I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss, and was SO. EXCITED. when I saw the approval! I have been dying to read this book ever since I saw the cover (holy beautiful!) and read the description (holy fascinating!). Here's the bio from Goodreads, if you were wondering:
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?
This book was so great. The world building was incredible, and I loved the different rituals that were woven throughout the cultural narrative. It made my anthropological heart soar. :) The writing was strong and the character--while flawed--still felt very realistic and easy to relate to. And those villains! So creepy and skin-crawly. This book would appeal to fans of Rae Carson's GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS trilogy, and well as fans of Rosamund Hodge's CRUEL BEAUTY.
I loved the twists woven throughout the book, even the ones that I saw coming (Highlight for spoilers: Like Lief! I never trusted him for a second. It was way too convenient that he showed up right as the other guard got sick... Although I didn't predict how he got there, and was honestly a little disappointed that he wasn't as evil as I gave him credit for.) I do wish that the major plot twists had been revealed a little differently though. As it was, it felt like they were pretty much just told to Twylla. I would have liked to see a little more discovery on her own, and the fallout that comes from people not just outright telling her. That would have helped with the amount of backstory throughout the novel, too.
I loved the way the fairy tale of The Sleeping Prince was woven in. It was reminiscent of Hodge's CRUEL BEAUTY in the best way, and by the end of the novel I was desperate to reread the fairy tale and catch everything that I missed.
Needless to say, I am so excited for book two. With such deliciously evil villains and protagonists that I love to root for (and sometimes yell at), THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER is a must read for 2015. You can buy a copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble--it comes out TOMORROW!
*I'll be posting a brief shoutout to this book with the WordNerds this Friday, as well, and will link to that when it's up*