Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

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A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason.

No one will ever love her.

Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins?

Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice.

Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom?

Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

review

3.5/5 Stars

The Sin Eater’s Daughter is a dark and deadly fairy tale. Full of twists, temptation, and manipulation, The Sin Eater’s Daughter is spellbinding and different in the best way.

This cover is sinfully beautiful. 

The world building. I want to live in this twisted, dusty place full of magic and lore. I want to learn their customs, and breathe in their past. It’s like Brothers Grimm meets Sarah J. Maas. The curses, the actual act of eating people’s sins so that they can move on to the afterlife and not become a restless spirit. Absolute genius and so dark. It is reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. 

Twylla is resigned to her fate. She’s consumed with guilt and riddled with grief at her past. She knows that as a chosen symbol, she must make sacrifices for the good of the people, even if she’s forfeiting her heart and soul. Twylla is complex. She wades through her feelings and slaps herself in the face with hard truths. What I LOVED was that Twylla was hard on herself. When she realized her mistakes, she accepted her complacency, her fault in everything, and that in itself was empowering.

The story got lost in the complex love triangle. It became more about the romance than the original story. I wanted more of the sin eating, the death and judgment. As an executioner, there were surprisingly few deaths. It faded away too fast. This part of the story arch needed more development before it transitioned into a full-scale romance. 

That plot twist. There’s a teeny, tiny clue, but wow, it was a heartbreaking, scathing shocker. 

Characters are brutal and manipulative. Everyone has an agenda, whether it’s pure or evil. No one is what they seem. They’re layered and wear many masks. You have to decide what to take as truth.

While the Sleeping Prince was mentioned briefly as almost an afterthought, the later importance feels like a throw in at the last minute rather than a planned plot decision. That magical transition turns the story on its head and brings it back to the smoky, fairy tale that was lost in the romance. 

Twylla falls extremely fast. While there’s build up, it wasn’t enough to offset her encounters with the Prince.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Magical reading, 

Jordan

 

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Twisted by Christa Simpson

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Can a man and woman be “just friends?”

After graduating from law school with honours, Edwin Santora, Abigail’s occasional ex and handsome housemate, could get a job anywhere he wants. Of all the places to land, why does he take a position with her small firm? As if sharing a house with her irresistible ex isn’t bad enough, it quickly becomes the least of her concerns. When Edwin’s macho arrogance begins to seriously affect her dating life, Abigail starts to reconsider their friendship; not that Edwin believes a man and woman can be “just friends” anyway.

With Edwin’s swoon-worthy stunts and fierce persistence, Abigail finds herself catching feelings. When Edwin makes a friendly proposal, no-strings-attached, Abigail can’t resist.

After some sexy role playing, she finds herself dangerously in love and wrapped back up in Edwin’s powerful grip. When Abigail risks everything, revealing a treacherous little secret, will their friendship pass the test? Or will they give in to the mysterious forces trying to drive them apart?

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Excerpt

Edwin Santora’s eyes were on me the second our solid wood door clunked shut.  After kicking off my shoes and giving a silent wave to my brooding, shirtless roommate, I rushed directly upstairs taking two steps at a time.

Within seconds, Edwin was flying up the stairs behind me, all brawn and pride.  He stalked me down the hall, his large agile physique a shadow of stealth.

No matter how smooth Edwin thought he was, I could always sense when he was lurking around.

I disappeared into the bathroom, ignoring his approach, heart still racing, cheeks flushed with a healthy glow.  It had been way too long and it was time for me to move on with my life.  The days of Edwin and I were over and I had finally faced that fact.  For that reason, I trusted my matchmaking to an eager co-worker.  What else could I do?  I didn’t seem to have any luck finding myself a man.

Edwin filled the doorframe with his imposing shoulders.  “Where are you going all dolled up like that?”

I should have slammed the door shut behind me while I had the chance.  The last thing I needed now was Edwin giving me a hard time.  It had been months since my last date and let’s just say that it’s not possible for this one to go any worse than that one had.

After carefully touching up my mascara in the mirror, I twirled around to face him, my glossy, brown hair fanning out behind me.  “I got a date!”  I smiled from honest excitement, but I really didn’t have time to chat about it.

“Who is he?” Edwin pried.

“You don’t know him.”

Edwin’s chest flexed under my warm gaze, his abs held tight, sculpted from stone.  Oh, I love watching him sweat.  He narrowed his aqua eyes in response to my devious smile.  Then, as if on cue, the doorbell rang.

I made my way to the bathroom door, but Edwin boxed me out with his hip and took off ahead of me.  He hurried down the hall with swift, powerful strides, every muscle in his body twitching with adrenaline.  There was no point in trying to fight him for the front door.  He had me beat.

“Do you think you could put on a shirt, Eddie?  Please?”

Edwin shuffled down the stairs and ignored my request.  “I’ll get it,” he hollered.  He was all too eager to answer the door and his mischievous grin gave away his greedy intentions.

“Edwin, be good!” I warned, stopping at the top of the open staircase.

“What?  I’m always good.”  He flashed me a sly smile and raised his dark arched eyebrows.

I knew it meant trouble, as the butterflies danced nervously in my tummy.  Edwin had better not blow this one too.  He had a tendency of scaring away my dates.  It was getting old.  I clung to the wooden post, hoping the poor guy would pass the test.

Edwin opened the front door ever so slightly and started in on his usual act, deliberately blocking my view.  Bastard.  Then he cracked the door open a little farther, teasing, his generous back still in the way.

He folded his bulging arms over his impressive chest and stared down at my date with eyes dark and voice low.  “Can I help you?” he asked firmly, acting all macho.

I nearly burst out laughing and had to hide the smile on my face to show that I was not amused.  Even if I was.

“Is this the home of Abigail Jenkins?” the poor guy asked, hesitantly.

“Yes,” Edwin answered, but he didn’t invite him in.

“Edwin!” I warned, scowling at his back.  I’d had enough.  As I started down the stairs to intervene, I struggled to interpret their mumbling.  It was time that I took things into my own hands.

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authChrista Simpson is a small town Canadian girl who enjoys beaches, dancing and dirt track car races. She lives in Tilbury, Ontario, with her husband and two beautiful daughters. On an ideal day you’ll find her relaxing on the beach, reading by the poolside or getting into trouble with her girls. You’re more likely to find her procrastinating with her bestie, working her butt off or chauffeuring her active family around.

Christa delivers in modern day fantasies with the most captivating alpha men and her breezy, entertaining writing style. She’s an all or nothing kind of girl whose mission in life is to prove that women do it better. Her romance novels are loaded with passion, suspense and sarcasm, much like her life. Pick up the first books in her Twisted and Destiny Series for free—no strings attached!

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1 e-copy of The Twisted Trilogy (3 books direct to kindle)
3 e-copies of Twisted Desire (direct to kindle)

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Read on, 

Jordan