The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater's Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury
Published in 2015 by Scholastic.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: borrowed from a friend.

Genre: YA fantasy (?).

My rating:

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 its 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 and the queen’s, some truths should not be told…


I’ve seen reviews for The Sin Eater’s Daughter and I was wary of picking it up (especially since it’s a new series and I said I’d finish some of them first before starting new ones), but then I got the chance to borrow it and, well, I can hardly say no to free books, can I? I’m glad I read it, it’s a quick, entertaining read.

I’ve been thinking about this review for a while now and… I’m having some trouble recalling what the story was really about. That’s never a good sign, especially since only about a month has passed since I finished the book. I know I have terrible book amnesia (character and place names just evaporate, I have to check Goodreads all the time when I’m writing reviews) but this is pretty extreme even for me.

Anyway, I liked the book when I was reading it. I finished it in about two days, and I’m pretty interested in the sequel. I KNOW, you’ve never read a more lukewarm review in your entire life, right? Well, there were some interesting elements here, don’t get me wrong.

I was impressed with Twylla’s mother against my better judgement – she’s the Sin Eater from the title (which is a bit weird because you’d think the Sin Eater would have a larger role, right, if she’s in the title?) and she’s massive because she eats dead people’s sins. You see, when a person dies, their family sets out food which represents their sins – for pride, for beating their loved ones, for gluttony… And she eats them all, no matter how large the feast – and the soul of the deceased can’t rest if she doesn’t do this. So that was an interesting bit of folklore.

But Twylla and her new guard, Lief, as well as the prince, to whom Twylla is engaged (warning: a triangle of the amorous kind!), were… like all the other YA fantasy protagonists I’ve read before. I mean, maybe I’m just a super difficult customer (I am, I know I am and I try not to let that influence my ratings and reviews, but I can’t really help myself) but I feel like there was nothing special about these people! (Okay, there was a sadistic, sociopathic queen who was a rather nice villain but still.) They did things that I expected of them when I expected them and I really like the unexpected in books. like twists and surprises. And this story just… fell short, sadly.


Have you read The Sin Eater’s Daughter? What did you think?

Do you like being surprised by characters and plot or do you like knowing where you’re going? 

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • I admit I bought this book solely because of the cover (though the fact that the ebook was on sale for like a couple of bucks helped a lot), but sadly I’ve probably seen more reviews for this book like yours versus more positive reviews. It really sounds like the plotting and character development fell apart. A shame the story doesn’t live up to its jaw dropping cover.

    • I KNOW, the cover is gorgeous. The sequel also has a great cover and I kind of want to read it but I also don’t. We’ll see.
      Yeah, I’ve seen mediocre reviews, too, but I was still tempted to see what it was all about. I thought the story has potential but it just wasn’t developed. Maybe in book 2?

  • MissBookiverse

    I read this book 2 years ago and was pretty disappointed as well. I didn’t mind the characters but I thought the story fell flat, especially at the ending. I really liked the atmosphere and the whole premise of the Sin Eater and the protagonist being this chosen one whose touch can kill. I never felt inclined to pick up the sequel/companion though.

    • Yeah, the story had a lot of potential but the execution wasn’t the best. The characters were flat, I think this is a great way of putting it, and there was a lot of info dumping. A pity, no?

      • MissBookiverse

        Absolutely, the world itself and the culture had so much potential!

  • I was initially really excited about this one but unfortunately, most of the reviews I’ve read for this one line up with yours. The concept seemed so unique, it’s a shame that it’s execution didn’t deliver. Lovely review nonetheless my friend!! :)

    • Thanks, Micheline! :) I know, I was excited, too, mostly because of the gorgeous cover. And I thought the story had a lot of potential but it just didn’t deliver. If only I loved the characters or something! But not all books are created equal, right? :)

  • It is SOOO Hard to write reviews for books you were just lukewarm about. When you don’t have super strong feelings one way or the other.

    Also, ugh for love triangles.

    • Yep, I always struggle with those the most. If I strongly dislike a book, I can rant, at least. I’ve been thinking about only reviewing amazing books (like 4 and 5 stars) on the blog, but that somehow doesn’t seem genuine…

      And yes, I know, an unnecessary love triangle shows a serious lack of imagination, I think.

  • Hm, I’ve got this to read too. Your ambivalence kind of makes me more curious, but less interested, if you see what I mean…

    • Yeah, you want to see for yourself what the book is all about but you’re not in a hurry to read it? :) Eh, it’s a fast read, that’s for sure, and the premise IS interesting, but the execution isn’t really great.

  • I ended up giving this one three stars because I felt like it had so much potential, but really felt largely underdeveloped. I wanted to like it more, but felt underwhelmed by it.

    • YES, that’s it exactly. It could have been great! I imagine that if it was a standalone instead of a series (I don’t even know – is it a duology or a trilogy), it would work better – less info dumping and meandering.