Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie. After you’ve read my thoughts, don’t forget to enter the giveaway and check out the other tour stops!
I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass #1
Published by Harper Collins on March 1, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Amazon, - B&N, - iBooks
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 was much more political intrigue than action and adventure, but that was something I really loved about it. Set in a world that is very much like Imperial Russia, Burning Glass tells the story of a teen who has tried to hide her abilities to see and sense auras (or feelings) her whole life. Auraseeers are property of the crown and once I understood that, it became clear that not only would Sonya have to fight to control her own power, she would have to struggle with carving out her own identity in a setting where she was viewed as property. Sonya quickly discovers that she is not trained enough for her new role and she also discovers that she has stepped right in the middle of a deadly conflict between the emperor and his brother. There was some great back and forth between the brothers, and the author almost made me feel sorry for the emperor. As the idea of a revolution takes hold, the central issue becomes who to trust. In that way, the story is very twisty because, in some respects, Sonya is a bit of an unreliable narrator since her feelings may or may not be her own.
The way that Sonya’s lack of control over her power plays into her relationships with people was one of my favorite things about this book. The fact that she cannot control or stop people’s feelings from bleeding into her own emotions means that not only will you not trust your own feelings, but others won’t trust your feelings, either. This comes in to play particularly with her feelings for the emperor and his brother. I urge readers to stop and consider that, because of this, the term “love triangle” cannot apply in this case. (Just because it involves three people doesn’t automatically make it one, folks.) Sonya’s gift can make her very powerful, but it also opens her up to emotional manipulation and that is really where the most dire conflict was in this story, at least for me. It also makes her interactions with the emperor much more sinister. The good part about a heroine who is basically a total, untrained mess, is that we see her development throughout the story. I always think that it’s much more interesting to read a book about someone who struggles rather than a person who is already powerful. Burning Glass was everything I love; a rich setting, court intrigue, romance, and a heroine that I truly enjoyed getting to know. I am happy to see that this is the first in a series because I wasn’t quite ready to leave Sonya, and I definitely want to know what the future has in store for her!
10 winners will receive a finished copy of BURNING GLASS, US Only.
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