Cover image for The Sin Eater's daughter
The Sin Eater's daughter
Salisbury, Melinda, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2015.

Physical Description:
312 pages ; 22 cm
For four years sixteen-year-old Twylla has lived in the castle of Lormere, the goddess-embodied, whose touch can poison and kill, and hence the Queen's executioner--but when Prince Merek, her betrothed, who is immune to her touch returns to the kingdom she finds herself caught up in palace intrigues, unsure if she can trust him or the bodyguard who claims to love her.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Audubon Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Clarence Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Kenmore Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Lancaster Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Fantasy
Orchard Park Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

16-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies - a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Author Notes

MELINDA SALISBURY was born in the 1980s in a landlocked city, before escaping to live by the sea. As a child, she genuinely thought Roald Dahl's Matilda was her biography. When she's not trying to unlock the hidden avenues of her mind, she's reading, writing, or travelling. She lives in the UK and can be found on Twitter as @AHintofMystery , though be warned she tweets often.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Debut author Salisbury has served up a tale as ruthless as it is compelling. As a child, Twylla was handpicked by the queen of Lormere to marry her son, after his sister and betrothed dies. In addition to being engaged to the prince, Twylla is destined to be Lormere's Sin Eater, and at 17, she now lives permanently in the castle, embodying a goddess. But her powerful role comes with an awful price: Twylla proves her godliness by demonstrating her immunity to morningsbane, a deadly toxin, every month. Owing to the sheer volume of poison in her body, she can kill another human with a single touch, and now the queen employs her as executioner, against her will. For all her privilege, Twylla is a pawn, isolated and despised. As Twylla struggles to unravel complicated allegiances, as well as her own destiny, she is forced to face some unpalatable truths about her beliefs. In Twylla's world, the crosses and double-crosses come fast and often, which keeps the pages quickly turning in this dark fantasy.--Dean, Kara Copyright 2015 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This dark fantasy, Salisbury's debut, transports readers to a kingdom ruled by a terrifying mad queen, the product of generations of incest, who has her enemies hunted down and torn apart by hounds. Seventeen-year-old Twylla, the prince's betrothed and the human embodiment of the daughter of the gods, endures her duties at court-which include executing traitors with a mere touch of her poisonous skin-in hopes that money sent home will better her younger sister's life. Though the clear-sighted prince hopes to enlist her as an ally against his cruel mother, Twylla begins to fall for her fearless and skeptical new guard, Lief, who reveals a shocking twist about Twylla's position. In a triumph of characterization, Salisbury makes the path of duty represented by the prince and that of passion represented by Lief equally compelling. In addition to creating vivid and varied characters, Salisbury has a talent for worldbuilding, populating her world with shiver-inducing legends, original customs, and political and religious debates. First in a trilogy, this novel leaves many questions unresolved, but the open ending is nonetheless satisfying. Ages 14-up. Agent: Claire Wilson, Rogers, Coleridge & White. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Seventeen-year-old Twylla has a gift and a curse as the embodiment of a goddess on Earth: she is worshipped and she can kill men in seconds with the briefest of touches. Twylla's mother is a Sin Eater, one who eats symbolic foods of the deceased person's sins at their grave site; Twylla is set to pursue this path until the Queen of Lormere takes her from her home to become the goddess Daunen Embodied. Every month, the teen ingests a poisonous substance that reinforces her position as the goddess's personification and the kingdom's executioner, and every month Twylla becomes more isolated. Her only hope of escape lies with her future marriage to Lormere's prince, Merek. Possible deliverance comes in the form of a new guard who joins her service-Lief is different from the others. He does not shrink away as his mistress draws near; he engages in conversation with her and asks questions. As the protagonist grows closer to Merek and Lief, she becomes more aware of how truly trapped she is in her role with the Queen-and how much she will have to sacrifice to break free. Salisbury's concept is not new: Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me (HarperCollins, 2011) and Kristin Cashore's Graceling (Houghton Harcourt, 2008) have similar heroines with tactile killing powers. However, her luscious world-building and mythology make this fantasy a worthy read. Twylla is strong and sensible, and teen fans of royal intrigue titles will be rooting for her.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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