Series: Burning Glass #1
Published by HarperCollins on March 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty
ARC provided by Katherine Tegen Books
Red Queen meets Shadow and Bone in a debut fantasy about a girl forced to use her gift for sensing—and absorbing—other people’s feelings to protect the empire from assassins. Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, Burning Glass captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s quest for redemption.
In Riaznin, it’s considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya—girls with a rare form of synesthesia—to serve as the emperor’s personal protector, constantly scanning for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.
After the queen’s murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya’s power is reckless and hard to control. She’s often carried away by the intense passion of others.
And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.
I had such high hoped for this book.
Sonia was born an Auraseer. This means she is basically able to feel people’s emotions and can detect deceit. Because this gift comes in so handy, all the Auraseers are sent to a place to train and the head one gets to serve the emperor. Sonia makes some huge mistakes in her training and ends up being the only Auroseer alive when the time comes for the new emperor to choose. She is placed in the palace and must serve the emperor, but she falls for the other king’s son. When she finds she cannot control herself about the emperor, she can’t tell who is trying to deceive who.
I really liked the start of this story. I know that things happen fast but I liked how seemingly confused Sonia was. She doesn’t have real control over her power and so she does things impulsively. Her character grows a lot in this story. We see her go from a confused girl, to one who has to summon the courage to do what is right.
The men in this story pull at Sonia’s heartstrings throughout the book. Anton, the crown prince, is the one she truly loves. Valko, the emperor, is a magnetic force Sonia can’t resist. I hated Sonia’s indecision and the way she went back and forth between these two. There was a lot of gushy feelings being expressed in this book and that was a complete turn off for me. Sonia starts off confused and doesn’t get clarity until near the end. This was really frustrating for me to read.
I really liked the idea of this story, but the delivery wasn’t my taste at all. I don’t like books that are solely about a romance and the more I think about this book, the more I realize it was just about a girl confused over which brother to pick. Of course, there is some sort of revolution threatening this kingdom. Although it is painfully obvious that the king could make a few changes to secure his kingdom, he doesn’t. The girl is the only one who can save this place, but she needs to figure out how to do. I felt like I never got to see how useful her power could be until the end, and what she did was pretty cool but I don’t know how she finally figured it out. There wasn’t an ah ha moment in this story where things just clicked for her. Again, this frustrated me.
I kinda felt like from 25%-85% of this book was just filler. I get the girl confused thing and it could have been summed up with a lot less crying.
So, eventually everything falls into place for Sonia and this kingdom. After the bulk of the book being slow going featuring banter between her and the boys, and her confuddled feelings, the last few chapters pick up and almost redeem this book. Almost. It was a little too late for me to say I enjoyed this. I had to put this story down a lot to keep from throwing the book across the room. That is never a good thing. I would only recommend this to people who live for romance and a heroine who magically saves the day. Also, this is suppose to be a series but I can’t imagine what could be left to tell in this story. Maybe the next book is better, more like the beginning/ending of this book. One can only hope.