Review of The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

SinEatersDaughterThe Sin Eater’s Daughter
By: Melinda Salisbury
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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?

My Thoughts:
See that lovely summary? I didn’t bother to read it before knowing I had to read this book. I saw the cover and the one line about the main character’s touch killing and was sold. I needed this book as soon as possible.

I didn’t know what I expected but I had high expectations going into this book and I wasn’t let down at all. The Sin Eater’s Daughter actually exceeded my expectations and went so much darker than I dreamed it would. Salisbury created a kingdom in desperate need of hope and a main character that has been called by the Gods to bring the hope and salvation dreamed of for years.

I loved the depth of despair Salisbury was able to put into her writing giving the book a melancholy feel. The pacing was extremely fast though there weren’t a lot of action scenes. I was completely swept away in the castle politics and the main character, Twylla’s life. Though there are some gruesome scenes rife with cruelty the book was not overly morbid or depressing.

I absolutely love the idea behind someone’s touch being death and her being an executioner against her will. This brought up so many questions about personal will, fate, divine authority, etc. I loved this aspect and felt it was handled beautifully. This book spoke to me on an emotional level and I felt that I just got it. Do you ever have that? You connect deeply with a book, characters and the writer’s style and it makes writing a review and expressing why so difficult.

Anytime I go into a young adult book I fear that the romance will override the storyline and I wondered about this one. Was there a romance? Yes, but it felt essential to the story. I immediately connected with Twylla’s character though I have nothing in common with her Salisbury made her incredibly realistic and flawed. I really can’t go into too much detail because this book is best experienced. There are a lot of twists and turns though not a ton of action. It focuses on development and interactions as well as the world building.

I want to mention one other aspect of this book and Salisbury’s writing- she takes from myths and weaves this incredible fairy tale for her world. It is complex and might cause confusion if you aren’t aware of the tales she’s referencing- Sleeping Beauty, The Pied Piper and Little Red Riding Hood. I was so enthralled I had to brush up on The Pied Piper since I couldn’t recall a lot of details about it. I think the inclusion of an original myth that took aspects from these was such a beautiful addition to the story and I’m desperate for Melinda to write out her fairy tale as a novella.

Final Thoughts:
I got this book- it touched me on an emotional level and I felt that Melinda Salisbury’s writing was fluid and beautifully done. I adored her complex and flawed characters as well as the world she’s created. This is easily a favorite of mine now.

Be sure to come back next month to read an interview with the author, Melinda Salisbury (and a giveaway for pre-order)


  1. says

    Yay! I love your review and it makes me want to read it even more knowing she weaved in those fairy tales using the original stories? I have been obsessed with the original fairy tales for a long time which is why I adore retelling.

    Looking forward to your interview, really can’t wait to read this one 🙂

  2. says

    Oh good! I’m always happy to read positive reviews of debut novels. This cover immediately took me in, and I was hoping the the inside was just as strange and delightful as the outside. Glad you had such a positive experience! Can’t wait to read this one myself.

    • says

      I love the cover–so vivid and entrancing. The story was beautiful constructed and I adored it. I can’t wait for the next book! I hope you love it Melissa

  3. says

    YES!!! I’m so so happy to hear you loved it so much! And even more to hear that there are fairy tales woven into an original mythology! That’s so fascinating if done right!
    I really cannot wait till I can get my hands on my preorder!! And I’m really excited to read you interview with Melinda!!

  4. says

    Amazing review Kristen. <3 I am so so so glad you loved this book so much 😀 I'm excited yet nervous about it. Hoping to love it, but knowing some things might bother me. Ack! But still excited about getting my pre-ordered paperback 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3 Just so glad this wasn't disappointing for you 🙂

    • says

      I really did Carina. I imagine you are a tad worried about the idea of a love triangle? I’m not sure this one will really bother you? I can’t wait to discuss this book with you once you read it.

  5. says

    I cannot waittttttt to read this!! I preordered it the other day for my kindle since it’s on sale for $2.99 — and I’m pretty sure it’s the best $3 I’ll spend all year, lol. 😀 And your review has me even more excited!!

    • says

      I hope you love it and $3 is a STEAL. I think you’ll like it? I sure hope so. You must tell me when you read it because I want to hear your thoughts.

  6. says

    So happy to hear you really enjoyed this! I’m so excited that it has lots of fairy tale references! It definitely sounds like an amazing read, I can’t wait to check it out! And yes, such an amazing cover!
    Thanks for the review (:

  7. says

    AFJKDSALFSD I AM SO HAPPY!!! This is one of my highly anticipated reads for the year and I always get sooo worried these kind of books will face-plant. But this? This sounds INCREDIBLE and I’m so glad you liked it!! Can’t wait until it’s out. xD

    • says

      I loved it Cait! I hope you do too. I’ve seen some folks that weren’t as blown away but it spoke my language. I adored it and can’t wait for more.

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