Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody | ARC Review

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Cover of Daughter of the Burning City on my iPad, surrounded by fake flowers 

4 Stars



“In short, there is a lot a city can see, hear and experience by traveling the world. Thus, we manage to mingle in the affairs of virtually everyone, and we gain enough intelligence from each destination to pull some powerful political strings.”


Daughter of the Burning City was quite different to what I expected going in, for some reason I wasn’t expecting it to be as focused on the mystery. But I’m glad it did because it was really interesting following that and seeing it unfold before the characters. I will say that I correctly guessed one part of the mystery (why her family was being targeted) but did not call the other twists. They definitely caught me off guard.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smouldering 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. (Summary from Harlequin Books)

Daughter of the Burning City whilst an enjoyable read, did have some pacing issues, it moved so slowly in parts and then just steamrolled towards the end. Which I don’t mind, but after seeing some reviews online there were quite a few who couldn’t get pass the slower sections. I liked how the mystery aspect was handled, with the parallel investigations happening and each revealing tidbits of information, about Gomorrah, Sorina, and how all this could be linked to her family.

I’m a sucker for a slow burn mystery, because I always want to try to figure it out before everything is revealed but unfortunately, I only correctly guessed one out of the many presented throughout the novel. Nevertheless, I still thoroughly enjoyed the reveals.

Sorina’s character was quite frustrating at times, the way she was stubborn and knew nothing about the festival she was meant to inherit. It felt like she had her head buried in sand for a large portion of this, she was too trusting of the opinions of others and couldn’t seem to think for herself, evident in the way she would agree with everyone theory instantly. However, I did love her ability I found it unique and loved the description of her illusions and her strings.

I loved Venera, she was intriguing, and her ability was quite unusual. I also liked her honesty and sass. Nicoleta was also amazing to read about especially since her sexuality is referenced the most in that she prefers women. I enjoyed the representation of LGBTQIA+ in this novel, and how it wasn’t a big deal it was just mentioned in passing, although it was mentioned a couple of times so it wasn’t as blasé as I might have liked. I also liked how Sorina was also bisexual, and was actively attracted to both genders during the novel.

Luca was quite an interesting character; my opinion for him kept seesawing whilst reading. I just knew there had to be more than meets the eye with him, but oh, boy I did not see his twist coming. Even though part of me feels like I should have. However, his ability to never die was very interesting, especially when he survived the beheading, because usually beheadings are the one thing even immortal creatures can’t survive.

“When I imagine myself in Kahina’s fairytales, I tend to prefer princes and princesses equally.”

As mentioned above this is a mystery fantasy novel, and oh boy did some of those reveals catch me off guard. I won’t give anything away because spoilers and I want people to go and grab this book to find out for themselves. But I appreciate how Amanda Foody handled the reveals in Daughter of the Burning City, they weren’t the clichéd obvious ones which I appreciated and made the reveal hit home much harder.

I quite enjoyed the Daughter of the Burning City, it was different to what I expected, but in a good way. I will definitely pick up future books by Amanda Foody. I like the way she spins her tales, and they way she thinks. The darkness and mystery that shrouded Gomorrah was detailed in a way that I could practically smell the smoke.

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2 comments on “Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody | ARC Review

  1. I’ll be picking this up as soon as I can, I dont think the slower parts will be too much of an issue for me 🙂 ty for sharing your thoughts

    • Yeah I didn’t mind them, I just know it’s been an issue for some. But overall I really enjoyed it, I look forward to hearing what you think.

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