The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda SalisburyThe Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's Daughter

byMelinda Salisbury

Hardcover | February 24, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$16.04 online 
$19.99 list price save 19%
Earn 80 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

16-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies - a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

MELINDA SALISBURY was born in the 1980s in a landlocked city, before escaping to live by the sea. As a child, she genuinely thought Roald Dahl's Matilda was her biography. When she's not trying to unlock the hidden avenues of her mind, she's reading, writing, or travelling. She lives in the UK and can be found on Twitter as @AHintofMys...
Title:The Sin Eater's DaughterFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.54 × 5.82 × 1.05 inPublished:February 24, 2015Publisher:SCHOLASTIC INCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545810620

ISBN - 13:9780545810623


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good It had an okay plot and interesting enough characters.
Date published: 2018-08-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Unsatisfactory There were certain elements that were very intriguing. For one thing, the name: The Sin Eater's Daughter. The title alone sounds so ominous yet enchanting. And the idea behind it is even cooler. The main character's mom was a sin eater, who came to a person's funeral and would eat food items that represented their past sins, and allowed the deceased to live peacefully in the afterlife. Even the myth behind the ancient prince was interesting. Everything else didn't work though. I thought the main's superpower was lame and the plot twist regarding her superpower was even lamer. The romance was cringey and the situations that were thought up so they could see each other didn't make sense. For example, why would a guard collect her food? That's what maids are for.
Date published: 2018-06-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Sin Eater's Daughter I found this entertaining enough, though I probably would have liked it more had it leaned into the romantic pairing that I much preferred. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Just Amazing! the story cought me with the amazin characters and very well developed plot. If you like surprising turning points this book is for you!
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from So disappointing From the beginning I felt the concept was a bit unlikely. I didn't like that certain things were never fully explained (like the sin her mother wouldn't eat. I could guess, but I wanted to KNOW). I also hate books where the man who supposedly loves the girl shows it by tearing down everything she believes in (even if it is for the greater good. There is a way to do it and this wasn't it). The ending was lame too. I think that's why there ended up being a second one, too many people saying what the hell just happened?
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great series Loved this book and the death culture and traditions Salisbury created and described.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Underrated high fantasy. Give it a go!!! Definitely underrated medieval high fantasy about a girl finding herself beyond what she's good for. If you can stomach love triangles and love a bit of Scandinavian legend, it's worth the read! (Plus the cover is gorgeous!)
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow, info dumping. I listened to an audiobook of The Sin Eater’s Daughter (read by Amy Shiels) and that was a huge mistake. There’s a lot of info dumping at the beginning of the novel, so it makes the audiobook seem really slow – like REALLY slow. The main character, Twylla would usually be talking about her past or the history of her kingdom and neighbouring kingdoms, which was interesting, but somehow the audio made it seem super boring. Actually, the entire first half of the novel was boring and made me want to DNF it. I only continued it because at one point the king defies the queen in public and I knew something would go down. Usually the king and queen rule as equals, but the queen is the boss around here and is pretty much a villain. People have to tiptoe around her for fear of offending her and being put to death. The queen was actually the most intriguing character. I feel like I got a better sense of her personality versus Twylla’s. Finishing this book, I understand what Twylla is but not really who she is. I know being locked up in the castle half her life doesn’t really give Twylla the chance to get a hobby or make friends, but she still should have made a deeper impression on me than the queen. There were things I liked and enjoyed about the book. The author infuses legends and myths familiar to the reader with her own fantasy world’s ones. For example, we hear stories like the Pied Piper and the biblical story of Adam and Eve falling from grace – although she changes a few things and doesn’t use the same names. The Sleeping Prince myth becomes central to the plot and I believe something like that already exists in our own world, which was great to read about! I also loved how sins existed in this world. There exist sin eaters, like Twylla’s mother, who eat the sins of dead people, which allows their soul to move on. This takes a huge toll on the sin eater. Twylla herself was meant to become a sin eater after her mother dies, but her destiny is changed and she becomes the goddess-embodied. I loved those two aspects! The world-building was my favourite part of the novel. The romance was a little weird. Twylla and the prince haven’t seen each other for two years, so they act like I would expect: awkward strangers. Twylla and her new guard, Lief, however start to gain feelings for each other, but it only got weird when the guard says he’s in love with her after only knowing each other for 1-2 weeks. I liked the romance but it also had a lot of WTF moments. Plot-wise it didn’t go exactly how I thought it would. There’s not much action and the protagonist pretty much stays in the castle for the entire book. I also expected the ending to go a different way, especially considering there’s a sequel. I did like the way it ended but the way I envisioned it was perhaps a bit more exciting haha. It just seemed too good to be true. I also want to address the title. For the first half of the book I felt like it was a catchy title, but didn’t really relate to the novel or protagonist. Twylla’s younger sister is more the Sin Eater’s daughter than her, so it felt like those “The Tiger’s Wife/Daughter/something” titles that are nice but random. Twylla is the goddess-embodied and the future queen. She hasn’t seen her mother in years and won’t be the next sin eater. However, when I think about the last half of the book I’m a little unsure/neutral on the title. Sin becomes a more central theme during the last half. Anyway, I did like this book and plan to read the sequel but there’s no way I’m listening to an audiobook again. In the last two minutes of the audiobook, creepy music starts up which was about the only good thing it did for me – it made me really excited for the sequel. Final verdict: if you don’t mind info dumping, you’ll probably like this. I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Emotions! Me when I finished this book: MY EMOTIONS. Holy. Cow. Who. Let. Melinda. Salisbury. Wreck. My. Emotions. Like. That??? And THAT. ENDING. Just give me book two please. Send help. Me now that I can attempt to put my thoughts into words: Would you look at that? An original fantasy without a protagonist trying to be epic and badass because that was what I was in the mood for. Twylla, oh Twylla, you are awesome. And the fact that you're just trying to make the most of your awful situation makes me feel for you. I can't imagine what life would be like with lethal touch (as useful as that might be). I like your character arc, I like your personality, the romance fell a little flat, but was still good so I didn't mind. Melinda Salisbury's writing is gripping. She sucks you into the story with the beauty of her words, breaks your heart, and then spits you back out. