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
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Fantasy
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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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 8 Up-Part dark fantasy and part romance, this is the story of Twylla, whose destiny has been predetermined. Once in line to become the Kingdom of Lormere's next sin eater, she is handpicked by the ruthless queen to be the Goddess embodied. Her new path will let her marry the prince but also deems her the kingdom's executioner. Her divine powers let her withstand poison but make her touch deadly, allowing her to be a pawn in the queen's treacherous games. When a new guard is assigned to protect Twylla, her 2eyes are slowly opened to the world she is living in. However, as lines blur, she is left to stand on her own and must fight for her destiny. While the middle of the story sags a bit under the details of Twylla's romantic trysts and the end seems underdeveloped, fans of romantic fantasy will be able to overlook these slight issues. Narrator Amy Shields does a fine job with tone to engage listeners. VERDICT Purchase this where fantasy and fairy tales are in demand.-Rebecca Flannery, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon, CT © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



When I first came to the castle, many, many moons ago, I was awed by it, by the decor and the beauty and the richness of it all. Everything is faultless and pristine; everything is kept ordered and beautiful. The roses in the tall crystal vases are all cut to the same length, all the exact same color and. There is no room in the castle for things that are not perfect. My mother used to say that gold is not all that glitters. She was right, sometimes other things do glitter. Eyes glitter, at least until the life leaves them. My guards walk carefully at my sides, holding their bodies rigid and keeping a good distance between me and them. If I raised an arm to reach for one of them, they would recoil in horror. If I tripped, or fainted, if reflex sabotaged them and made them reach to save me, it would be a death sentence for them. They would find themselves with their throats slit where they stood as an act of mercy. Compared to a slow death by my poisonous skin, a slit throat would be lucky."Are you ready, my lady?" Dorin, the elder of my guards, asks, his face eerily pale in the torchlight. I nod and we walk to the stairwell, Dorin at my right and the second guard, Rivak, to my left. And then we descend to the dungeons where the prisoners wait. For me. Excerpted from The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.