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Mixed Bag | Book Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater’s Daughter was a mixed bag for me…

Book Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

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the sin eater's daughter melinda salisbury book review

Title & Author:The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Series: The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1

Publisher: Scholastic

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?”

The Good and the Bad

The Sin Eater’s Daughter is the type of book that comes with good and bad. And, it’s up to you to decide which one outweighs the other. For me, the bad outweighed the good a bit, and I’ll tell you why.

The story starts off well – Twylla is the palace executioner. She’s got a special ability that allows her to channel the goddess Duanan and kill with her touch. Twylla is also engaged to the prince and is under the harsh and cruel thumb of his mother, the queen.

Discovering what exactly a “sin eater” was and the powers Twylla possessed piqued my interest. The first half of the book delves into her life in the castle and her experiences with her family before becoming “Duanan embodied.”

Some of the things I enjoyed about The Sin Eater’s Daughter revolved around the characters. I thought Twylla was sweet and innocent if a bit weak-willed. And, I have a soft spot for the prince, Merek, because he’s both shy and awkward, which I find endearing.

The trouble started as the “secrets” unfold during the second half of the book. I really enjoyed the emotional surprises and shifts in power. I definitely felt the thrills of feeling things going one way only to be turned around by some new piece of information.

However, some things happen that just made me frustrated. Like the type of thing that you can’t see coming and then when it’s revealed makes you feel cheated.

The ending was just torture for me. Decisions must be made and agonized over and everything felt a bit rushed. There are definitely sequels forthcoming, but the ending was so odd and off-kilter. It really felt unfinished in a lot of ways.

Some aspects of The Sin Eater’s Daughter were so well thought out. The action was exciting, the romance confused and the ending underdeveloped. I hope the sequels are a bit more solid, and if so, this series might convince me they’re worth investing time in.


I’m conflicted about this book. Despite lovable characters and a strong start, the story descended into frustrations with the plot and a unsatisfying ending. I advise readers to decide about The Sin Eater’s Daughter’s from the description – if it sounds enticing enough go for it, if not, no harm done.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • This sounds interesting, but I’ll put it into my “maybe” pile for now. I don’t like feeling cheated either 🙂