thing is, she loves to rule, to hold people in fear, to be the only person to know the truth. She cares about her throne and doesn't want anyone to take it from her. But, also, she cares about her kingdom. Yes, she's not a mindless power hungry monarch. She wants her country to thrive, but her methods are radical and evil. She's not the only one who used religion as leverage in the history of humankind; it's a pretty common weapon, but every damn time it works. Maybe people are partly to fault? It's convenient to have someone to take care of you, make hard decisions for you and kill for you. The Queen is also a victim of her surroundings, to think about it. We have a situation, where every person is both a villain and a hero. It's also how real life is.

No Gods in Tregellan. No Gods in Tallith. Doesn’t that tell you anything? It’s about power and control, to keep you all in line. People like the queen tell us if we don’t do as the Gods want – as she wants – then our souls are damned. Think of the amount of murder she’s committed and tell me whose soul is more likely to be damned, hers or yours?”

Plot. Be ready for twists. Some of them predictable, some of them not so much. For me it was an unexpected book, because I didn't see the twists coming. I loved how mythology also served as an instrument to shock us. We know a story that is so convenient and old, no one believes in it any longer; it's a fairy tale for children, and with every generation it becomes softer and lighter, until it turns into a tale of brave heroes and fair maidens. The head quote underlines that a story changes with every person who tells it. But what if the legend came to life, the real one, the forgotten one? Oh my, be ready to twist and turn, my friends; beware!

Some things will not make sense for you in the beginning, but, trust me, they will later. Details and facts will add and create a wider picture. But this book is a part of a series, and many things we still don't know. The Sleeping Prince - book two - will open our eyes wider still.

Characters. Their actions not always make sense. Twylla is not a reliable narrator, because she lives a life of lies and deceit and religion holds her in its grasp.

I’ve broken the Gods’ faith in me. I’ve kissed a man who isn’t my betrothed and I’ve doubted the powers they’ve given me. I’ll be punished; the poison will finally kill me.

We are in her head -- 1st-person narration -- and we know as much as she does. She doubts, she makes mistakes, but she grows as a person. We see a progress in her development and that what makes a really interesting character: the one you didn't like at first, but learn to respect and understand with time. I didn't particularly admired anyone in this book, but it didn't prevent me from connecting with them. I understood their motives - good or bad - and sympathized with them.
“I’m not free, my lady,” he says slowly. “I can no more wander off and do as I will than you can.You think of having choices like people think of flying. They see a hawk soaring and hovering and they tell themselves how nice it would be to fly. But pigeons can fly, and sparrows too. No one imagines being a sparrow though. No one wants that.”

Romance. We have a love-triangle, kind of. Not really. Okay, okay, the thing with Melinda Salisbury is that she can be sneaky. You think that you have a love-triangle, but turns out it's not really a love triangle. Let's say this story is not really about the romance. It's more about finding a partner who'll help you to create something unique, or meeting for the first time a person who will show you passion, or sisterly bond, or devotion for the Gods and so on. But love is an elusive thing in this story, and it doesn't really save our characters; it brings them more pain. There were predictable YA tropes in the romance: abs, and breath catching, and smelling fetish. Typical. But I liked how ultimately the author toyed with an idea of love and made it more than a cliche.

Verdict: The thing with this book is that it's hard to cover in one explanation. It seems like a very typical and boring YA, but it's not, not really. A few days ago I was in the first row, ready to judge it for its sins, but turned out, in the end of the day, I wanted to praise it. After reading my review you may come to conclusion that The Sin Eater's Daughter has depth and you wouldn't be wrong, but it also masks its depth and you might not want to look deeper to find them. And it's okay. Maybe under different circumstances I wouldn't see it or want to see either, but thanks to my dear friend Kat, I knew where to look and was able to fully enjoy the story and unravel its layers.

When I started this review, I didn't plan to go all introspective on the story. But I guess it's one of those stories that makes me think. I just wanted to share a piece of my perception with you, dear readers. But in the end of the day, you'll be creators of this story and what shape it will take, thus remember: from person to person a story goes, bending and changing in the process.

Please, be careful with what you'll create in the end.

Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews843 followers
January 26, 2015
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Book One of The Sin Eater's Daughter series
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Rating: 2 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy 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 Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

What I Liked:

Huge case of Alyssa-is-the-black-sheep, with this novel. To be fair, I was really, really excited to read this book, for months. I remember seeing the words "seductive fantasy", and was sold. And of course, the cover is gorgeous. The concept of a touch killing people isn't new, but I haven't read too many books with this concept (Kresley Cole's Arcana Chronicles features Aric with this ability) - I haven't read the Shatter Me series (soon though!).

Twylla was a commoner - the Sin Eater's daughter - until the royal took her in, because she is Daunen Embodied. She can kill with her touch, she has poison in her blood. She has killed many men, for treason, include her one and only friend. Twylla is a prisoner, engaged to the prince, slave to the queen. When a new guard is hired to protect Twylla, he makes her question who she is - or who she has been told she is. With or without the guard's help, Twylla must realize the danger that lies in the kingdom before the queen destroys everything and takes it all for herself.

I think the beginning of this book started really strongly. I was completely sucked in and wanted to know more about Daunen Embodied, the kingdoms' conflicts, the Sin Eating. I think the world-building is very well done - probably the best thing about this book. And Twylla's initial characterization (her guilt over killing so many people, including her best friend). I think my issues began when the guard - Lief - is introduced.

What I Did Not Like:

When Dorin - Twylla's guard - falls ill, the queen hires a new guard, a Tregellian (from a neighboring enemy kingdom). I did not like Lief from the start. He is too childish, too stupid, too familiar. He speaks out of turn all the time, and disrespectfully so, to Twylla. I know Tywlla is lonely and kindhearted, but if my NEW, TREGELLIAN guard was speaking to me like that - I wouldn't be put at ease. And then he always apologizes (like an imbecile), and is always in Twylla's personal space. Something about him really irked me (and we find out why, in the end), but something about Twylla letting him do what he wants irritated me too.

Also, tell me why a GUARD serves a lady her food on a tray, or delivers messages, like a common courier. Guards are supposed to be stationed outside one's door, never leaving his post. Instead, it is Lief who is bringing her food, and messages, and entering her room like he owns the place. That's what FEMALE SERVANTS are for... correct me if I'm wrong, but I know enough about medieval history and fantasy to understand this basic concept.

Okay so I basically hated Lief from the start. Something about his character, his being, is so wrong. I don't understand how others like him so much - he seems like a cartoon character or something, to be honest. Very one-dimensional and childish. He is never a GUARD to me - not once does he have to prove himself as a guard (meaning, not once does he actually perform his guard duties), and he's always "grinning" and "teasing" and "winking" at Twylla. Guard much? No. Aaaand, insta-love. There is that too.

