Twylla is the embodiment of the goddess Daunen, whose role is to bring hope to the city of Lormere but to also pass punishment on those who have been sentenced, with her poisonous touch. But mysteries and schemes unfold to reveal the real reason why Twylla was chosen to fill the role of Daunen, and her part in the Queens plan for Lormere.
The first half of this book was disappointing. Part of me feels like the first 150 pages were almost wasted. There was some background that got explored and some character ground work was laid but ultimately nothing really happened….The last half however was a brilliant and masterful story of treason, love, greed, conspiracy and revelation, which pretty much made up for the slow starting pace. When I look back though, the slow pace actually hid what would later become important, things that seemed completely normal or unobtrusive at the time which played a major part in the final revelation. I think that in itself is masterful writing, because it didn't give clues away easily and they just seemed to blend into the story unnoticed until you later thought back on them.
As for the characters, the Queens character was by far the most developed. She could give Cercei Lannister a run for her money. Evil, twisted and greedy. She is determined to keep her followers in line and charges anyone who commits an offence against her, no matter how little it is. Twylla was hard to like at times, she seemed far too naïve, and never fought back against the Queen (although I can see why, cause the Queen Is cray cray.) I felt she was a little to damsel in distress most of the time, but by the end she had come into her own.
There are hints of a love triangle, but not in the typical sense. The love triangle actually reminded me a little of Throne of Glass, as one was the prince and the other Twylla’s guard. Twylla is torn between the two not because she loves them both, but one because of feelings and the other as a sense of duty to her role as Daunen and also her city.
There were definitely some interesting aspects incorporated into the book, the folklore surrounding the downfall of another city and the prince who was cursed there. The sin eating was cited a few times although didn’t play a major role in the overall story, which considering the title I thought it would. The role of Daunen and the religion/Gods surrounding Lormere were also interesting an added to the world building.
I actually really like the ending, I’ve seen some people say it’s confusing, and I guess it’s kind of left up to interpretation. I feel like everything was wrapped up nicely though with only a few trivial questions left unanswered. It could easily be a standalone, although there is the potential for it to become a trilogy (which I think it is?).
Overall, not a fantastic read due to the drawn out beginning, but if you can hang in there, the end picks up and will hold your attention.
Things I loved about the book:
- The incorporated folklore and religion were all very different.
- The last half was great. While not necessarily action packed, there were a lot of conspiracies and treachery which kept me guessing.
Things I didn't like about the book:
- The drawn out start, that almost made me want to DNF this book.
My rating: 3/5