“The Sin Eater’s Daughter” easily features one of the most engaging premises of any Young Adult book I have looked at this year. Twylla works at the order of the Queen, regarded as the embodiment of a deity. The catch: she can kill a man with a single touch. Thus, while revered, she is deeply feared and destined to live a life of isolation and guilt as the royal executioner until she marries her betrothed, the Prince. When she strikes up a close friendship with her new guard, Leif, she begins to question her place at court and the brutality of the Queen’s rule.
Twylla is a compelling main character and I enjoyed seeing her progress from a victim of the atrocities she is forced to carry out at the Queen’s order, and being regarded almost on the same level as a deity at court, to beginning to find out some surprising truths about her life. The mythology of Twylla’s world is also very interesting; some kingdoms embrace science and alchemy, while her kingdom worships a pantheon of gods with similarities to ancient Egyptian mythology.
I’ll admit that as I finished “The Sin Eater’s Daughter” I was undecided as to whether I considered it a three- or four-star book. The ending seemed too rushed, and featured a twist that seemed to veer towards melodrama. Twylla’s strength in the end, however, along with Salisbury’s restraint in not giving us too many “happy ending” clichés, elevated my opinion of “The Sin Eater’s Daughter,” and I would definitely read the sequel.