“Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.
She’s the executioner.
As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.
But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship and unlike the prince, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.
However, a treacherous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?”
Ok, this is another belated review because sometimes the hype around a book gives me pause. Also, I had to wait for this to be available at my library. But still. I tried to go into this read with an open mind, yet almost immediately I knew exactly how this book would turn out.
We are presented with an increasingly popular YA trope: a girl whose touch is lethal. And as always, there’s a ridiculous love triangle. Following where Kristin Cashore and Tahereh Mafi have already tread (and more successfully at that), Salisbury may craft new details, but the formula remains the same. I did enjoy those details – the concept that Twylla was the Goddess embodied and sin eating.
My favorite aspect of this book is the same thing that I’ve seen many reviewers take issue with: the ultimate portrayal of religion. A rival kingdom values science and democracy, and the dichotomy between science and religion was of most interest to me (although it wasn’t a huge focus of the book). But I truly enjoyed how religion was treated, especially towards the end. (If you’re wondering, it’s negative). Characters felt flat, plot twists weren’t that twisted, and the reader is left set up for a sequel I have no desire to read. This is a clear case of being a mindful consumer: the cover is beautiful and loads of hype put it on your radar, but that doesn’t guarantee a quality read.
This has come across rather negative, but I take these reviews seriously, and want to provide good information to fellow readers. If you’re still intrigued to read this, you absolutely should! Just maybe borrow it from your library first before making the financial commitment.
Goodreads Rating: 2.5 / 3 stars
What are your thoughts on the “girls who’ll kill with a single touch” trope? Let me know down below…I might put up a Deadly Ladies recommendation list soon!