To make matters worse, there is a love triangle. Oh, yes. We already know that Twylla is engaged to the prince (the queen's son and king's stepson). Twylla doesn't really like him (he's the queen's son), but it would seem that he falls for her. Twylla (stupidly) falls for Lief, someone who spouts pretty words and flexes a few muscles, and has her in his lap like nothing. Talk about insta-love, in terms of Lief and Twylla.

There really isn't much "Twylla and Merek" (the prince), because Twylla is so caught up in Lief (why), but it's obvious that the prince won't give up. Good for him. Although, this is one of those cases where I wish Twylla would end up alone. Or die, even. I wouldn't mind. I don't hate her, but a tragic story is fine, too. That won't happen, though.

After the initial world-building and whatnot in the beginning, my interest tunneled. When Lief was introduced into the story (which is like, forty pages into the book), I was like, here we go. Dumb girl falls for idiot boy, everyone rebel and save the kingdom. Barf.

Here's something else that bothered me: the whole fake-princess-and-evil-queen thing is really grating on my nerves. A common girl is taken in by the royal family and engaged to the prince but then she falls for someone who isn't the prince OMG! This book. Red Queen. A Wicked Thing. All three books coming out in February 2015. All three featuring an evil queen, a commoner-turned-princess, an engagement between that girl and the prince, a love story with the girl and another guy... and a rebellion to rid the kingdom of the tyrant queen (and possibly king).

SO OVERUSED. SO CLICHE. I'M SICK OF ALL OF THAT. Perhaps this is circumstantial. Perhaps not. I'm really sick of those plot arcs though. Can we stop with evil queens and rebellions and twisted love triangles? Thanks.

The story kind of goes downhill after the big reveal, too. First of all, the big reveal is revealed in such a pointless, anticlimactic, thrown-in-there way. Twylla gets mad and paranoid for no reason, and then the big reveal happens. And then I got really REALLY bored, because things about Twylla's power as Daunen Embodied were revealed. I like things as they were, in the premise of the novel. Once other things were revealed, I was like, snooze...

And then things become all about the evil queen being evil and wanting to overthrow the kingdom and marry the prince (her son) to preserve bloodlines. Yep. I was pretty much done by that point.

Would I Recommend It:

Not really. This is a huge case of pretty-cover-lures-all-and-disappoints. At least, for me. There are a bazillion positive reviews on Goodreads, and I know I'm one of the few that didn't enjoy the book, so there's plenty of hope for you yet!


2 stars. I'll probably pass on the next book - I'll wait until the synopsis is revealed, and then make that decision. Synopses are important, yo.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,065 reviews1,475 followers
February 2, 2018
Twylla was born to eat the sins of the dead. She was raised to follow her mother in this role until the Queen found their humble dwellings and invited her into the high society of the royal palace. Here, however, she lives a life just as secluded as before. Previously she was to rid the sins of others, now she is to enact the sins that would see any other cast out of the gods' favour, as she is placed in the role of the Duanen Embodied and graced by the gods to kill with a single touch. As royal executioner and betrothed to the prince of the realm she is both one to be feared and one to be respected. But both fear and respect come with the price of loneliness...

This was a thoroughly solid first instalment to the series were the author did a great job of slowly introducing the reader to the complexities of this world. Twylla's gift/curse seemed like a lonely one to bear and the harshness of her situation saturated the text and allowed the reader to feel some semblance of her emotions. I dually adored the focus on the intricacies of the court politics. That combined with the intrigue surrounding Twylla's role, as well as her mother's, and were endlessly fascinating due to their unique nature.

My only source of grief with the narrative was the instantaneous nature of the romance that occurred. This was not overdone and did not take too much of a central focus as to overwhelm the otherwise thrilling story-line, however.

The later focus on the lore of this realm was as fascinating as the court intrigue and lent an air of whimsy to the proceedings. The magical elements that were prevalent throughout were heightened during the ending and set up for an exciting second-instalment I am eager to get to, soon.
Profile Image for Paige  Bookdragon.
938 reviews612 followers
November 4, 2015


To be totally honest, I was hoping this would be like Graceling, The Poison Study,The Throne of Glass and the Fair Assassin series. When I saw the cover and the title, I thought it would be a bad ass YA Fantasy.You know, with a lot of:

•ass kicking :

•sword fighting

•character’s running for their lives

•some poisons involved

•sarcasm (preferably between the hero and the heroine)

•magical powers

•an assassin

•a good secondary character/ sidekick

•a very very evil villain

•more death.

I’m sorry to say that this book didn’t meet up with my so-called requirements for a good YA fantasy. Let me give you the reason why this book didn’t just make me go gaga.

• Ass kicking: Nonexistent.

•Sword fighting: One time there’s a sword fight and it’s between the prince and the guard. But really. It lasts about twenty words and then it ends. What do I say? BO-RING

•Character’s running for their lives: Nope. No characters were doing that Wait. There is. Lord Bennel did run for his life. And he was chased by the hounds and was torn into pieces.Literally. That was the only time I was fascinated. Morbid? Who, me?


•Sarcasm (preferably between the hero and the heroine): Oh please.

•Magical powers: *yawn*

•an assassin: Nope. Would have been better if there’s one.

•A very very evil villain: The queen? Still thinking about it.

•More death: Yes. I AM MORBID. So sue me. Does it hurt to ask for more death in the book?

To be honest, Goldilocks and the Three bears has more action than this book. I was almost bored reading this one. I was already half-finished and nothing’s still happening. I get it that the Twylla is forced being the executioner, but her attitude is just so damn passive .

It would have worked for me if the author didn’t put the conspiracy stuff at the last three chapters of the book. If it would have been around the earlier part and have been given a very nice build up, this book would have been the bomb. BUT OF COURSE, YOU CAN’T HAVE EVERYTHING IN THIS LIFE.

Instead, the author wrote some boring stuff about how Twylla was grounded in her room for almost three weeks, how she sang to the king, how flustered she is when she first saw the prince, how rude she is to the servants and how she fell in love to her guard.


If I would have her deadly touch and the bitch of a queen is being passive-aggressive and who is bullying and manipulating me, I would have found a way to find some skeletons in her closet or maybe, just maybe, roam around the castle and poke around until I found/heard/saw something I shouldn’t have. I mean duh , what’s the use of having all the guards and servants being afraid to you if you’re not using it to do something naughty fun? Be more adventurous girl!

But as I’ve said,you can’t have everything in this life. I can’t be the girl who’s supposed to have a deadly touch. I can just be a girl who rates one of the most-awaited book two stars because she’s not satisfied by it.

Now excuse me while I read Figment. Let the madness begin.
Profile Image for Sophia Sardothien.
155 reviews519 followers
September 13, 2016
Official Ratings 2.5 stars

This is an 2.0 review

I have such high expectations for this book. REALLY HIGH

AHAHA this book miserably failed me.

