Review From User :
4.5 stars!!!! I REALLY REALLY LOVED THIS BOOK.
Daughter of the Burning City is a really fabulous debut full of magic, murder, and mystery. It's absolutely a high-suspense "whodunnit" that kept me enthralled from page one.
I was most fascinated by the concept of the story; a girl without eyes who creates illusions that are being killed off IM SOLD. I also really loved the setting. I think I was expecting the carnival to play more of a role than just the setting, but it wasn't as significant, though I'm not complaining. Gomorrah is more of a travelling city of magicians, thieves, and sex workers as opposed to what we would consider "performers." If anything, I think the interpretation of a "dark carnival" was executed very well - just don't go into the story expecting a magical story of circus performers. I personally liked the actual content more than my expectations.
I really fell in love with each of the characters. I think Sorrina is a very down to earth protagonists. She's hellbent on finding the person killing her family, worrisome in regards to her father's expectations for her future, and coping with her own insecurities of being "a freak." She's a real teen girl who just wants to find love and be with her family, though they are palpable figments of her imagination.
Luca is my newest book boyfriend. I think his character strikes an interesting balance between the stereotypical arrogant bad boy love interest with a dark past, and an actually compassionate individual. He's witty, he's aloof, he's adorable. It's easy to fall for his character and I NEEEEEEED more about him and Sorrina in the future (please give me a sequel, Amanda).
I also didn't realize how much I loved each of Sorrina's family members until they began getting killed off. They somehow snuck their way into my heart and it's painful to think of how small it's gotten from the beginning of the story. Even though they are "not real", they feel real and you begin to feel for them as you would for any "real" character.
The one issue I had with this book that made me dock half a star was the magic system. I understand it's a debut and I also recognize that I could actually just be misinterpreting the issues I have, but I think Sorrina's form of jynx-magic was just way too complicated. Sometimes I thought I had identified a plothole within her own brand of magic, it felt like there were a lot of exceptions to the rules established, and it just seemed as if there were too many different ways her magic could manifest as compared to other types of jynx-magic (I also recognize she is the first illusion-worker in like centuries, so that's a valid factor as well!) Essentially, I think it may have just been OVER-developed It really wasn't that intrusive to my reading experience though, because I enjoyed this read so much. (But I still just do not understand how this girl sees without eyes, man.)
Additionally, there was definitely some obvious rep for diverse sexualities in this book which I really enjoyed! The labels we use today are not used in this world, but it's absolutely not heteronormative and does not contain virtually any homophobia. I'm pulling from this review for this but it's suggested that our main character is bisexual, her sister is a lesbian, and our love interest is somewhere on the ace spectrum (demisexuality seems to best fit his descriptions in text, but don't quote me). I obviously cannot speak for the rep, we will have to wait for reviewers with more knowledge to comment, but I was glad to see this novel was fairly inclusive and made efforts to display these sexual orientations as compared to other books.
I have to say I really really loved Daughter of the Burning City more than I had anticipated. 70 pages left in the novel and I was legitimately unable to read because I was so consumed with finding out who the killer is. It's definitely a page turner full of unique magic, dark secrets, and exciting mystery. I would definitely recommend to all my fantasy lovers, and I even think non-fantasy lovers would enjoy because of how subtle the magic is woven into the world. Daughter of the Burning City comes out on July 25th, so be sure to get yourself a copy from your local bookstore/library!
I received a copy of this book from Harlequin Teen at Book Expo 2017. I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own.
Media Size : 3.3 MB