Review | Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody


Title: Daughter of the Burning City Author: Amanda Foody

Genre/s: Fantasy, Young Adult.

Published on September 7th 2017 by Harlequin U.K. (Previously in the US on July 25th 2017 by Harlequin Teen)

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Daughter of the Burning City follows sixteen year old protagonist Sorina and her life as part of the dark and wondrous Gomorrah Festival. Sorina is different from others in the festival though as she has a rare kind of jinx magic. She is an illusion-worker. Creating illusions is her talent. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show. Suddenly thing start to happen that Sorina never believed possible and she seeks help in figuring out what is going on.

"Walk the line between normal and monstrous."

To begin with I didn't really get sucked in to the story straight away as I found it rather confusing to figure out what was going on. I think this was because you are kind of thrown straight in the deep end and immersed in this wondrous world. So many things are happening straight away that it's hard to get into and keep up; but as you keep reading it's like you enter into the world yourself. I was about a hundred pages in and I was like; "Oh my god I am in love with these characters and this is so good!" It was like I had a revelation and finally realised how much I was enjoying reading the story.

"The festival comes to life in a rush of opium smoke, the blinking lights of dancers, the smell of pastries that stick to your fingers, the thundering of the fireworks."

The only word I can think of to describe Amanda Foody's writing is magical. The thing I think that I enjoyed most about this book was the fact that the more you read the more you get pulled in. It's like I was walking around Gomorrah experiencing everything for myself. The world building in my opinion was really fabulous and I found it very easy to picture everything. I've been very much enjoying books based around circus/festivals lately and this book only added to how much I enjoy the concept. I do have to say however that I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped to. Even though it was a very enjoyable read I just felt like there was something missing. As I was reading I couldn't help but recognise how well this was written and also how well this concept was executed which made me want to love it more than I did. I think this might be one of those books that I will enjoy more the second time around. But honestly don't get me wrong this was absolutely fabulous and I can't really come up with a reason why it fell short for me. I've decided to give it four stars mainly because it took me a while to get into and the fact that I feel like there was something stopping me from becoming fully invested in the story as I was reading it.

"...I will be alone. The certainty of it weighs in my soul like a stone lodged in my throat. I cannot breathe."

The characters the author created were very intriguing and so well developed throughout. I've never read about a main character quite like Sorina and the mystery around her was what kept me reading throughout those first few chapters. I'm very glad that I did keep going as it got better and better. I loved how Amanda Foody seamlessly weaved in so much variety into her characters. It was refreshing to read in a fantasy as i often feel the genre lacks that a lot of the time.

Overall I highly recommend this book and am extremely excited to read more from Amanda Foody in the future. It's definitely worth the read. This whimsical, twisty tale is full of shocking plot turns that will keep you constantly on the edge of your seat.

4 Stars

Early digital copy received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Sophie Elaina | England, United Kingdom | sophieelainabooks@gmail.com

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