It has a remarkable resemblance with shatter me which I love a lot.

- The girl has a touch that could kill people
- A fine love triangle which is not interesting at all

HOWEVER what's different in this book is that it's BORING BORING BORING and there's no fluffy cute Warner.

I felt like nothing happen until late 80%, which the plot in this book is not captivating at all the romance overweighted the plot. The world building by all means is fine but honestly it wasn't intriguing at all, as I don't care about it half of the time.

As for the characters, the protagonist Twylla is extremely naïve given her power is exceedingly lethal. Instead of being all deadly and all she's just your typical protagonist who does nothing at all. reminds me of Julitte in the first book Lief, the protagonist guard reminds me of pathetic Adam . Ahh yes I don't even like him at all, what a pity. Merek whom doesn't even have a single resemble with Warner, which I don't get why given the fact that the other two protagonists are so much alike the shatter me characters , well he's the only one I find relatively decent in the entire book even though his actions never justifies his words.


However I would still be reading the second book if the premise is interesting, I DONT EVEN KNOW WHY I BOTHER READING THE SECOND ONE

Overall I recommend this to anyone who's NOT in a reading slump and want to try something new.

Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
April 7, 2016
I was pretty wary of this one since it was getting tons of mixed reviews. People were either loving it or disliking it, so I'm happy to say I'm somewhere in the middle.. I liked certain parts and disliked others.

As soon as I started I knew most would get turned off by the massive info dumping from the first few chapters. I don't mind these, they're telling you exactly what is up with the world and it sets up the story. Obviously, I would rather have a story unravel in bits and pieces where the main character opens up each detail on their own. Then I also noticed how incredibly slow the book started. I mean it was cringe-worthy slow that I wanted to DNF it at its halfway point. Only I decided to just keep going because what the hey, going into a book and not finishing it? I think it's a crime. Finally the story starts to pick up around page 160+. And in doing so, the story finally appeared and it got loads better. Enough to move my star rating from a lowly disliked two out of five, to a happy three which is me liking the book, but also had its weird moments. Another thing I have to mention are the flashbacks. They come and go at regular intervals and it felt very disorganized. For example, Twylla would be doing something and she'd just sprout off into the past and not realize she did it. I don't think it added much to the overall story, just more detailed pasts were added and I didn't really get a sense of who Twylla really was. The romance in this book pretty much made me nauseous because I found it to be instant love.

Now on to the parts I enjoyed..The mythology about the Gods is superb. I thought it was such a neat way to showcase how Lomere (the kingdom) came to be. I also thought that having a Sin Eater, which is literal in its meaning is very creative and thought it was rather clever. You'll have to read the book to find out what it exactly entails because I don't want any spoilers. Now on to the characters, I pretty much only liked one character. The villain. She's all kinds of crazy. I mean legit maniac and sadist. I don't know about you, but murdering someone because he smiles too much is well asinine. She made everything so much more intense and by the end, I knew that character was going to have to be punished. It got loads better in the end and I happily felt like the story was finished.

Slow beginning and nothing even happens until you're halfway through but it ended up being pretty twisty and turny.. The Sin Eater's Daughter should be re-titled to The Mad Queen or The Tyrant. Never have I ever met someone so determined to get what she wants.. Crazy villain for sure! I think it's worth just reading halfway just for her character alone. Also that cover? One of my absolute favourites of the year. Definitely made me want to pick up the book.



"It is their will that I take life. If this is what they will, I can't challenge it." (17)

"People don't forget what it is to be loved." (76)

"Is it treason to fall in love with me?" (188)

"I've learned that being alone and being lonely are not the same thing." (311)
Profile Image for Masooma.
69 reviews132 followers
October 24, 2015
This is the story of Daunen Embodied/Twylla of the powerful kingdom of Lormere. She is the incarnation of the daughter of the Gods, divinely blessed to stay immune to the poison rushing in her veins but anyone around her is not safe from her touch, her touch can kill and it has, therefore, executed several criminals of the kingdom. In the turbulent times, Daunen is seen as a blessing of the Gods, a symbol of hope in the darkness of despair, a measure for the stability of the kingdom.

Originally the daughter of the Sin Eater, a distinguished profession, Twylla is subject to make several choices, question her source of peace and discover several dark secrets.

Caught in the palace intrigues, Twylla is a sterling character, naive and unquestioning, flowing with the tide and waiting for it to drop her to her destined shore. But as the story progresses, the character becomes a victim of curiosity and follows paths she should have better judged against of.
There is an attempt to show that Twylla is paranoid as she has, in the past, lost a beloved friend, yet I felt that the character was very vulnerable and impuissant since the beginning. Given no choices previously, she finds herself entangled in a web of new choices she has to suddenly make for herself.

The best thing about this novel is that it directly dives into the story and without wasting anytime reveals the reality of the situation of the central character, her past, the kingdom's beliefs, history and operating system, the concept of sin eating, the culture and traditions of the land. All characters are very well drawn and a few twists are particularly amazing.

The world-building is prime. The kingdom breaths with a life of its own since every aspect of its running is worked out and described in a highly satisfactory manner. Everything from a-z of the kingdom including the past, the future plans, the internal greed, the myths, the enemies are fabulously covered.

Even though the end is not really disappointing yet the epilogue is a little defective. It leaves little scope to understand what choice Twylla's heart makes.

In nutshell, however, The Sin Eater’s Daughter is pregnant with a unique world, brilliant coverage of sentiments, diverse and well sketched characters and a cunning, cruel villain which makes the book a very good read. Recommended to all the fantasy lovers.

589 reviews1,029 followers
August 2, 2015
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

The Sin Eater's Daughter came with a lot of promise but in the end, turned out to be a waste of my time.

Twylla, the book's heroine literally does nothing in this book. She sits there in that sad little corner of her's and she sulks and complains about her life. I mean, YOU WERE MEANT TO BE THIS BADASS CHICK WITH HELLA SCARY POWERS. What the hell happened to that? I am disappoint. Furthermore, the instant-love in this one is horrid, guys. I cannot with it. They see each other and the next minute, they're in luuuurve. *eye roll*

There's barely any plot to this story at all, too. I mean, the main idea is that this girl who can kill people with her touch is to marry the Prince but then there's this hella nice guard that Twylla basically falls in love with at first sight. What happens after that? Hmm let's see... oh wait that's right. NUTHING.

Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,666 reviews1,231 followers
February 2, 2015
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I had exceedingly high hopes for The Sin Eater's Daughter, what with that stunning cover and a synopsis that sounded beyond awesome. And while I do think that summary is a bit misleading, this novel went above and beyond my expectations.

