Review: BURNING GLASS by Kathryn Purdie

Reading time 4 mins
Review: BURNING GLASS by Kathryn PurdieBurning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass #1
Published by HarperCollins on March 1st 2016
Pages: 512
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty
ARC provided by Katherine Tegen Books

AmazonBook Depository

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.

My Rating



About Kathryn Purdie

Kathryn’s love of storytelling began as a young girl when her dad told her about someone named Boo Radley while they listened to the film score of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. In high school and college, Kathryn focused on acting, poetry, guitar, and extensive journal writing. Years later, when she was in recovery from donating a kidney to her brother, inspiration for her first novel struck. She’s been writing darkly fantastical stories ever since. Her debut novel, BURNING GLASS, releases winter 2016 from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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By | 2017-12-16T10:24:13+00:00 Sunday, February 21, 2016|2 kisses, Fantasy, reviews, Romance, YA|18 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.


  1. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction February 21, 2016 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Oh, what a shame. Like you, I was really intrigued by the concept of this one. Too bad it just ended up being about a love triangle.
    Check Out Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction’s most recent post- After the Woods by Kim Savage – Traveling ARC Review, Favorite Quotes and Giveaway!My Profile

    • Karen Blue
      February 22, 2016 at 5:53 am - Reply

      I guess i have to say te conflict was completely resolved with the love triangle, but it was mostly a forgettable book, unfortunately.

  2. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight
    February 22, 2016 at 12:50 am - Reply

    So, I am conflicted by this book. Because on one hand, I liked it while I was reading it, aside from the slow parts. But then afterward, I couldn’t remember WHY. Like, I didn’t mind the romancey stuff, though like you said, the STRONG feelings back and forth were… offputting. And I kind of enjoyed the Auraseer thing. But I agree- it DID feel like the story was done, and I am not sure what to make of that. I also REALLY hope that I took some decent notes on my Kindle. Because I don’t know how to review it- I DO remember quite liking it when I finished, but… who knows. Great review!!
    Check Out Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight’s most recent post- Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk​ | Scavenger Hunt, Giveaways, and Q&AMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      February 22, 2016 at 6:12 am - Reply

      Thanks Shannon! I found it was pretty easy to lay out my dislikes for this book, unfortunately. It had a lot of potential, but didn’t deliver.

  3. Majanka
    February 22, 2016 at 8:18 am - Reply

    What a shame! This book sounds like it has so much potential but when it then just focuses on the romance…Blah. I hate it when books do that, especially when they sound so awesome at first.

  4. Nick February 22, 2016 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I knew this one wouldn’t be for me when I read the Key Selling Points section for this book on Edelweiss and a “sexy love triangle” was mentioned. I figured there would be a lot of the main character being confused between the brothers. I dislike love triangles so there was no way I was going near it.
    It’s a shame about the execution of the story too. Sounds like it had potential, but since nothing much happens, it fell flat.
    Sorry it was disappointing. 🙁 It’s never fun to read a disappointing book.
    Lovely review!
    Check Out Nick’s most recent post- A Love Letter to Siren’s Song by Mary WeberMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      February 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      See that is what I get for being such a cover lover. I should read synopsis more carefully. Although, there is no fool proof way to keep from requesting crap, I have been duped by synopsis before.

  5. Christy @ Novel Ink February 22, 2016 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Sorry you didn’t like this too much, I’ve heard such mixed things about it so I’m on the fence about reading it. I think all the crying and slowness of it wouldn’t do well with me so I may skip or if I decide to try it, borrow from the library instead of spending money on it. I hope your next read is amazing!!
    Check Out Christy @ Novel Ink’s most recent post- The Mistake by Elle KennedyMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      February 22, 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      Yea, borrow it from the library or another blogger if you can. I am curious about what a follow up book to this would even look like.

  6. Stephanie March 14, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    I was really looking forward to reading this. I’m sorry to hear you found it disappointing.

  7. Cali W. March 14, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Good review, but too bad the book wasn’t what you thought; the cover and synopsis sounded good. 🙂

  8. Lisa Richards March 16, 2016 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Sounds like one to borrow from the library
    Check Out Lisa Richards’s most recent post- March Brazen Release BlitzMy Profile

  9. Linda Romer March 17, 2016 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Sorry that you didn’t find Burning Glass more favorable, I have been wanting to read this book. Thank you for your review.

  10. Lily M. March 24, 2016 at 3:06 am - Reply

    I’ve been seeing this book everywhere, I think it has a very pretty cover, that’s probably what caught my attention. I don’t know, I’m not a big love triangle fan, cus someone always ends up hurt, I might give it a try, I’m still kind of curious. Thank you for the review, I know, not every book turns out to be what you expected. 😓

    • Karen Blue
      March 25, 2016 at 7:33 am - Reply

      Yea, I think with all reviews, you should take it with a grain of salt. It is just my opinion. This story did have some redeeming qualities, so I hope you like it.

  11. Nikolina March 24, 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Thank you for your honest review, much appreciated!

  12. Vanessa March 27, 2016 at 3:28 am - Reply

    I am right there with you about books that are solely about romance. I need to have a story happening, not just romance. Thanks for the review.
    Check Out Vanessa’s most recent post- Blog Tour & Review: Siren’s Song (The Storm Siren Trilogy #3) by Mary WeberMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      March 27, 2016 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      There was a story behind it, but it is WAY behind it. I hate a whishy washy lead, especially when it comes to romance.

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