Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.
I really loved that Purdie created a character with a power she was unable to control. The use of empathy and how feeling other’s emotions would make someone feel was mesmerizing as well as executed to perfection. Sonya can’t distinguish at times what she’s feeling versus what others around her are feeling…imagine not knowing if the passionate view you felt was really yours? It is an incredibly interesting idea and I thought it was such an amazing element to this book.
Burning Glass didn’t hesitate to throw the reader into the intensity of Sonya’s life and power. The first few chapters were insanely gripping for me and I was hooked. The rest of the novel’s pacing does slow down some as we focus on political intrigue and the characters. The story centers on Sonya taking the role she was believed to be ‘born to’, the Auraseer. She will work for the emperor and seek out if any around him means him harm.
For those curious there was a love triangle-but in this book it really didn’t bother me. I think it’s clear early on who Sonya prefers but the manner of her gift/curse to feel other’s emotions would lead her to confusion. I felt it all played out rather realistically assuming someone had her ability. I felt chemistry with both fellows but preferred one over the other easily.
All of the characters I felt were well developed and I loved seeing alternate sides to each. Sonya’s closest friend in her new role, Pia, was a breath of sunshine and I thought her interactions with Sonya were so genuine and sweet.
For me, the best part of this book was Sonya and her struggles with her ability. She veered on insanity more than once and those scenes were written so well and had such a dark nature to them…really brilliant. I loved the fact that as I was reading I couldn’t discern what Sonya was feeling and what she was mirroring from those around her.
Burning Glass was an emotional read that used its slower pacing to introduce the reader to the characters and political intrigue and the main characters mental and emotional instability. Don’t expect a ton of action in the majority of the book but go into reading this looking to know Sonya and question what having her abilities would be like.