Salisbury's debut is magnificent in its exploration of a desperate kingdom, where fairy tales are real and death waits at every turn. You may have read other stories where one character's touch means a death sentence for those on the receiving end, but you've never read one like this. For the first 80% of the book, I was pretty sure I had everything figured out, so I wasn't expecting the turn toward crazy that this story took at the end. The Sin Eater's Daughter is far from predictable and it follows no discernible pattern, but I was positive I could've guessed where the book was headed from the very beginning. I love the author's use of misdirection to mislead me, to make me see what I wanted and ignore what was really happening. Even if I do feel stupid for not seeing it earlier.

Twylla's world is small and full of despair. She's kept separate from anyone and everyone, never allowed to bond with another soul. Not that she'd want to bring that trouble to anyone else's door -- she's learned her lesson the hard way. The one person she might actually be able to call an ally and friend has been gone from the castle for years and now that he's back, Twylla's hardly seen him. Her existence is a lonely one, made all the worse by the responsibility thrust upon her by the queen.

The queen, purportedly in her continued efforts to keep Twylla safe, hires a new guard for Twylla, one whose origins are from the neighboring kingdom. And that's when things got interesting for Twylla. It's also when my love triangle alarm was triggered, since Twylla is already betrothed to the prince and has been since she was first brought to the castle as Daunen Embodied all those years ago. But seeing as how Twylla's hardly seen the prince during all that time, there's really no love lost there. And a love triangle does rear its ugly head later in the story, but two potential suitors is the very least of Twylla's problems.

Twylla is clever and cunning but not without her faults. Like myself, she didn't see it coming until it was too late either. She begins as a character with a backstory that's not even remotely likable, but once further light is shed on the situation, she becomes the kind of character whose arc will demand your empathy. Left with no choices and no one to turn to, she must make hard and fast decisions that will determine her future and that of her kingdom. And none of it looks to leave her with a shred of happiness when all is said and done.

The Sin Eater's Daughter is a melancholy tale, full of death and betrayal and treason. It should have been difficult for me to connect with the story and the characters, given the depth of the crazy involved, but I appreciated this story on so many levels. This book was dark and intense and everything I didn't even know I wanted from the story when I first sat down to read it. This first book ended on a mostly satisfying note, but I wouldn't hesitate to accept the sequel, should someone offer it up now. =)

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Alafiya.
53 reviews272 followers
November 19, 2015
Awesome cover, awesome book Not so awesome book!

This book is a bad fairy tale.

A hundred sad emoticons aren't enough to portray how disappointed I am. The cover lured me. But ya'll know what they say, Don't judge a book by it's cover. The story revolves around Twylla (what a pathetic name, eh?)
who is the if-ya-touch-ma-poisonous-skin-ya'll-gonna-get-poisoned-and-die Daunen Embodied (what a pathetic title, eh?) who is starting to fall for her new guard while she is supposed to marry the prince. The concept involves a lot of incest and a whole lot of other shit.

There is really nothing special about this book. The writing is ordinary. The plot is okay-ish. The characters are boring. The protagonist is hopeless. She is an emotional, selfish and greedy wreck. The prince, the guard and the extra characters are all a pile of stick figurines. The chemistry between the characters is also wth (what the hell). The incest issue is very disturbing, annoying, illogical and disgusting! The ending is rushed and a whole new universe of what-the-freakin'-hell!

At some places, I did like it a bit and that is why I didn't dnf it. But 75% of the book was forcing me to dnf it. For some reason either every scene was too slow-paced, too dramatic, too fast-paced or too lalala.

This book is The Selection + Shatter Me = DISASTER

All in all, this novel is meh!
Profile Image for Laura.
471 reviews557 followers
February 26, 2015

I need a moment so I can process what I just read...

I absolutely fell in love with Salisbury writing style. I think it fits perfectly with this awesome high fantasy story. I could see the castle and the court and also their downfall so vivid on my mind, it was pretty great.

The plot was, at times, predictable but I learned quickly that Salisbury has this thing that, it doesn't matter if you know what's going to happen, it still surprises the hell out of you. That's what happened to me.

So, we have this girl, Twylla, who lives in the castle and she is the royal executioner. Oh, but she's also more than that: she's Daunen Embodied, the incarnation of the daughter of two Gods, the ultimate death. She can't be touched, except for the royal family, her skin is poisonous and so she kills traitors, deserters and more. She's to wed the prince so the throne stays within the royal bloodline but when lies are discovered, the whole kingdom shakes. Is anything real? Old fairytales can be true?


First of all: what a beautiful cover! And once you start reading the book it makes so much more sence and whoa.

Now, like I said before, you can see things coming but that doesn't take a thing from the book. It was really good. I enjoyed reading how Twylla was being toyed. Yes, you read right. You could see the puppet strings being pulled and oh, what a villian was the queen.

Yes, she's one of my favorite characters. You just love to hate her. She was ruthless, elegant, beautiful, regal, evil and smart. You gotta enjoy reading how she fucks everyone up.
Most of the time I was like
She was truly evil and I loved it. Damn, there were parts of her plans that were really sick and brilliant.

Then there was Twylla and I liked her well enough but man, she could be stupid sometimes. I didn't mind it that much so we're cool. I got why she was the way she was and I felt sorry for her. I think she could've been meaner, more cunning. I would have been. So, even when I liked her, it was at the very end of the book, those final chapters, that I adored her.

If there was someone I really hated was Lief. From the very beginning that guy was really suspicious. For real and well,
He truly did. Asshole. I won't say more about him because I will get carried away, I know.

Annnnnd then we have Merek and I don't know what to feel about him. I don't like him and I certainly don't trust him but I know we'll see a "sweeter" side of him in the next book. Plus, really, you can't blame me for not putting my faith on him.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book but I think I will enjoy the next one so much more. I've got all these theories in my head about what may happen and I love for them to come true because shit will hit the fan from page one if they happen!

I love chaos, okay?

What I think it may happen:

If there's something I really want to know more about is the Sin Eater's work. I found it interesting as hell. I want to know more about the kinds of food that represent each sin and all the rituals so I hope we get to see that in the next book.

Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews142 followers
August 8, 2018
Full Review

I'm not sure about this one. Unique concept but not that captivating

What I liked
- I liked the idea of this book. A girl whose mother is a sin eater (someone that ‘eats’ the sins of people that died to make sure they find peace in the after life. Each sin is represented by a particular food item so by the food represented, you know what types of sins the person committed) and the girl herself becomes ‘Daunen Embodied’ which is someone who is blessed by the gods and has the ability to kill people with a touch. She’s like Rogue from X-men but worse.

- I kinda liked the romance. I know some people described it as a love triangle but it wasn’t to me. She only ever liked one person throughout the book.

