The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

22536448 The Sin Eater's Daughter is a fascinating book. The protagonist, Twylla, is the gods' chosen, a girl who can survive poison and kill with a single touch. Isolated from everyone because of her powers, she executes the kingdom's traitors on the gods' behalf and is destined to marry the prince, despite her commoner status.

But Twylla is afraid of the cruel queen who dictates her every move, and she resents both her role as executioner and the way that everyone else fears her. When she begins to question first her safety under the queen's rule and then her entire role as the gods' chosen killer,

I can't really discuss what I loved about this book without revealing massive spoilers. The story takes some exciting twists, and one plot development in particular provided a wonderful opportunity for some great character depth. The book in general is a fantastic exploration of questions of duty and self-sacrifice and personal responsibility, and although the evil queen is somewhat two-dimensional, Twylla and her mother are both fully realized and challenging characters. Their broken relationship, and each of their attitudes to fate and responsibility, are definitely the most powerful parts of the book.

One big downside was the romance. The main couple in The Sin Eater's Daughter does have chemistry and some interesting moments, but overall I couldn't buy into their Epic Love -- and since their "we love one another but can't be together" relationship is key to many parts of the plot, that was a bit of an issue.

Still, The Sin Eater's Daughter is definitely worth reading, for the intriguing concept and unusual female protagonist alone. Romance aside, it provides something different and delicious to the YA fantasy genre, and anyone who would like a gripping and thought-provoking read should definitely give it a try.