5 Things About Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

March 20, 2016 Review 35 ★★

5 Things About Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 512
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Series: Burning Glass #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty, Young Adult
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

We’re off to a great start

BURNING GLASS started off on a high note. We are thrown into the action immediately, and although things were a little bit unbelievable, they were entertaining. I thought this was going to be a really good read, especially since I didn’t really have any issues with it at first. Unfortunately, that didn’t last.

Plot, what plot?

At around 40%, I realized nothing had happened for the last 20%. This continued on even longer, until I eventually just put the book down and I had to actually ask myself: where is this going? Why am I reading this? What is the plot?


Oh, I’ll tell you the plot. It revolves around the romance, only on the romance, basically. I don’t even mind romance, I actually prefer a little in my fantasy reads. However, I don’t expect it to be the main driving force in a 500 page book. Even the romance lacked reason and direction.

Where’s the world building?

Yeah, there wasn’t really any. There was huge potential for it too, as there was a great concept behind the Auraseers themselves, people who can detect others’ emotions. We never got to explore much outside of the words themselves, and many things lacked explanations, especially about how things came to be.

Special Snowflake Sonya


The main character might be the worst. Sonya makes the worst decisions and is seldom held accountable for them. In fact, View Spoiler » Her ability conveniently gets her out of taking responsibility and acts as a plot scapegoat.

The Chosen One Sonya also bounces between two love interests, (of course this is a love triangle!) and then regrets her actions and blames what happened on her abilities. Girl, I read the scene, I’m pretty sure it was a mutual thing. She is overall just a weak heroine that not only allows herself to get stepped on, but doesn’t take responsibility for her actions and yet continues to make poor decisions.

The writing though

All that said, I do have to say the writing itself was pretty good. BURNING GLASS is definitely easy to read and everything flowed well. I would consider trying something else by this author in the future solely for the writing.

Rating Report
Overall: 2

35 Responses to “5 Things About Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie”

  1. Tasya

    Wow this is such a shame since it’s seems to be on everyone most anticipated 2016 release. I don’t get why lately all fantasy has the same ingredients: love triange, special snowflake, and no world building. It’s sucks because we really need great fantasy books! I really expect more from this book, especially about the magic, but it seems like I won’t get it *sighs*
    Tasya recently posted…Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Adieh

    • Alise

      Yeah, I know that I was pretty excited for it. I’ve noticed that too, that’s why all my fantasy reads this year have fallen short! Seriously.

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    No plot other than triangular romance for 500+ pages? Nope.Nope.Nope! I don’t mind romance either but as a secondary plot device, NOT as the main focus. And you know how I love my world-building so without it here there is literally no reason for me to be interested here^^ I thought I was reading the synopsis but not anymore. Too bad though :( Thanks for sharing your thoughts! x
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Mark of Athena

    • Alise

      Not really. I read to about 60% so I can’t fully say, but by that point I was already frustrated. Yep, same for me. Yeah :/ No problem!

  3. Cait @ Paper Fury

    DUDE THIS SOUNDS HORRIBLE. D: I read that spoiler (because I really don’t intend to read this book because no world building = me so cranky I could eat a brick wall basically) and waaaaat?!??! SERIOUSLY?!?! How can anyone even root for this character after that?!? Also that is so sucky that there’s no plot. Honestly, this book has got very little going for it. XD
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Why Aren’t You Getting Comments on your Book Blog?

    • Alise

      It made me pretty mad, yeah. In terms of the spoiler, the main character has a small bout of whoops, I feel terrible that this happened and then goes on with her life. Like dude, that’s a serious problem.

  4. Joy // Joyousreads

    All right. Much as I love romance, there’s something to be said about substance. And it’s too bad Sonya’s abilities were painted in such a disappointing light, because it’s the main attraction of the book.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Garage Sale

    • Alise

      I have no problem with romance as long as there is an underlying plot or even if the romance leads somewhere but nope.

  5. Briana @ Pages Unbound

    I’ve seen this around but for some reason haven’t been paying much attention to it. Now that I’ve read the summary, it sounds a little bit like Truthwitch to me. But apparently not as good as Truthwitch. I think I might be annoyed by Sonya too.

    • Alise

      I haven’t read Truthwitch yet but that is interesting to know! Hopefully I will enjoy that one a little more :P

  6. Karen @ A Simple Cup of Tea

    I’m not gonna lie, I really loved this book. I love character-driven books which have just enough plot to keep me interested. I felt like it was so clear from the beginning that Sonya preferred one of the guys. Not for you but all for me kind of situation I guess ;)

    • Alise

      I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I don’t mind character driven plots if I have some idea where they are headed.

    • Alise

      If you are still interested you could give it a shot, there are a lot of mixed opinions about this one and some people love it! Sure :)

  7. Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    This book is one I loved solely because I LOVE fantasy books that slowly unpack the characters and the courtly intrigue and the politics. The book definitely started on a high, but I was captivated from start to finish. This book was definitely romance-driven, but I have a feeling it won’t be so for book 2. Especially with the developments in the last 25%. I do see that Sonya is totally a special snowflake. She was a tad clueless and naive in places, but I think she’s grown considerably by the end! Great review!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted…APCB Adds #3

    • Alise

      I think if I had read a little more about this one and knew what to expect I could have allowed myself to have more patience with this one, something I lack in general. I’m interested in her character development. I’ll read some reviews for the sequel when it comes out and then decide if I want to give this one another go methinks.

  8. peach @ rebelle reads

    oh snap. I was considering this one, too. it sounded somewhat interesting, too. ughhhhhh tho. the MC sounds like a murderous version of America Singer from the Selection, so maybe I will skip. I believe it’s going to be a trilogy as well. great review, Alise!
    peach @ rebelle reads recently posted…Review: Summer of Supernovas

    • Alise

      HA. I actually own all the Selection books because they are like candy to me even though I have a love hate relationship with them xD Yeah, I have heard that too. Thank you!

  9. Samantha

    I was really looking forward to this book, but once it took me a long time to actually finish it. Sonya is lackluster. The interactions and development between the characters had no real basis. But I totally agree, the writing was really good, I was just left with no plot and no characters to root for (or even despise).
    Samantha recently posted…Reading + Bookish Habits

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