What I didn’t like
- Okay, this book went on some long lesson about belief vs science(which low-key seemed like propaganda against belief) but that wasn’t even what I disliked. It ended up being pointless…

- The incest plot in this was just gross and got worse

- Honestly, the plot-twist in this were either predictable or anticlimactic . There were some plot twists I didn’t see coming but honestly, these were things that the MC should have guessed based on what was going on. Like I remember wondering about somethings that happened so even though I didn’t guess the twists, I wasn’t surprised by them.

- I just didn’t get why the prince liked her. I know they were engaged for a long time but they hardly knew each other so I just don’t understand why he was so ‘in love’ with her

Overall, it was aight but I won't be reading the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Katrin D.
287 reviews459 followers
October 9, 2016
Full review available at: my blog

In the stories of old, a hero is the one who sweeps in with 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 the mercy of those who would do her ill in the first place. I don’t live in the stories of old.


This book's opening is one of the strongest I have ever read. Normally, a common problem I find with a lot of reads is that they begin tamely and take their time to develop an interesting situation. The Sin Eater's Daughter grabbed me immediately, which I didn't expect, if I have to be honest.

After the gripping beginning, we keep following Twylla's experiences and her secluded and sad day-to-day routine. This part is where I fear a lot of readers could have been extremely bored, but it was not the case for me. Not a lot happens in terms of action and even less so in terms of exciting action. Still, I feel it was a very important part of the novel since it gave us a lot of insight as to how harsh and solitary Twylla's life is. The extent to which this repetitive daily routine is described was necessary, in my opinion, since it accentuated on the level of seclusion and unhappiness by showing us, not telling. A method I will always respect and appreciate. As I said, this slow action in the middle of the novel did not bother me. I know it is weird, but I was not bothered at all and in fact, I really enjoyed reading about Twylla and her interactions with the few people she is allowed contact with.

Ever since I’d arrived at the castle I had taken the Morningsbane once every moon to prove to the kingdom I was Daunen Embodied, truly the Gods’ choice. It was the mixing of my blood, the drinking of the poison and surviving it that showed I was divine, something more than a girl.

I cannot help but make a comparison between Twylla and Juliet from the "Shatter Me" series since both of them have the same predicament and therefore similar experience and attitude towards people in general. They both kill by the power of a simple touch, which is why they are both lonely and starved for human contact:

Prince Merek takes the seat opposite mine and I wait for him to acknowledge me, my heart thrumming rapidly under my gown. When he doesn’t, my stomach twists and I look down at the table, hurt, but, in truth, not surprised. At a ceremony four harvests ago the prince had placed his hand on top of mine, and a red ribbon had been placed over them, meaning we were betrothed. It was the last time anyone touched me.

However, where I found Juliet annoying, whiny and lacking a backbone, for some reason, even though her attitude is very similar to Twylla's, I genuinely felt compassionate towards the latter. She was being used her whole life, confined and kept illiterate on purpose; the only thing she does for herself is pray in her temple; does not have any interests outside her holy role in the kingdom; and yet…and yet I really liked her. After all, it is hinted at what kind of a person she would have turned out had circumstances been different.

Twylla has a really strong sense of duty and has let people exploit that her whole life. First her mother, then the Queen. At the same time, however, she has personality and while she has no power, nor ability to change her situation for the time being, she does not agree with the Queen's actions. In fact, she despises her, but stays because she puts the ideals of the kingdom over her personal happiness.

Which brings us to the main theme of the book: the choices one has and makes; which also coincides with Twylla's personal epiphany and character growth:

Choice. For years I’ve craved it, idealized it as a dream I can never have and, though it pains me to admit it, the queen is right. I have had choices, but because I didn’t like them I didn’t acknowledge them. I’ve been the agent of my own misery, time and again.

Twylla is far from a perfect, stereotypical heroine and this is her most severe flaw. She never stood for herself and those she loved. She let people use and abuse her, when she could have, should have taken action. It turned out that what she thought was her duty served not only to keep her confined, but also as her shield against the world. It was easier to let her ability to stand for herself be taken away because this way she renounces all responsibility. After all, it is easier to blame others and not see the fault in oneself.

At the same time, I cannot judge her too harshly, because she was just a young girl when the Queen snatched her and made her choose between her sad existence and the opportunity to live in a castle and be a princess. It would have taken an extraordinarily astute character to have chosen otherwise. Also, let us not forget that the piousness instilled in Twylla was another lever used to control her. Because when confronted with the Gods, would dare oppose them?

Overall, there were flaws in Twylla's character, but they were such that only endeared her to me, instead of repelling me. As it is, I prefer a flawed heroine to a superficially perfect one.

I have to admit the ending was absolutely stunning. I hadn't predicted any of the plot twists; they may have been obvious to other readers, but I was blissfully oblivious, so everything came as a surprise. Normally, I notice foreshadowing and I can more or less judge the direction where a book is heading to. In this case, I think the plot twists in the end were very smart and very well executed. Everything made sense and all loose ends were tied together in a timely and logical manner. There was even one moment, when I stared at a page and went "No, you just didn't, you bastard!" Yes, I was deeply emotionally attached to the characters. Another thing, beside the plot twists in the end, I completely adored was .

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the first to the last page. I would recommend it to everyone, but sadly, I do realise why most people would find the middle part boring and might not enjoy it. Still, if you are in the mood for a smart, touching and extremely well-written story, I would advise you to give this book (and series!) a chance.

I was initially going to give this book 4*, but I kept thinking why would I take away 1* and just couldn't find an explanation. 5* it is.

Endnote 1:I thought the writing was unpretentiously beautiful, here are some snippets, so you can see for yourselves:

"His dear. I cave in on myself, collapse into grief, and his arms snake around me. The wrong arms, the wrong smell, the wrong man."

"This time tomorrow I will be no more. All that I am and ever have been will be gone."

Endnote 2:I'm having an incredibly strong reading month, filled with amazing books. I don't think I've ever given so many 5* in a row.
Profile Image for Rashika (is tired).
976 reviews710 followers
February 1, 2015
This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Actual Rating 4.5

This book though. It is so deliciously intense and I cannot help but want to jump up and down with equal parts excitement and fear. There is so much I want to say about this book but so much I cannot say without spoiling certain things.

For starters though, I would like to commend Melinda on her geniusness. Seriously. She is super clever and I just want to, I don’t know, do something to let her know how much I appreciate her cleverness. The sad thing is that after everything I have been put through in this book, and believe me, this book will DRAIN you, I am kind of scared of the sequel.

Let’s not talk about the sequel though, let’s talk about this book and why I think it’s the best thing ever and why I kind of want to shove it in everyone’s faces and tell them to READ THE DAMN BOOK!