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books in the future. The plot was great. I loved the queen as a character the way I liked Elara from Red Queen as a character. Both were wicked and cunning the way I like my villains. And then you get to the end and all you want is The Sleeping Prince to land on your doorstep so you can continue on with this series. The point of this review is that you should get on this exciting fantasy series now because you're bound to love it. ***Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book but I have also purchased my own copy. These opinions are completely my own.
Date published: 2015-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I've ever read Allows you to escape into another world and experience thing's you never thought you could. Looking for the next one in the series.
Date published: 2015-06-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A decent start Twylla has been blessed by the Gods. She will marry a prince and rule the kingdom with him. The blessing, though, comes with a price and for Twylla, it means her touch is deadly to anyone not favoured by the Gods. The queen uses Twylla as an executioner for anyone who angers her or she needs out of the way. Leif, a new guard assigned to Twylla, sees past the image she maintains for the court but doing so could put both their lives in danger. Some secrets shouldn’t be told. First, the cover of this book was beautiful in its own right but now, after reading the book and knowing the context behind it, I love it even more. The concept of this book was really interesting and I really liked the world that was created. The mythology of the Gods and how it tied into Twylla’s situation was one of the main reasons I kept reading. The story overall was a little slow and a bit predictable but the action did pick up in the last part of the book. Twylla was a character who was obviously lonely and craved approval from others, especially a parental figure. She had only one friend due to her touch being lethal and her job as the court executioner. She was miserable but she never really did anything to try to change the situation for herself. She was the type of character who reacted to things that were happening to her instead of taking charge and causing things to happen. I liked that she wasn’t cold or closed-off, even though it would have been easy for her to be that way with her job. I did like Twylla and Leif together but I found it hard to believe in their romance when it happened so quickly. Same thing with Twylla and Prince Merek. It felt like it went right from the getting to know each other stage to the love stage. I found their relationships were more like friendships that were being mistaken as love since they were the only two age-appropriate boys to be nice to Twylla. I thought the most interesting character of the book was the queen. She was definitely evil and enjoyed violence. She was manipulative, could be nice one second then sentencing death the next. She knew exactly what she wanted and she was going to get it no matter what the cost. The mythology of the Gods, the Sin Eater and Daunen Embodied was my favourite part of the book. Every time the book started going into more detail, I found myself reading faster because I wanted to know more. I’m hoping the next book has even more to give us readers, even though it’ll probably be a long wait.
Date published: 2015-04-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow start, but gets better I was pretty wary of this one since it was getting tons of mixed reviews. People were either loving it or disliking it, so I'm happy to say I'm somewhere in the middle.. I liked certain parts and disliked others. As soon as I started I knew most would get turned off by the massive info dumping from the first few chapters. I don't mind these, they're telling you exactly what is up with the world and it sets up the story. Obviously, I would rather have a story unravel in bits and pieces where the main character opens up each detail on their own. Then I also noticed how incredibly slow the book started. I mean it was cringe-worthy slow that I wanted to DNF it at its halfway point. Only I decided to just keep going because what the hey, going into a book and not finishing it? I think it's a crime. Finally the story starts to pick up around page 160+. And in doing so, the story finally appeared and it got loads better. Enough to move my star rating from a lowly disliked two out of five, to a happy three which is me liking the book, but also had its weird moments. Another thing I have to mention are the flashbacks. They come and go at regular intervals and it felt very disorganized. For example, Twylla would be doing something and she'd just sprout off into the past and not realize she did it. I don't think it added much to the overall story, just more detailed pasts were added and I didn't really get a sense of who Twylla really was. The romance in this book pretty much made me nauseous because I found it to be instant love. Now on to the parts I enjoyed..The mythology about the Gods is superb. I thought it was such a neat way to showcase how Lomere (the kingdom) came to be. I also thought that having a Sin Eater, which is literal in its meaning is very creative and thought it was rather clever. You'll have to read the book to find out what it exactly entails because I don't want any spoilers. Now on to the characters, I pretty much only liked one character. The villain. She's all kinds of crazy. I mean legit maniac and sadist. I don't know about you, but murdering someone because he smiles too much is well asinine. She made everything so much more intense and by the end, I knew that character was going to have to be punished. It got loads better in the end and I happily felt like the story was finished. Slow beginning and nothing even happens until you're halfway through but it ended up being pretty twisty and turny.. The Sin Eater's Daughter should be re-titled to The Mad Queen or The Tyrant. Never have I ever met someone so determined to get what she wants.. Crazy villain for sure! I think it's worth just reading halfway just for her character alone. Also that cover? One of my absolute favourites of the year. Definitely made me want to pick up the book.
Date published: 2015-03-18

