Monday, 30 May 2016

ARC Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie.

This one is a little overdue, and I'm sorry for that, but nevertheless I hope you enjoy my review of what truly was a riveting fantasy. Huge thanks to Alice at Harper360 for the review copy!


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. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always 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 charming-yet-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.

I loved Burning Glass from the start. Purdie immediately presents the reader with beautiful descriptions of gorgeous scenery and a vast world where children with abilities are brought to live and train in a convent, until the day where one of them may be chosen for the dangerous yet honourable task of being the king's sovereign auraseer. The role requires not only intense training and skill, but a concentration and attention to detail unmatched by anyone. To fail means to die.

Sonya lacks all these qualities, a stubborn brash girl who has never wanted this life and ran from it for as long as she could. But from that it is her actions alone that place her in the position she least wanted to attend.

I loved Sonya as our main character. Yes she was stubborn and brash at times, but she was also caring and loyal. She held her friends as close as she could and nothing she did was truly out of spite but instead out of compassion; out of a belief that there is good in everyone. That said, the course of the book changes her in quite drastic ways, but it's her growth that was the most interesting part of the story.

Prince Anton was another character I quickly fell in love with, despite his cold and secretive nature during the book's beginnings. Though he has his own motivations he truly does care for Sonya and that was an element that was quite rightly and beautifully captured.

The story was action packed and riveting, keeping me glued to every page. My only issue with it was King Valko. I really, really wanted to love Valko, I did. I'm a sucker for love triangles and I was really excited for what this book could bring to the stereotype, but the romance between Sonya and Valko was sorely lacking. Honestly, Valko didn't even seem human at most points in the book, more simply an evil dictator. His character grew to annoy me, and his comeuppance was both predictable and too easy. One of my huge dislikes in Shadow and Bone by Laini Taylor was how Alina so quickly managed her powers, and the same can be said here.

I still really enjoyed this book however and devoured it in a matter of days. I give it an overall rating of four stars and am highly anticipating the sequel.

Thanks for reading!

Holly @TheArtsShelf

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