Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Title: Burning Glass
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Katherine Tegen via Edelweiss

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. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t 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 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.

BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
Review by Nara

It's unfortunate, but it seems to be a bit of a trend with a lot of the debut young adult high fantasies I've been reading recently that the plot is quite generic. Basically, the trend seems to be a predictable plot coupled with terrible world building and a somewhat mediocre romance that overshadows the actual interesting aspects of the plot. I'm definitely hoping this trend does not continue.

The main character Sonya was kind of....useless? I mean, she has this incredible power that could be used so effectively, and instead it's used against her by various people in the novel. She can't control it at all, not that she even appears to have tried learning how to do so, and it honestly seems to be much more of a burden than an actual useful power. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series, but if I do, I certainly would like it if Sonya became at least slightly more in control.

That being said, there were some aspects of the novel which were enjoyable. One of the love interests, Anton (the prince) was actually quite a likeable character if you look at him as a standalone character rather than as part of the romance. And I did like how Purdie set the love triangle up so that it was initially difficult to know who to trust of the two brothers, and who to ship Sonya with.

Overall, I feel like I probably wouldn't recommend this book to you unless you're okay with a romance dominant plot and a whiny, kind of annoying protagonist. I'm going to say I did still like the book overall, but possibly not enough to continue with the series and almost definitely not enough to read it again.

Liked it
Overall: 6/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 5/5