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.
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 »she single-handedly kills an entire building of people, including her friends, in a fire because she gets distracted due to her lack of training. (Like three people lived.) Why does she lack training? Because she didn’t want to put the effort in to learn. « Hide 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.