The Sin-Eater’s Daughter


Title: The Sin-Eater’s Daughter

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Series: The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, #1

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: February 24th 2015


Four Stars

I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it’s price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla’s fatal touch.

Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla’s chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous as the queen’s, some truths should not be told…

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“That’s the problem with fairy tales, they change with the telling.”

This was the second time I picked up The Sin-Eater’s Daughter. In preparation for reading The Sleeping Prince I thought I’d better go back to the first book which I honestly couldn’t remember a lot about before jumping into the second. There’s not too much I can say about the plot without risking major spoilers. This book is very much about Twylla’s character development which I thought was brilliantly written. The plot is slow to start but it’s detailed and it promises a much more in depth and fast-paced story with the second book.

For years now Twylla has lived in the castle, betrothed to the prince. As Daunen Embodied, the daughter of two gods, Twylla can survive any poison but her touch kills any who come into contact with her. For years she has been used to kill the traitors to the throne and for years she has been isolated from the world, no one to turn to but the two guards who follow her every step.

However when one of her guards is reassigned, as many before him have been, Twylla meets Lief. Lief who is not from Lormere, Lief who refuses to keep a safe distance from Twylla’s poisonous touch, Lief who is determined to get Twylla to open up to him.

“No Gods in Tregellan. No Gods in Tallith. Doesn’t that tell you anything? It’s about power and control, to keep you all in line. People like the queen tell us if we don’t do as the Gods want – as she wants – then our souls are damned. Think of the amount of murder she’s committed and tell me whose soul is more likely to be damned, hers or yours?”

Lief makes Twylla question everything she knows and everything she has believed for the past few years. He comes with his knowledge and ideas from another country and turns Twylla’s beliefs on their head. It’s why the story  was about her character development and why I really enjoyed the route it took. Twylla struggles with what she learns but she is drawn to Lief, to the only person in the castle who seems to reach out to her.

Meanwhile though, there are threats buried beneath the surface. Everything looks fine but there is a darkness bubbling underneath that puts Twylla’s life at risk. There are fairytales waking up which could mean the end not only for Twylla’s life in the castle as the prince’s betrothed but the lives for every single person in both Lormere and Tregellan.

…The Characters

“I know all about souls. Before I became Daunen Embodied I was the Sin Eater’s daughter.”

Twylla has spent the last few years believing she is the daughter of two gods reincarnated once more. She has dedicated her life to her gods, to her Queen and to her country, bringing the people hope from her presence.  She does her duties as she is asked, at least until Lief appears in her life. As Lief sheds light on some of the lies Twylla has wrapped around herself she starts to question everything. Twylla knows the castle isn’t safe, knows the Queen cannot be trusted, but with everything Lief is revealing it becomes even more dangerous for her within its halls.

One of the things Twylla struggles with the most is her religion. She has always believed in the gods but with Lief’s arrival she starts to question her faith. I loved the way this was written, all of Twylla’s thoughts were so deep and twisted as she struggled to reconcile her beliefs with what she is seeing with her own two eyes. Twylla is not a perfect character by any means, she can use threats and cruelty to turn people away, but she changes a lot in this book and I loved the journey she went on.

“I am not cunning…I’m good at seeing around obstacles is all.”

Lief is something of an unknown character to Twylla when he is first introduced. He is from another country and she cannot work out why the Queen has trusted him to guard her. But there’s something about Lief that draws her to him. He doesn’t know much about being a guard; he walks too close to her, always seems to have questions and always tries to engage her in conversation when he shouldn’t.

As a Tregellian Lief doesn’t believe in the gods, and it was interesting seeing through his eyes everything that happened to Twylla and everything the people of Lormere did to worship. The relationship between Lief and Twylla was a slow one to build. Twylla is still betrothed to the prince and she’s never had someone pay her the attention Lief does. She tries pushing him away but eventually there’s something about his warmth and personality she can’t avoid anymore.

“If I come to you, I want it to be because I am choosing you, for no reason other than that. I don’t want for to ever doubt it.”

The prince has been travelling for years and has only just returned home; he doesn’t believe in what his mother is doing and wants to change the country for the better. He reaches out to Twylla, tries to reconnect with her after his years away. He believes that with the two of them on the throne they can make the country great again.

There’s something of a love triangle in this book between Twylla, Lief and the prince, but in my mind it was never a real love triangle because from the beginning it was obvious who Twylla was more drawn to.

…The Setting

“In the stories of old, a hero is the one who sweeps in with a drawn sword and noble face, to kill the Dragon and free the princess. In the stories of old it never seems to dawn on the princess that she should be careful not to put herself at mercy of those who would do her ill in the first place.
I don’t live in the stories of old.”

The world this book was set in was richly described but what really set this book apart for me was the background details. The history of all the Kings and Queens who had sat on the throne before, the tension between Lormere and Tregellan from a decades old war, the Gods the people of Lormere have worshipped their whole lives and the myths and legends that are a part of that – myths and legends that still have their power today, though people have forgotten they tell the stories of very real people – and of course sin eating. Despite the fact that Twylla left her mother’s craft behind when she became Daunen Embodied much of her life still revolves around it. When she thinks of sins she thinks of the food her mother ate left on the coffins, when she thinks of her mistakes she thinks of things she learnt as her mother’s apprentice.

I loved this book just as much reading it the second time as the first. Although there isn’t much in the way of the plot the detail that goes into the character development, Twylla’s journey and her growth, and the world building is more than enough to keep you hooked until the very end.

