Review #138 // Daughter of the Burning City – Amanda Foody

Daughter of the Burning CitySorina is an illusion-worker, a person with the rare ability to create life-like illusions. With the power of her illusions, she can see despite being born without eyes. With her illusions, she creates herself a family, where they perform as the Freak Show of her father’s Gomorrah Festival. But when someone murders one of her illusions, everything Sorina knows is brought into question. Because how can someone who doesn’t exist be killed?

Why this book?: UHM. First, the summary. Second, I heard there was rare demiromantic representation!

If you take this book as a murder mystery alone, you’ll be disappointed. If you take it as a romance or a fantasy alone, you’ll also be disappointed. The key, though, is to take them all at the same time, knowing that while it is a murder mystery, and a fantasy, AND a romance, that it is also a fantasy murder mystery with some romance thrown in. Because, that is what it is.

I do have to admit that I only took it as a murder mystery at the very beginning, and I was a little disappointed at that. It was interesting, because I wanted to know how someone would kill a illusion, but at the same time nothing much was happening. It was very slow moving, and focused less and less on the murder and more and more on Sorina and her relationships. I wasn’t really expecting that from a fantasy murder mystery, but it also gave the novel a unique quirk that I ultimately fell in love with.

I’ve seen a few people mention their hesitation with the representation, though. One of the characters, Luca, is said to not be interested in romance, and seems to not care for sex. And with incorrect rumors floating around about this character at first, it was really confusing trying to pin down what he was. At first it seemed as if he was aromantic asexual, but soon enough it was obvious that he wasn’t aromantic. And then I was a little iffy on the asexual part, until it definitively said that while he wasn’t interested in sex, he wasn’t repulsed by it either. So, with the initial confusion, I was confused, and I almost didn’t like it.

There was a small twist to his character that I thought could be seen as “eek”, so if you have concerns over the rep, please highlight over the space below, and I’ll write a short spoiler in white.

Luca is later revealed to be one of Sorina’s illusions, that she was forced to forget about. She made Luca to be a lover, but her illusions never turn out to be the way she intended (which normally turned them into “freaks”, used as a term of endearment), thus resulting in Luca being demiromantic asexual. People have seen Luca being an illusion, and “not being the way she intended” as anti-ace but I, personally, was indifferent to it. But that’s just me, a single person.

Take this information as you will.

Final Rating: ★★★★☆


Daughter of the Burning City was a really interesting book, but only if you realize how to approach it. Otherwise, it’s boring and not worth it. I loved the twists and turns to it, especially the ending, and the surprise as to who the murderer was!! I was so surprised that I chocked when I gasped.

Would I Recommend?

Well, it’s really your choice in this one. If you find the spoiler to make you uncomfortable, than I maybe wouldn’t. I thought the romance was otherwise adorable, and I really related to Luca, in being demiromantic.

Daughter of the Burning City

Additional Information:

Published: July 25th, 2017

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Page Count: 384

Genre: Fantasy/YA/Mystery

Synopsis: via Goodreads

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.

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