Review: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Daughter of the Burning City
Author: Amanda Foody
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mystery
Release Date: July 25th 2017
Book Length: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Daughter of the Burning City was nothing like what I was expecting. For some strange reason I thought it would be similar to Caraval and The Night Circus but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Daughter is an incredibly fresh debut filled with strange wonders and creepy illusions.

The story follows sixteen year old Sorina, ‘The Girl Who Sees Without Eyes’ as she is known as. Sorina lives in Gomorrah, a travelling circus that travels far and wide showcasing all things weird and wonderful. Sorina is an illusion worker who created and stars in her own Freak Show. As stated Sorina has no eyes but is somehow able to see through her ‘jinx-work’ illusions. Ever since she was little Sorina has created illusions which ended up becoming her family, for example there’s Crown who has fingernails growing from his body were hair should be or Blister, a chubby one year old who breathes fire.

Sorina and her family of ‘freaks’ provide entertainment for the many citizens who come to see the delights of Gomorrah but her illusions are just that illusions, that it until one of them is murdered. Stricken with grief and unable to understand how a figment of her imagination can be killed Sorina enlists the help of Luca, a gossip-worker whose jinx-work is that he cannot be killed, they begin an investigation to uncover the murderer.

I was excited for a little mystery being mixed into my fantasy and was expecting to be gripped from the beginning. The pages were beautifully filled with imagination and I’m happy to say we had a diverse set of characters including POC and my personal favourite: characters who were demisexual. Definitely something I would love to see more of in YA books.

Throughout the book I found my attention wavering and a big part of this was the lack of connection I felt with the characters. I also didn’t care for the romance but that have been because I didn’t really understand Sorina. Sorina was the girl without eyes but I’m still not sure how she was able to ‘see’ using her jinx-work, it wasn’t explained very well. As well as the lack of connection with characters I found the plot lagged halfway through and I found the solution to the plot-twist at the end disappointing. Daughter of the Burning City was a book I was sure to love but I’m saddened to say that it just wasn’t the book for me.

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  1. Ooooh, this one sounds really good. I hadn't heard of it, but now I really want to read it!

    Glad to have found your fun blog :)

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment and for visiting Susan!

  2. I've been waiting for this book to come out for quite some time, since the plot sounded so interesting. I'm sorry it wasn't as good as you expected it to be! I may give this one a try eventually, but I'm in no rush now haha. Great review, Cody! :)

    1. Yeah it's such a shame when a book isn't as good as you want it to be, damn the hype!
      You'll have to let me know what you think of it when you read it. xx


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