Twylla is an interesting main character but I am not going to tell you she is badass because she isn’t. What she is is real and sometimes pathetically so. She came to the castle because it was her dream and she didn’t want the life she had. She left her siblings behind to live in comfort and didn't contact them. It isn’t that they ever left her thoughts, they didn’t, but on the queen’s insistence, she didn't contact her own family. Sometimes I really did question why she didn’t question things, but seeing the way she grew up, it was easy to see why. I am not making Twylla sound particularly admirable and in the beginning, she isn’t. There isn’t much to her that makes her stand out, but by the end of the book, she is absolutely amazing! She undergoes SO MUCH DEVELOPMENT. She starts to stand up for herself and she grows into her own. She isn’t drowning in self-pity; she is starting to take action and right at the end of the novel; she does me proud. That’s the kind of development you want in a book. Perfect characters are not fun to read about. Non-perfect characters are!

Lief is our love interest and sometimes he was annoying, but goddamn, in spite of it, I cannot help but love him. There are things I want to say about him but I will not. Lief is beautiful and mine and no one can have him *takes him and runs away*. You must read the book to find out more and if there are things you need to talk to someone about with, I am here. We can have an entire conversation in exclamation marks!!!!!!! if need be.

This brings us to the romance and while some of you might be wondering if there is a love triangle, I never thought there was one. Twylla seemed to have wanted the prince’s attention in the beginning, but half way through the book, she knows who she wants. She never goes back and forth. It’s plain old romance that takes its time to develop and is SO MUCH FUN to read about.

One thing I always look forward to in a fantasy novel is the world building and the world building in this novel is gorgeous. There were aspects of it that shocked me, but at the same time, this is a world that has been finely crafted. The author doesn’t just tell us about the superstitious nature of the people but she shows it and she does so well. It’s scary but it adds a whole new interesting layer to the book and I appreciated it. I can already imagine this small kingdom that is secluded from all other kingdoms and so unlike them as well. It makes me wonder what is in store for us in the next book world building wise, when we’ll finally get to see the ‘rest of the world’.

The plot is definitely the highlight of this book. There were certain twists I saw coming but the final one shocked me. It was the middle of the night and my roommate was sleeping so I didn’t get the pleasure of screaming in agony as things turned the way they did and I cannot even begin to tell you how shocked I was. Rarely have I ever been so caught off guard and in the best way possible (or the worst way depending on how you look at it).

In spite of how traumatized I was by the twist I adored how Melinda didn’t just end the book there. The epilogue was gorgeously written and the way it ended, instead of making me crave the sequel in the worst way possible, makes me want it even more because it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. It ends on a certain hopeful note that will have your heart beating faster than normal and will leave you with a smile on your face even though you just endured traumatizing events.

The ending leaves the book complete and makes it so that it could be a stand alone  (I am glad it isn’t one though). I want the sequel and while I am terrified of what Melinda might do and what else she might put us through, I want to see more of this world she has created and I want to spend more time with the characters I have come to love.

If you haven’t gotten the memo, what I need y’all to do when this book comes out is to stop, drop and roll. I mean read the book. I recommend this to lovers of fantasy and anyone who just wants to read a book that has high stakes.
Profile Image for Molly Mortensen.
441 reviews211 followers
April 3, 2018
I feel I should apologize before this review. It’s such a mess. I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I wanted to love it. I mean look at that cover! And that blurb! It sounds so awesome! But the book I got wasn’t the book I expected. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t as epically amazing as I wanted it to be.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter was more of a romance set in a made up medieval kingdom than a fantasy.

The Good:

The religion building. I would say world, but though we know about Lormere and it’s two closest neighbors and their recent history, it is really the religion and the customs behind their beliefs which are the most built upon.

Though the pacing was slow I wasn’t bored and there were enough dangling questions to keep me reading. I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened next. (Is it wrong that I’d rather all of my wild theories to have happened than what did?) In the end it was a good mystery though.

This book felt very dystopian to me. The seemingly nice little kingdom where things aren’t really so great. The heroine finds out the truth and the plan to set things right. Though Twylla did make some revelations in figuring out the evil plot, she had little to do with saving the day.

The supporting characters were good. The queen was appropriately evil and both of the men in Twylla’s life were interesting enough. (Yes there are two love interests)

Romance The Good and The Bad:

She was betrothed to one man, but she didn’t really care for him even though he cared for her. (I liked him the best out of the two. He wasn’t great, but the potential was there.) The one she did like… I can see where many people will enjoy this romance because it is slow and they become friends first and I liked when she realized she cared about him more than a friend.

But I would’ve rather they stayed as friends. I was starting to feel the friendship and then it turned into a romance, but I didn’t feel it. (As much as I like the friends first thing.) He was just okay for me, a bit too perfect and I didn’t like how he was always judging her and seemed to look down on her instead of trying to understand her. (Can you tell I didn’t like him?) I’m not saying she should’ve picked the other guy. I think she needs to become her own person before she worries about love.

Twylla The Good and the Bad:

I went back and forth with Twylla. She’s relatable and flawed. She’s survived a hard life and still managed to be a good person. She was a little boring though. She had a talent for singing, but I wish she had something else she cared about other than her gods. It’s mentioned that she wishes she could read, but it wasn’t explained why she never learned. I appreciated her character growth, she started to come into her own towards the end, but I wish that she had grown more and faster.

I wanted her take charge of her own story! My main problem is she never did anything for herself; made her own choices, decided her own destiny, come up with her own plans. I felt like she moped and waited for someone to save her. I had trouble feeling bad for her after she was so stupid! (I know that sounds awful.) She believes everything people tell her. After living in the castle for four years I’d have expected her to learn not to trust some of these people. By the end she does finally start to wise up, so there’s hope for the sequel. (Though I did think she’d learned her lesson once and then she proved me wrong.)


I hope this doesn’t sound like I didn’t like this book, because I did! There are many good things about this story. And just because I didn’t like the romance or Twylla (some of time) doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same way. I read it in two sittings, so that says something and I didn’t see the mystery coming, even though there were hints. (So Twylla turned out to be smarter than me.)

I like my fantasys with take charge heroines, magic and battles and political plots, but for a fantasy romance this was good. (and there was plenty of conniving by bad guys.) So all in all, a good book, but not a great one.

Point of View: First (Twylla)

Predictability: 3 out of 5 (Where 1 is totally unpredictable and 5 is I knew what was going to happen way ahead of time.)

Source: Edelweiss

My Rating: 7/10 Stars

My Summary:

Twylla was the Sin Eater’s Daughter. When someone dies the Sin Eater eats food off their coffin, each item representing a different sin they committed while alive. After seeing Twylla and her red hair and talent for singing at the king’s funeral the queen herself visits Twylla’s small cottage. The queen tells Twylla she’s the Daunen embodied, the daughter of the gods meant to bring hope to Lormere.

