A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.
Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. 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.
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.
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?
©2015 Melinda Salisbury (P)2015 Scholastic Inc.
The story started off great, somewhere in the middle it became boring and not so interesting. But it started picking up again near the end with a nice twist to make up for the boring middle part. Overall It's a good book and I'm looking forward to the second book.
I found the story captivating and the narration wonderful. The story had MANY unexpected twists, right up to the very end. The main character of the story is relatable, if not somewhat pathetically useless and dumb at times. But no one is perfect, even fictional characters I guess. The plot keeps you on the edge of your seat and the descriptive words painted a wonderful picture in my mind. I felt submerged within the world itself at times. A new favorite for sure.
When I used to be a writer, people would often tell me, "Oh, I've got a great idea for a book!"
The difference between having a great idea for a book and producing a great book is vast. Salisbury has a great "idea" for a book. The whole "sin eater" idea is a solid base documented in many cultures, but rarely written of.
But soon into the book, Salisbury dabbles her toes in Harelquin style romance… and then she finds she can't let it go. There is far too much hand clasping, heart fluttering and gazing into the eyes of the beloved for my taste. I realize that the romance is at the heart of the plot—and I am okay with that—but the way Salisbury approaches the romance is trite and juvenile. It utterly ruined the book for me.
To make it worse, this story is left hanging, uncompleted…. supposedly to tempt you to buy the sequel. The ending of this segment—as it stands—is unsatisfying.
I will not buy the sequel. Although I like the idea of this book, the thought of wading through more juvenile romance is too terrifying.
Yes, the narrator's lilting accent makes you want to listen to the so-so story over and over. She also does a fantastic job with the male characters (one of the best female - male narrators I've heard since I started listening to books).
Looking forward to a sequel. Curious to see if and how the characters develop as they grow from their experiences.
I truly enjoyed this book. It took some time to get used to the accent. The only issue i ended up having was I was unsure of the ending, not to say it didn't end well but not the way I thought it would, sometimes that's a good thing.
A bookworm since a child. Love audible books.
The book is darker and should be intended for an older audience. The book also has some strong anti-religious themes throughout the book.
The twists at the end were interesting. However, the ending made you feel like it left you hanging. The ending felt like there was no closure to the story.
The book was well read by the author. Amy Shiels' performance had the appropriate amount of emotional content.
To take a closer look at the books that children are reading now days.
Devourer of all books fantasy
I have had this book for some time to read. I thought the premise sounded intriguing but I ended up not being a huge fan of this book. The story is very predictable and the heroine’s denseness and blindness bothered me.
I did listen to this on audiobook and the narrator had a very nice voice for the main heroine. In general she did the women's voices very well but sometimes the men's voices sounded very similar to women's voices. The scenes where Twylla and Leaf would banter were especially confusing because sometimes they had the same voice and it was hard to tell who was talking.
Initially I thought this was an interesting premise, Twylla is a blessed sign of hope but also the death by which justice is delivered. I liked the irony of that. However, shortly into the story I started wondering why our heroine constantly ignored the inconsistencies surrounding her.
Not a lot happens in this book and at first I thought the deliberate pace was leading up to something, but it wasn't. The whole story takes place in the castle and the majority of it in one room of the castle. There is some intrigue here but it is so transparent, and are heroine is so blind to it, that it was just continually frustrating for me.
Some of scenarios in the book were especially improbable. For example that fact that the Queen/King were just fine with Twylla constantly being alone with a single male guard when they were generally so protective of her. Or the fact that when Twylla is caught touching someone and they don’t die that no one questions this much….just very frustrating.
The ending was completely unsatisfying and made me want to throw my hands in the air and shout "Why?!, Why, did I read this book!?"
Overall I did not enjoy this book. The heroine was too dense, the scenarios inconsistent and improbable, the plot was transparent, and ending completely unsatisfying. I wouldn’t recommend.
Audible Addict. American woman living alone in Dubai... so I listen to a lot of books. Love bulldogs. Wharton MBA, Finance Chick
Yes. Another daily deal purchase, I dont think I would have selected this on my own but pleased that the Daily Deal people did. This is a traditional tale flipped on its head and creepy. Extremely creative writer creates a new fantasy world for your brain to go to. A little bit Games of Thrones with cruelty and deviousness.
The best part is the epilogue... an unexpected reflection on a traditional tale. Salisbury shows her true colors here. As she should. Sometimes things need to be spelled out.
The empowered princess in a dark world
This book had an interesting plot. The characters could have been developed more. And it somehow just didn't feel finished. I had questions at the end, beyond the ones left deliberately open. I think it could have been a tighter storyline.
Oh no, just other books by this author.
Fine fine, the narrator did a fine job with a crummy assignment.
Stab a sharp stick in the eye disappointment.
At the point where I gave up this "story" as nothing but a mopey tale of a helpless and useless protagonist with zero initiative that lets herself be literally locked into a room to do nothing but fall in love with the only two other partially fleshed out caricatures in the 'story'. It is a waste of paper/audio/time and I highly recommend running the other direction.
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