Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter, #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Twylla is a sad character. Doomed to serve as the executioner because her touch can kill, this is a fate that was thrust upon her in many ways. She consoles herself that her position as the embodiment of a Goddess offers her family food and coin, but she is not happy at court. Her work hurts her, she is shunned by all, and the queen who promised to be a mother to her is an evil, mad woman. Twylla has no one she can call a friend.
I'm not really sure how to tell you about this book without including a whole bunch of spoilers. The plot is woven in a way that everything that happens unravels at the end in a huge, eye opening way. Merek loves Twylla, Twylla loves Lief, and Lief mostly likely loves Twylla as well. I honestly believe that he does. But everything that was, isn't, and I don't know where the story will go. Or what the future holds for Twylla. So much has happened that has left her disillusioned, and she has had to face so many ugly truths, about her kingdom, about herself and her choices. There's a line from a Robert Frost poem that comes to mind, "Nothing gold can stay." It seems to apply to Twylla. She had a certain future in front of her, and even if it wasn't entirely what she thought it might be when she was a child, it was still bright and promising. Now, everything is much darker, much more dangerous and uncertain.
I sympathize with Twylla's character. Who doesn't want more, especially when you are young and naive? She only wanted more, and that desire was taken advantage of, used by a madwoman. I also like Twylla, because as much as she might want to reject some truths, she faces them, and learns about herself as she does so. She's not a character to shrink from realities, and I liked that about her. I think future books will show us her strength and growth, and I look forward to the choices Twylla will make, choices that will be entirely her own and not influenced by Gods or faith or a wicked queen.
A great start to a fantasy series that doesn't shy away from ugly realities and people with characters that make you ache at times, and despair at others. I can't wait to read more of this series, and see how it grows.