Now Twylla lives in the palace, is engaged to the prince, and lives a rich life, but she isn’t free. As the Daunen Embodied, every month Twylla drinks a poison, which makes her skin poisonous and her touch deadly. Her job is to execute traitors to the crown.

Because of this she has no friends for everyone in the castle fears her. She’s not surprised when yet another of her guards quits, but her new guard isn’t from Lormere, and he doesn’t seem to fear her. He asks her questions and actually talks with her.
Profile Image for Francisca.
189 reviews84 followers
May 25, 2020
Warning: Spoilers ahead, small but all around. Read at your own risk.

I'm not sure what I was expected from this book but I'm sure is not what I got.

When talking of female protagonists in YA novels, one of the most polarizing I can think of is Bella Swan from the Twilight saga. She's loved by many and detested by at least as many (count me in the second group). One of the criticisms level against Bella is how passive she is along the story, barely taking any action at all. Well, if you dislike that in a character you're not going to like this book at all. Because Twilla, protagonist here, is Bella ten times over when it comes to passivity.

Twilla, the Sin Eater's Daughter, born in a place where eating sins is a thing, has been taken from her destiny of celebrated gluttony to become something of a Goddess incarnated, well more like the manifestation of a God and Goddess in the form of their progeny (does it sound familiar? Yeah, you got it...).

Twilla can kill just by touching. In fact, part of her duties as Goddess-daughter is exactly that, to kill anyone who has committed treason. And that included her only friend and first execution-in-action. But the worst of this ability to kill, is that she can't touch no one outside the royal family (King, Queen, Prince), or they will die, meaning she has been deprived of human contact for 4 years.

There are other more pleasant sides to Twilla's role, though. Like being betrothed to Prince Merek, and one day to become Queen of all Lormere. But just when the Prince returns from his studies abroad, when Twilla may get a respire of the killing of people and the never touching anyone she's not meant to kill, things go crazy. Twilla's oldest guard gets ill, the Queen start showing signs of madness, and the Prince turns out to be something of a hot tempered a-hole that swings between being the most caring guy to be a bully. But there's a light in Twillas life: her new guard. He's handsome, friendly, warm and dedicated to make Twilla fall in love with him (suspicious much?).

And there goes Twilla, letting herself be manipulated and seduced and scared and any other thing you can imagine someone can does to a 17 y.o. legally without ever do a thing about it. Nothing. No once Twilla does something that has not been ordered or suggested to her. She's one of those characters that exist to be pulled and pushed by others and then complain about it in long monologues without actually doing a thing to change her circumstances.

Suffice to say, I found Twilla unbearable. Even the end of her story is decided for her. She makes a big deal about needing time to think and a chance to take her own decisions. She leaves. But, then, the decision is made for her. What a great lesson for young people to learn, that you have no saying in your life, and that even when you set boundaries and limits, it's ok for others to ignore them for their own gain. Because, according to Twilla is ok, great even, for others to come and impose themselves onto her life after they lied to her, seduced her under false pretenses, and ever even tried to come clean, and all because those others are sexy (oh yes! Come around little girls, and let me tell you how a sexy boy can be pretty awful to you but you have to forgive him all the same because, well because he's sexy!)

Almost as infuriating as Twilla's behavior and characterization is the fact that the ending feels very deus ex machina. Even when some of the elements for that ending are presented before, they don't actually resolved any of the conflicts created along the story (which aren't that abundant to begin with) but simply offers a quick shortcut to a climax and the least satisfying of denouement.

I'm giving this one two stars only because Salisbury does manage to offer some originality in the world containing the story.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
538 reviews658 followers
November 30, 2018
After some thinking, I came to, not dislike all the characters as much in this. I still think the MC and the two love interests are rather on the bland side, but ok. Plus, the plot twists were unexpected which doesn't happen to me all that often by now. The storytelling and especially the world building is AMAZING! I love the feel of a darker fairy tale! Also, book two is so much better in terms of the characters.

My rating of The Sin Eater’s Daughter series:

The Sin Eater’s Daughter ★★★☆☆ (2.75/5 stars)

The King of Rats (short story) ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars)

The Sleeping Prince ★★★★☆ (3.75/5 stars)

The Scarecrow Queen ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)


Firstly, I didn't like any of the characters. And I mean at all. Characters are one of the most - if not the most - important things in books for me, so when I don't like any of them, when I can't even connect to the main heroine, than the story is pretty lost cause to me. Because I'm not going to be able to enjoy the storyline properly then.

Not only I didn't care about any of the characters, but I simply hated them. Sometimes I felt like they were acting somewhat out of character. The progress of their character development wasn't shown at all. They just kind of jumped from acting in a certain way to acting absolutely differently.

The heroine was annoying, blank doormat who always did what others told her to (including the love-interests). Don't expect some ass-kicker, you're not going to find it here. And how very mature she is! This is one of her lines: "She’s very pretty. I don’t like her." <-- This at some maid who smiled at one of the love-interests.
Also her mother was just disgusting character. No wonder that Twylla didn't want her job. *Ugh*

But the love interests were the characters I had the biggest problems with. Normally, I'm pretty patient person and I'm more or less always (ok, maybe not always) going to find something I like about at least some of the main characters. But in this case, I was just so annoyed by these two.
I thought that since Merek had crazy genes in the family, obviously because *gross*... That he could be kind of crazily interesting, questionable character. Sadly, he wasn't. At all. I simply didn't like them as a characters, neither as a love-interests.

The sad thing is that both the story and its characters had lots of potential. I felt like Twylla's character didn't deliver what she promised. Merek's character didn't deliver what he promised either. And Lief's character delivered exactly what he promised - nothing.

So obviously I didn't like the romance here. And since romance was like 90% of this whole story, then it's safe to say that I wasn't a happy camper. Because this book was basically romance set in fantasy like land.

Which brings me to one of the more optimistic things about this story, or rather one of the few things I actually liked about it: the world-building.
The mytological aspect in this book was very unique and different from other fantasy books. The fantasy element in this one is pretty light (you won't find any dragons here), mostly some little magical elements and stories. And while I was pretty dissapointed with the poisons here, the little stories and mythology definitely did make up for it. My favourite story woven into this book was the one of the Sleeping Prince. Which is basically similar story to the one of the Sleeping Beauty. But insted of a princess, we have prince here. Which is an amazing twist in my opinion! Sleeping Prince was such a viciously beautiful story, and I'm very interested about how it would play out in the second book!

The storyline was pretty slow, almost nonexistent. The book was mainly set in the castle and while it did kept me reading and interested somewhat, it was pretty boring overall. I expected lots of poisoning, intrigue and dark themes, but the book didn't deliver it. (And I love poison theme in fantasy books!) Also the story wasn't as dark as I thought it would be. The first plot-twist was practically see through, but the second (at the end) about one of the characters was very surprising for me. I did not expect that! So points for the author for going there and smashing some tropes while she was at it, but I can't say I liked how it turned out.


