Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
Twylla has been blessed by the Gods, but with that blessing comes a high price. Her skin is infused with poison. While Twylla herself is immune to the poison, anyone who touches her will die. Twylla is known as the Daunen Embodied, and she is used as an executioner for traitors. She does her job for her people, for the kingdom of Lormere.
To say that people fear Twylla is an understatement. Despite people not being able to touch her you never know what someone might do in vengeance for a family member whose death is on Twylla’s hands. So she’s assigned two guards for protection, but she has problems keeping them around. Apparently the task of protecting a bringer of death does not sit well with many. When new guard Lief is assigned to Twylla, she finds that he’s apparently not afraid of what her touch might bring. As he gets closer to her, Twylla begins to wonder if she could ever be anything other than the Daunen Embodied.
The concept of The Sin Eater’s Daughter was very interesting. The idea of this common girl basically advancing to the life of a princess, betrothed to a prince, but unable to touch anyone not blessed by the divine (which pretty much excludes everyone except the King, Queen, and Prince) truly sounds promising.
Anytime I read a story involving “court intrigue” I’m on high alert looking for characters’ ulterior motives and secrets. Sin Eater only backs up my theory. And sitting right in the middle of it all is Twylla, our narrator.
I don’t know that I would call her an unreliable narrator—maybe naïve? She left an unhappy home with a not-so-bright future of being the next Sin Eater in her mother’s stead to go to the palace where she’s elevated to divine status and given beautiful things. I cannot fault her for trying to make a better life for herself. In both places her future is seemingly set in stone, so she prepares herself accordingly for those futures to come to fruition.
The Queen, who we can safely say is a controlling bitch, uses any means necessary to assert her authority and definitely uses Twylla’s loneliness to her advantage. When Sin Eater begins it’s very clear that Twylla has no more illusions about the Queen, and definitely doesn’t buy into her “it’s for the good of the people” shtick. But the part that frustrates me the most is even after all the lies and deceptions come to light Twylla looks at her circumstances as her lot in life and does nothing to willingly change them. Granted, having all your beliefs in your Gods called into question would throw anyone for a loop, but I think I just wanted so much more for Twylla than she was allowed to want for herself. The more she remained stagnate, the less sympathy I had for her situation.
The twists and turns thrown in did little to elevate the story. By the time one of the bigger twists is revealed at the end, it was a “too little, too late” situation. No one was able to redeem or condemn themselves by this point and I had to backtrack about all my initial feelings. This is a rare occasion where I didn’t want the heroine to choose either suitor. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is supposed to be the first in the series, but I would have liked a little more closure. As it stands, I will more than likely not be reading the next book.
Sexual content: References to sex