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New Fantasy Series | Book Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Burning Glass was not for me…

Book Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

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burning glass kathryn purdie

Title & Author: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Genre: Young Adult – High Fantasy

Release Date: March 1, 2016

Series: Burning Glass #1

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.”

“Feeling” The Fantasy

Burning Glass is a new YA high fantasy series with a main character who’s powers are tied to sensing and feeling others’ emotions.

On paper, this is a book basically written for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever said, but I LOVE books with characters who can sense emotions or feelings in others (see: Truthwitch, Graceling).

However, what Burning Glass delivered was more of a romance than a fantasy novel. Sonya lives in a remote place, having hidden her powers from the kingdom for most of her life. Her time is finally up, and she’s brought to the castle to serve the king as a political tool.

The thing is, Sonya has never really mastered or harnessed her powers before. While at the castle, she quickly becomes entangled in a love triangle (like ya do), and her powers are mainly used to sense her love interest’s feelings.

I cannot tell you how much of a disappointment that was. I wanted the magic/power/ability to be used for more than just pushing the romance forward.

Sonya never really masters her gift either. Maybe that will play out in future books, but I wish it was incorporated more here.

Now, I love romance, but this love triangle became more of a test of who could not give into having sex the longest. By the end, I was just over it all.

Burning Glass had a great idea that resulted in wasted potential. I so wanted the fantasy to become something strong and compelling, but it remained underdeveloped.


Burning Glass failed to deliver on its promising premise and focuses more on romance instead of the fantasy elements is billed for – fantasy fans should skip this one.

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.