Title: Burning Glass
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass Series
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Published: March 1st, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)The summary of Burning Glass from Goodreads:
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.
BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
I thought this book had a lot of promise. The idea was interesting. A girl who can read the emotions of others tasked with protecting the emperor. While the book wasn’t amazing, it was really good and I couldn’t put it down.
I read this book while on vacation. I was in the Caribbean, on the sea, in the heat and humidity. Yet, when I read, all that heat disappeared. I was taken into the book and everything else around me vanished. Some people might find the sometimes lengthy descriptions to be too much, but I thought they were wonderful. Especially if creating a new world, I think the description is necessary. I want to be able to picture everything around me as I read. Burning Glass transported me.
As for the characters, I was intrigued. At times, I thought Sonya was a little weepy. But, at the same time, I’m not sure I can fault her for it. Sonya feels every emotion around her. She hasn’t had the training to separate herself from the feelings of everyone else. She’s not sure how she feels. She wonders if her emotions are her own or if they belong to someone else. I imagine that would be pretty overwhelming.
While I definitely know which brother I’m rooting for, both were interesting. Valko is definitely spoiled, and a touch power-hungry. However, he’s had to face opposition since taking the throne because of actions his father took to protect his life. Those actions have left a question hanging over Valko’s entire reign.
Anton thought he’d be emperor, but he’s starting to wonder if that’s what he really would have wanted. He’s seen what power does to people and, even though he thinks he knows himself, he wonders what that power would have done to him.
I thought the balance between romance and action was just a little off. I would have enjoyed a little more of the revolutionary action. I thought it could have really provided an avenue for Sonya to explore herself and what she believes. There was a little, but it was cut a bit short, in my opinion.
I definitely think this is a great start to the series. It introduces the characters, their desires, the world really well. If you’re looking for a good bit of romance with some revolutionary action, this is a good book. If you’re a fan of fantasy, I think it’s worth a read.
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Thank you to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegan Books for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.