Daughter Of The Burning City by Amanda Foody
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: Melding fantasy with elements of mystery, Foody’s novel follows Sorina as she soon discovers her illusions are being killed off and attempts to solve the case. Daughter Of The Burning City is filled with a unique and engaging world + mystery and magic at every turn!
Ever since I’d heard about Foody’s debut novel, I immediately put it onto my tbr and couldn’t wait to read it!
To start off, I loved the creativity of the Gomorrah Festival and in general the whole concept of DOTBC. With the descriptions of food to clothing, with each turn of the page I could always picture the festival/circus atmosphere and setting.
We follow Sorina, who is the Girl Who Sees Without Eyes. Her ability to create illusions (Illusion-Worker) has allowed her to be a part of the Gomorrah Festival Freak Show, using them as part of an act.
However they are not just illusions, but also her family. So, when they suddenly start being killed off, Sorina is worried for their safety.
She soon meets Luca, who has the ability to escape death. With his knowledge of many in Gomorrah/Up-Mountains they team up to try and solve the case.
I loved the unique dynamic she had with each of her illusions, through the fist person POV, they were so much more than just her family. She cared for them as they did for her. Villiam (the owner of their show) was like a father figure to Sorina, and with her role to one day take over, it was clear he put a lot of faith in Sorina.
I also really enjoyed Luca’s mysterious character + not only that, I also really loved the banter between both Luca & Sorina!
Foody did a great job at developing an aura of mystery throughout her novel. With Sorina trying to solve the case, I found myself making connections and solving the mysteries as the story progressed! I won’t spoil who it was, but the mystery of the story was one of my favorite parts and Foody did it so well. I found myself jumping back and forth between suspects because I constantly making new connections throughout the novel.
As mentioned above, I adored the creativity of DOTBC. It really came to life through the 1st person POV! I felt connected to Sorina and could really picture her unique world.
There was a lot of diverse representation of different sexualities among the main cast! From what I read, saw on twitter from the author + read from other reviews: Luca identified as demiromantic asexual, Sorina identified as bisexual, and Nicoleta (one of Sorina’s illusions) identified as lesbian.
Additionally, I love that Foody was able to build such a world in just one book! I find that there are never enough standalones in YA Fantasy, so if your looking for another one to add to your list, definitely add Daughter Of The Burning City. I will definitely be checking out Foody’s next books, because honestly this book was just so much fun to read! I just loved the creativity of her worlds + concepts!<3~
However, I did feel the world building could have used a little more development (such as setting and politics). Its clear there is so much history to the world of Gomorrah, the Up/Down Mountains and who rules them! However, I felt there were moments that when info was mentioned that could have used more expansion or it was mentioned sporadically and more description would have helped. I was very invested in the world and it would have been great to get more history to it.
Additionally there were a few moments I felt the pacing was a bit slow!
Aside from that..
If you like magic, politics, a bit of romance, plus the perfect amount of mystery/paranormal elements, then Daughter Of The Burning City is the dark and immersive YA Fantasy to check out!