Thursday, February 25, 2016

ARC Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Burning Glass
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass (Book 1)
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books (March 1, 2016)

Description: Red Queen meets Shadow and Bone in a debut fantasy about a girl forced to use her gift for sensing—and absorbing—other people’s feelings to protect the empire from assassins. Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, Burning Glass captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s quest for redemption.

In Riaznin, it’s considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya—girls with a rare form of synesthesia—to serve as the emperor’s personal protector, constantly scanning for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.

After the queen’s murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya’s power is reckless and hard to control. She’s often carried away by the intense passion of others.

And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.

My Thoughts: Sonya is a young woman with a rare talent. She is an empath called an auraseer. All auraseers are property of the emperor and are trained to protect the emperor from threats. Sonya, however, wasn't found and brought for training when her empathy first manifested. Her parents gave her to gypsies to raise and hide from the emperor. She was found at seventeen and sent for training at a pretty crucial time for the empire.

The old emperor has died and the son everyone thought dead has taken the throne. Also, the new emperor's mother was recently poisoned to death and and the auraseer who should have spotted the threat was killed. Through a variety of circumstances, a barely trained Sonya now has the job of protecting the new emperor from threats.

She finds herself owned by a tyrannical young man who is also strongly charismatic. She has a very hard time not being swept up in his emotions. Luckily, the emperor has a brother who helps her cope. Of course, the brother is also trying to lead a secret revolution to overthrow the emperor and create a democratic government

The story was filled with tension and very graphically portrayed the situation of a young woman who feels everyone's emotions and is struggling not to be overwhelmed by all of them. She can even feel the emotions of animals killed for meat and clothing. She also finds herself torn between her duty to serve the emperor and her desire for her own freedom and freedom for all the oppressed people. Then there is the potential love triangle that is set up between Sonya and the two Imperial brothers.

Fans of epic fantasy with enjoy this first book in a new trilogy.

Favorite Quote:
He exhaled and pulled me closer. His hands traveled up the sides of my bodice and back around to weave through my hair. My heart opened. The stitches that bound my grief tore free. I'd wanted this for so long. Withing him, I felt the same sweet sense of release. Our auras entwined in a beautiful dance and affirmed the rightness of our union. I parted my lips and tasted him deeper. He was the mist in an evergreen forest, the reeds sighing into a river. My fingers curled around the nape of his neck. His warmth radiated sunlight through my body.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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