Read from the Book

When I first came to the castle, many, many moons ago, I was awed by it, by the decor and the beauty and the richness of it all. Everything is faultless and pristine; everything is kept ordered and beautiful. The roses in the tall crystal vases are all cut to the same length, all the exact same color and. There is no room in the castle for things that are not perfect. My mother used to say that gold is not all that glitters. She was right, sometimes other things do glitter. Eyes glitter, at least until the life leaves them. My guards walk carefully at my sides, holding their bodies rigid and keeping a good distance between me and them. If I raised an arm to reach for one of them, they would recoil in horror. If I tripped, or fainted, if reflex sabotaged them and made them reach to save me, it would be a death sentence for them. They would find themselves with their throats slit where they stood as an act of mercy. Compared to a slow death by my poisonous skin, a slit throat would be lucky.â??Are you ready, my lady?â? Dorin, the elder of my guards, asks, his face eerily pale in the torchlight. I nod and we walk to the stairwell, Dorin at my right and the second guard, Rivak, to my left. And then we descend to the dungeons where the prisoners wait. For me.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Sin-Eater's Daughter:

* "In addition to creating vivid and varied characters, Salisbury has a talent for worldbuilding, populating her world with shiver-inducing legends, original customs, and political and religious debates." -Publisher's Weekly, starred review