What I liked:

* The myths and stories (though truth be said, the Sin Eating thing was just weird for me. I expected something very different from it since it was even on the title). Favourite: The Sleeping Prince.
* I love me some batshit crazy female villain.

What I didn't like:

* The characters
* The romance (It was just messed up in my opinion)
* Not enough about poisons, I expected something darker.
* Also, what is with the names in this book? Twylla, Lief.. Am I the only one who thinks it just sounds off. Especially the MC's name - Twylla.. So weird.

It was always kind of back and forth with this book, and pretty frustrating for me. And while I didn't have much expectations from this in the first place, it was still pretty disappointing. I think the second book has some potential, especially when it's about different set of characters, and even people who didn't particularly enjoyed The Sin Eater's Daughter liked the sequel.

All in all, even though this book was pretty frustrating meh read for me, I'm going to try the novella and the sequel, mainly because of the promising world-building, mythology and the story of the Sleeping Prince, in hope that the next story will be darker and more gripping. Or in the very least, that I wouldn't hate guts the romance there.
Profile Image for Cee (The Mistress Case).
253 reviews161 followers
May 16, 2015
If touch can kill, The Sin Eater’s Daughter can kill . . . because I want to die of disappointment.

I expected something else. I pictured something else.

Not this.

I hate this book— and I’m not sure if that’s my way of liking it by showing a negative affection. For certain, I’m not feeling any love for the book. I don’t even know if I want to read the next book.

1) I don’t like the characters.

Let’s call the protagonist “T-Ball.” She annoys me. The only time I remotely liked her was when she went through this whole epiphany / self-reflection thing and she realizes how selfish and stupid she is for pitying herself and making up excuses. (Refer to page 263.)

2) I’m not feeling the romance. Should I even call this a love triangle between the prince and the guard? I have no clue what was up with the prince, but with the guard and T-Ball, they had a sort of insta-love going on. Their first “break the ice” moment was a little eye-roll worthy for me. Suspicious too. From the beginning, the main love interest “Leaf” rubbed me up in the wrong way and I knew better than to fall for his act. Because why else would the queen hire a Tregellian guard other than to use him as a puppet in her scheme? I smelled this crap from a million miles away.

The prince, well, I didn’t care for him or like him very much, although I think he would make a much more interesting character in book 2.

3) The plot is what exactly? Nothing happened at all. I expected T-Ball to be killing everybody all up in this book! Okay, not everybody, but you get my point. She spends her time playing the role of a lovesick fool, a music box, and a praying circle.

Because she has literally nothing to do in the castle. Nothing.

Beginning: Girl is sad. Her mom likes to eat. Girl doesn’t want to eat. Queen makes girl kill instead. Middle: Girl is still sad. Her mom still likes to eat. Girl still doesn’t want to eat. Queen continues to manipulate girl. End: Shit goes down. Girl is still sad.

4) Am I the only person bothered by the flashbacks?

5) Info-dump. The author did well with the world building, but that info-dump is insulting my eyes.

6) The villain is a total psychotic, nasty, obsessed human being who likes to play God, but overall, she is okay. The queen reminded me of Levana and I even wrote an update saying who would win a cat fight: Queen Levana or the Queen of Lormere?

And despite all my negativity surrounding the first book, I want Melinda Salisbury to keep on writing because she is definitely going somewhere with this. She just doesn't know where which is why the ending was so melodramatic and eye-rolling. However, the ending slightly saved her book for me and there's no denying how beautiful that cover is. Can you imagine how the rest of the series will look? Annnnd that’s all I have to say on the subject of whether I will pick up the next book or not.

The Sin Daughter’s Eater is not so bad that it deserves a one star, but neither does it deserve anything higher than a three star from me. The potential went to waste.

Thank you Scholastic Press for proving me with an ARC! These opinions are mine and mine alone.

This review can also be found at The Mistress Case.
Profile Image for Gavin.
886 reviews398 followers
December 10, 2015
This was a slow paced, but weirdly engaging, YA fantasy/fairytale. There was little in the way of action, but the story had plenty of intrigue, suspense, and romance. The world building was basic, but good enough. It was set in a traditional fantasy-style kingdom, but had plenty of fairytale elements.

Twylla was once The Sin Eater's Daughter before destiny chose her to be Daunen Embodied and she was plucked from her simple village life to live in the palace and become the betrothed of the Crown Prince. It might sound like a dream come true, but being Daunen Embodied comes with consequences. Twylla's slightest touch is enough to kill anyone not of the blessed Royal Blood and the Queen uses Twylla's deadly powers as Daunen Embodied to execute traitors.

Twylla lives a pretty isolated life because the people are terrified of her deadly gift. The Crown Prince, her betrothed and the only man who can safely touch her, takes pains to avoid doing so and has been gone from court for a while. The only guy who seems immune to fear around her is her handsome new guard Leif. Dare Twylla fall in love with man she can never touch? And is it not treason to betray the Royal family who have sheltered her?

The story was pretty engaging despite the lack of action and sedate pace. Twylla spends most of her time in either her tower or her temple with only her guard for company. When she does venture out she is viewed with suspicion and fear by people despite the fact that she is blessed by the Gods. When her old guard falls ill it leaves her pretty much in the company of her charming new foreign guard, Lief. He offers her companionship in a way that no one had before and it is not long before the pair grow close and some romance blossoms. Despite the pair's inability to touch!

There was plenty of tension in the story as the cruel Queen controls Twylla's life and rules her subjects with an iron fist. She has no problems having the people who question, or simply annoy her, executed. The Crown Prince, Merek, is also a looming presence in the story. He has recently returned from a lengthy visit to a foreign kingdom and finally seems to be showing a bit of interest in his betrothed.

The characters were a strange bunch. Twylla started out pretty likeable, but by the end she had managed to infuriate me a few times with her actions and decision making. Leif was initially fairly hard to warm to but eventually did grow on me as he continued to charm Twylla. The Queen was easy to hate. She was a total power mad villain right from the start. The Crown Prince, Merek, felt vaguely threatening, but was a difficult character to get a feel for. He was arrogant and privileged, but not cruel like his mother.

As well as the romance the story had enough intrigue, suspense, and surprise twists and turns to keep me fully engaged.

Random Things I Liked:
-The mythology of the world and its fairytales.
-The way predictable tropes were turned on their heads!

Random Things I Did Not Like:
-The Sin Eating. It was actually totally dull.
-Some of the choices made by the characters. I wanted to slap them at times!

All in all this was a fun and engaging read. It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and I'll definitely be grabbing the squeal when it hits the shelves.

Rating: 4 stars.

Audio Note: Amy Shiels did a great job narrating this one.
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