A carnival-city? Murder mystery? A loyal girl with revenge in her heart? A battle between good and evil, real and fake? A little weird? WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!
Novel: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody | Goodreads
Release Date: July 25th, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Book Expo America 2017
A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.
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.
At this point, you guys probably know how much I love fantasy. Like. I love it a lot. It’s become my little escape genre in recent years, overtaking contemporary as my go-to genre. (Besides, historical fiction, though–but historical just isn’t popular enough to sustain me, much to my dismay.)
Daughter of the Burning City was one of the few fantasy titles I picked up at BEA. (There just wasn’t that much there that piqued my interest, sadly.) I didn’t even know about it going into the day, but walked past the booth and saw the line wrapping around the corner and thought it would be worth my time to check out. And oh BOY was I rewarded!
This book is incredible.
Here’s how I pitched it to Aneeqah (because I pitch everything to Aneeqah in feel-y texts after reading):
- a strong focus on family
- super well-built world that doesn’t do that “let me explain everything to you blatantly like you’re stupid” thing
- CRAZY cool concept i’m still struggling to get my head around
- kick-butt main character who is super flawed
- a tiny bit of romance
- constantly throwing you for loops
- a murder mystery! magic! intrigue!
- people in cool clothes
I mean what more do you need in a book?
But in all seriousness, this book just blew me away a bit. And I think its because the writing didn’t jump off the page at me screaming HEY THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!!!!!! Instead, I was drawn into the story because of how creative and interesting it was, and then I was quickly sucked in because of my attachment to the main character. Foody’s writing strikes a beautiful balance between stunning prose and an intricately woven story that you can’t help but what to keep reading.
And then there are these characters! Sorina is my heart. I relate to her in so many ways, as do I think a lot of people. That feeling of being an outsider, of craving the kind of family you hear and dream about, of wanting a happily-ever-after but not knowing if it will happen–she’s many of the teenagers I know and definitely the teenager I am. I was drawn to her by fierce loyalty to her family and how she battles to understand the difference between good and bad (a theme I adore in fantasy). Gomorrah is the perfect setting for a good vs. bad kind of story, and Foody executes it with precision.
Luca. My little Luca. He has a sliver of my heart with his weird clothes and gossip and unjudgemental approach to life. He is such a wonderful addition to the story and couldn’t imagine the book without his presence. I want to hang out with a Luca some day, please.
Although please don’t let him do his Gomorrah act in front of me. Please.
In conclusion, this book is a MUST BUY for fantasy lovers. A carnival-city? Murder mystery? A loyal girl with revenge in her heart? A battle between good and evil, real and fake? A little weird?
WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!