The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

sin eater

The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1)

By: Melinda Salisbury

Genre: Fantasy

Expected Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Bang Bang Rating: 2/5

eARC provided by Edelweiss


Twylla is the Daunen Embodied, the daughter of the Gods Naegt and Daeg and the crown’s executioner.  One touch from Twylla can send criminals to their death.  Twylla is betrothed to the crowned prince but is in love with her guard.  Bum bum bum…

Dang, That was Good

  • There were a couple of twists and turns that made me gasp but that’s all.
  • The fairy tale of the Sleeping Prince was intriguing.
  • It’s a good religion discussion.  The people of Lormere have a strong faith and believe their gods control their lives.  If they fall ill, it’s because the gods are angry with them-that sort of thing.  The people of Tregellan believe in science and free will.
  • I like the cover.

That’s Too Bad, Dang

  • Slow.  Not much happens the first half of the book.  Salisbury is trying to build a backstory and love story between Twylla and her guard Lief to avoid instalove.  I think Salisbury does an okay job with the backstory and the fairy tale elements.  The story of Naeht and Daeg and the Sleeping Prince was very interesting and decently developed.  The love story, however, falls short.  I didn’t feel any connection between them so I wasn’t buying the love story.  It picks up tremendously in the second half but everything happened TOO fast.  There needed to be a better balance.
  • World Building…UGH. The world building was nonexistent.  There were three lands and a castle but I wasn’t able to visualize it.  This is largely due to the story being written in Twylla’s POV and she’s confined to her room for three fourths of the book.  She leaves the castle once.  This is a fantasy book.  A totally made up land.  The reader needs to be able to see it as they read.
  • The Characters Were Meh.  Twylla is a sheep and she grows but her growth isn’t written well.  You feel sorry for Twylla because she can’t touch anyone but the royal family and her betrothed has been gone for two years.  No one wants to be anywhere near her so she’s alone which means she’s in her head a lot.  But her head is a snoozefest.  Lief, Twylla’s guard, he’s just a run-of-the-mill suitor.  Nothing special about him.  The queen is the same evil queen we’ve seen a million times.  The King is rarely in the novel.  The prince, however, was quite a mystery in the first half.  He was different than many princes in YA fantasy-at first. He fell short in the end.
  • The Harry Potter Syndrome.  The Harry Potter Syndrome is when characters suddenly have these epiphanies without much background knowledge.   I call it this because in the first two Harry Potters, Harry a muggle who didn’t even know he was a wizard, had these grand revelations to save the day.  In the later books, Hermione helps Harry figure things out but because we assume Hermione has read every book in the library; it’s okay when she saves the day. As I stated before, Twylla is a sheep, she believes everything people tell her.  She’s also illiterate so she’s never read a book but in the end of the novel, she suddenly has everything figured out-COME ON!
  • Totally Predictable.  The second act was really formulaic.  I saw everything coming and I even guessed some plot lines early in the novel.


YA fantasy is a saturated market and authors have to find a way to set themselves apart.  When you are in the same class as The Winner’s Curse Series; Kiss of Deception Series; Throne of Glass Series; and now an Ember in Ashes, you can’t have a weak heroine.  You have to have strong world building.  You have to write internal struggles.  The writing has to be beautiful.  You have to have crumbs all over the novel that make a piece of delicious toast at the end.  You have to step up your game.

Sin Eater’s Daughter had a great starting point with the fairy tales and legends and the creation vs. evolution debate but the weak story, bland characters, and predictable plot was the cause of its demise.


One thought on “The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

  1. Thanks for sharing this review! I was intrigued in this one solely based on the title and the cover, but now that I’ve read the synopsis and your review I think I’ll skip it. As you say, there are so many outstanding YA fantasy series to read…

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