I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up.
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. (Goodreads)
I picked up Daughter of the Burning City at BEA this year because I knew it had something to do with circuses. I loved Caraval by Stephanie Garber and I liked The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern so I figured this would be a good one to try. It ended up being absolutely nothing similar to either of the two books I mentioned before, but that didn’t matter. Daughter of the Burning City was wonderful. Amanda Foody relied less on the lyrical and beautiful parts of a book about a circus and more on the creepy and eerie feelings. Honestly, this book was very strange but she definitely made it work.
I loved the characters and I loved reading about Sorina’s little family of illusions. There were quite a few characters in Daughter of the Burning City but with the help of names that corresponded with each illusions “ability” it was easy to keep them straight. The mystery itself was also interesting. I kept wondering when another illusion would be murdered next and which one it would be. It was very evident that Amanda put a lot of thought into the plot, setting, and her characters.
One thing I noticed while reading is that there are certain things that don’t exactly make the most sense. Some of the logistics of Sorina’s illusion work got a little muddled near the end. Maybe if there was a sequel she would be able to explain how certain things were able to happen. Lastly, the romance, while I liked it, didn’t totally make sense to me. The love interest is known throughout the circus to be uninterested in romantic relationships; he even says this himself. Then, a few pages later, he’s pursuing a romantic relationship with Sorina.
Overall I loved this book! It got me out of my reading slump and I highly recommend it. Amanda wrote a beautiful, weird, and creepy novel that definitely took a lot of imagination to write. I feel like this would be a great series to make a duology out of but I haven’t heard any news of a sequel so far.
Violence: 3/5 Stars: 4.5/5
Romance: 2.5/5 Pages: 384
Language: 3/5 Buy Book Here: Amazon