Saturday 9 September 2017

Clare Reviews: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Daughter of the Burning CityTitle: Daughter of the Burning City
Author: Amanda Foody
Source: Received via Netgalley for honest review
Format: ARC
Pages: 384
Rating: 5/5
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.
But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.
Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

It's been a while since I've read a book that left me so breathless with anticipation! From the depravities and delights of the Gomorrah festival itself to the thoroughly lovable characters and tense plot I was thoroughly entranced.

Sorina is one of my favourite lead characters. She is tough (downright scarily ruthless at one point in the story) but loving and trusting. The care she had for those she loved was so wonderful and made it lovely being inside her mind. Before starting the book I was unsure how I'd view her "illusions" - were they people in their own right or would they seem more like figments of her imagination. It was definitely the former. I loved reading about each and every one of her family and felt like I got to know them very well. There were some, like Nicoletta that had maybe a stronger presence than others - but they were all delightful to read about. And Luca was just an incredible love interest - the kind you can fall in love with as you read and not too perfect!

The central mystery kept me on my toes the whole way through. Much like Sorina I would swing between options - thinking it was an outsider then thinking it had to be someone from the festival itself. And even there the number of possible guilty persons was starting to make me distrust everyone. It was so incredibly tense never knowing what would happen next and I was genuinely saddened by any death in the book (I actually cried at one point). 

The world Amanda Foody has created here is maybe my favourite part of the whole book. It's not just the festival - although that felt so tangible I could almost taste the smoke - it was also the surrounding world. And I need more of it. Whilst this story is very self-contained and definitely doesn't feel unfinished - it is still a world I want to spend more and more time in. I am intrigued by the political side of the world for example and would definitely read a book with a different main character set in the same world. 

Whether it's this world or a new one though I am incredibly excited to read more of Amanda Foody's books. This was delightful. And the representation was excellent. There was a bisexual main character - the love interest was demisexual. And both were never a big issue. It was so lovely for me to read a bi main character just being. If you're at all interested in fantasy or festivals or illusions then I highly, highly recommend Daughter of the Burning City. 

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! Daughter of the Burning City sounds like a fantastic story. Now I really want to read it.