Hi! I got a little ahead on my reading and I’m so glad because this book has been one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. I learned of the book on Twitter, actually, from the author advertising it as an ‘LGBT YA dark fantasy’, which intrigued me immediately. Without further ado, here’s my third review for Pride month!
Title: Daughter of the Burning City
Author: Amanda Foody
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Pub date: July 25, 2017
I received this book as an ARC from Bookcon in NYC. This is an honest review.
I have to admit that the cover of this book intrigued me the most, because of the quote on the front: ‘wicked, wicked to the core, the city will burn forevermore’. It has to have one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen and it is my favorite color, which is purple! Aside from the appealing cover, the story is about a girl named Sorina who is part of traveling festival called Gomorrah, that offers different types of acts. It’s kind of like a carney circus type of thing. Sorina is a jynx-worker and she is the only person in the festival who is an illusion-worker, which means that she can create people through her mind and they become real, as well as make people see whatever she wants them too. She refers to the people she creates as her ‘family’ and the story follows her investigation as one of her illusions is killed, which should be impossible.
I liked this book. A lot. I thought that the story really kept me on the edge of my seat. I did not expect it to end the way it did and the hunt for the killer was what a majority of the book was about. I enjoyed learning about the different types of jynx-workers and how the happenings of the festival worked. It was unique in that I haven’t read a book like this before and the murder mystery reminded me a little bit of Stalking Jack the Ripper (which is one of my favorites: read it if you haven’t!). I thought Sorina was a likable main character who had such concern for her family that she would do anything in order to protect them. I was afraid this book was going to be a lot like Caraval, but it wasn’t! It has a completely new story and it was very magical. That is the one word I can put to this book: it was a magical experience that has a lot of different elements contributing to that magical feeling.
Another reason I picked up this book was because of the mention of LGBT themes and I have to say… I was a little bit disappointed there. It is mentioned that Nicoleta has dated women in the past, but then there is a gap without mention of anything related to the community. The only other mention of an LGBT theme would be with Luca, where he says something that made me think he is demisexual. For those who don’t know, demisexual is when a person must form a strong emotional bond to someone before they experience sexual attraction. Upon further thought and clarification, I think he’s a mixture of a few identities/orientations on the LGBT spectrum. Luca could be considered a main character, though, so the theme WAS there, even if it was only mentioned a few times.
I would recommend this book to fans of fantasies such as Caraval and Stalking Jack the Ripper, as I mentioned earlier. I think it’s unique story was easy to get immersed in and I thought Sorina’s jinx-worker powers were cool, as well as the rest of the jynx-worker powers, for that matter. If you are looking for a book that always keeps you guessing, take a trip to the Gomorrah Festival!
Happy reading! ~ Taylor