What did you think of The Sin-Eater’s Daughter? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

37 thoughts on “The Sin-Eater’s Daughter

  1. Fantastic review! I’m really impressed that you manage to reread books in order to be prepared for its sequels. That is just insane speed, I tell ya’! 😀 I’m glad to hear that the experience was just as good as the first time you read this though. Would be pretty bad for your sequel if you had sudden distaste for this book! 😛 I also like the sound of the character’s personalities. The whole questioning their belief is definitely a nice touch (and from the sound of it, a well-done one too). Great review! 😀

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lashaan, and yeah I couldn’t remember anything that happened in the first book so I kind of needed to reread it before I could start the second one.
      It’s a solid book, and a great start to this series as well. I have re-read a few books before where it’s gotten worse and yeah it’s kind of then carried on into the sequels. I guess something like that happens every now and again.
      Everything about the character development was well done, which was a good thing because the plot was slow so it was really the characters that made the story.
      Thanks Lashaan! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the first time I’ve heard of this book and it sounds so interesting! I’m definitely not big on love triangles but even from your review I can tell it’s not much of one. And I do love books that have great character development and world building. Plus, the whole fact that Twylla can withstand poison and kill people with her touch is intriguing. It makes me think of Shatter Me. But that might have to do with the fact that I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately anyway 😂. Great review, Beth! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m surprised this is the first time you’ve heard of this one Melissa. I’ve seen it around before on WordPress, and before I started blogging on Goodreads.
      Yeah the love triangle wasn’t really a large part of the story, simply because it didn’t feel like a love triangle you know? The character development and world-building were amazing, definitely made up for the slow plot, and Twylla was a brilliant character as well. I guess in a way her power is like Juliette’s but in a different way. The only thing they really have in common is that their touch can kill.
      Thanks Melissa! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am too because from the comments on your review it seems like a book a lot of people have heard about. Might be because I don’t pay much attention on GR beyond adding books or reviews. 🙈
        It’s always good when a love triangle doesn’t really feel like one. Those usually work out for me. Yeah, I figured that was really the only way in which they were similar. Does it have the whole unable to turn off similarity like Juliette’s was in the beginning?
        You’re welcome, Beth!! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s been kind of floating around my mind a little recently. I read it ages ago and then saw a few more reviews on here which kind of inspired me to get back into the series again.
        No this one didn’t, which is why it worked for me. Most love triangles I don’t like are where the tension between the characters takes over from the plot or the individual character development and this wasn’t the case with this book at all.
        There is an explanation between the ability in this book but I don’t want to spoil anything because that explanation does turn out to be a pretty big plot point in the end. I guess you’ll have to read it to find out! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Funny enough I saw it on a few other blogs yesterday while blog hopping. And they were all positive reviews!
        I’m the same with love triangles I don’t like so that’s good to hear.
        Darn! Now I really do want to read it just to find out lol. I’ll definitely have to try to get to it. I wish there was one day a week I could dedicate completely to reading so that I can read everything I want to this year. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s funny how that happens like that sometimes, the second you notice it once and pay attention to it you seem to see it everywhere don’t you?
        I have a few love triangles that are exceptions to the rule and this is one of them so I’m sure it will be the same for you as well.
        Yep, you need to read this book. I’m the same actually. I try and read as much as I can but it never seems to be enough. There are still so many books on my to-read list! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Definitely! I’m like “Oh that seems like an interesting book. I think I’ll add it to my TBR.” and then suddenly I see it everywhere. 😂
        Same and not to mention that TBRs just keep growing. It’s great but at the same time I wish I could get through more of my list lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I always feel it’s the universes way of telling you to pick it up and start reading as soon as possible. I actually managed to get my hands on a copy of the last book in the series which I am hoping to start soon (for some reason it was available in Waterstones two weeks before its release date!)
        We need more time for reading, that’s the only solution! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely review, Beth! I have seen this book around quite a while before, but haven’t read it yet. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it and that despite the slow plot, there was still interesting character development and world-building to keep you hooked. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! I think I’ve seen this one around a little before, it was one I’d been meaning to re-read because I wanted to get started on The Sleeping Prince. Luckily it was just as good the second time around as it was the first. There was a lot to like about this book, and the character development and world building were just amazing! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s really funny, I have been putting off reading the Sleeping Prince because I couldn’t really remember anything that had happened in The Sin Eaters Daughter! 🙂 I really enjoyed this book and I’ll also hopefully get around to reading the sequel sometime soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard about this book but never really looked into it. The concept of the book seems interesting, especially when paired with the character development, setting, and background. Maybe book 2 will be more exciting plot-wise? Either way, I now want to find out for myself. 🙂 Great review and thanks for sharing!
    Happy reading!

    Jessica @ Pore Over the Pages

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does seem to be a book few people have heard of and actually know what it’s about, which kind of surprises me a little if I’m being honest.
      Still it was brilliant, and yes there is plenty more excitement plot-wise in the second book which more than makes up for the time spend building the world in this one.
      That’s all right, I’m glad you enjoyed my review! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was a while ago now but considering I couldn’t remember much from the first book a re-read was definitely needed. 🙂 Luckily I enjoyed this one just as much the second time around as the first!
      I’m about halfway through The Sleeping Prince now. I should have it read and my review up tomorrow, and actually at the moment I’m pretty excited for The Scarecrow Queen too! 😀 ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.