Daughter of the Burning City is perfect for lovers of the Micah Grey trilogy by Laura Lam, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern or Caraval by Stephanie Garber; it’s full of original magic, characters to love & loathe, & a setting that will blow your mind. This alluring & captivating story was one of my favourite 2017 reads & I’m devastated that it’s a standalone.
This book contains mild gore & scenes that some readers may find upsetting.
I read Daughter of the Burning City almost a month ago so my review may be a little messy – I’ll hope you’ll forgive me. I never usually wait this long to write a review but life has got in the way of reading & reviewing over the past few weeks – something which I’m working hard to change. Despite the time between me finishing the book & starting this review, I can still remember how enticing this gorgeous novel was; it felt totally original, especially with the magical abilities that some of the characters possessed, & the world-building was phenomenal. The plot was clever & full of twists, & the mystery of it kept me guessing right until the very end.
I started reading as much as I do now whilst I was in hospital, at a time when I was desperate to experience places outside of my isolation room, which is why I think I am such a big lover of good world-building… a lot of people say that characters or plot are the most important things to them, but for me, when reading fantasy or science fiction, a crap plot line or irritating characters can be tolerated if the setting of the book is creative enough. The world that Amanda has created for this story was exceptional; I was able to close my eyes & picture the smoke surrounding the Gomorrah Festival; I could almost smell the smells of a typical carnival; & at times I felt like I could reach out & feel the silk of the performance tents. Honestly, I cannot praise Amanda enough for the incredible world that she’s pulled out of her head & I hope that Daughter of the Burning City gets turned into a film one day just so I can see the Gomorrah Festival on the big screen (wouldn’t it be amazing if the film became as big as Harry Potter & we ended up with a theme park that is the Gomorrah Festival!!!!).
Okay, so I liked the world-building – could you tell? But that wasn’t the only thing that made this book fabulous; the characters were great too. Sorina, our main character, is feisty & smart, with the most incredible magical ability I think I’ve ever read about – Sorina is able to create people, illusions, in her mind & make them real; she can control these people or allow them to live their lives as if they were any other person… on top of this Sorina is also able to manipulate the space around her to create very large & very impressive illusions that can fool almost everyone. Using her abilities, Sorina created a family for herself & together they put on the Freak Show of the Gomorrah Festival; no one can tell that her creations are just illusions, apart from Sorina, but when one of her family members ends up murdered Sorina starts to question everything she thought she knew about her abilities.
I won’t talk too much about the other characters in the book as I don’t want to do anything that may cause you to work out part of the plot; but I will promise you that all of the characters are fabulous. Sorina’s adoptive father runs the Gomorrah Festival, & so he is vastly intelligent & fiercely protective of Sorina. The woman that has been like a mother to Sorina is the type of character you wish could give you a cuddle when you’re sad – she was so loving & supportive, & just generally a really great character. A young man who Sorina befriends during her investigation into the murder of one of her illusions is unbelievably swoon-worthy; he has an amazing magical ability, but he’s also smart & witty, & with the occasional sarcastic remark he’s practically perfect. Finally, Sorina’s family of illusions is made up of all different types of people & together they really do make up the perfect family; each character is totally individual & I loved all of them greatly.
As for the plot of this wonderful book, it follows Sorina as she tries to work out who, or what, is murdering her family of illusions; this book is, at its core, a mystery thriller, with mild gore & enough twists to earn itself the comparison to a roller coaster. I honestly was so shocked by the finale, & never did I even consider that the book could possibly end how it did. Daughter of the Burning City was crafted as well as any adult mystery thriller, with so much detail & so many different possibilities; I genuinely loved this book & if you haven’t read it yet – then what the hell are you doing with your life?! You can purchase you own copy using the links below! If you use the Amazon.co.uk or Book Depository links to make a purchase I will receive a small fee at no cost to you, so please consider doing so!
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