“But you’re an illusion. I created you.” “That doesn’t mean I’m not real.” // Review of “Daughter of the Burning City” by Amanda Foody

Title: Daughter of the Burning City
Author: Amanda Foody
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Date Read: 28/03/2017 – 06/06/2017
Rating: ★★


So it’s not this book’s fault that I was in a reading slump at the time I was reading it and that probably contributed to my rating. There were some genuinely good parts once the plot got going, but I did feel it spent quite a bit of time wandering without much happening.

Daughter of the Burning City tells the story of Sorina, an illusion-worker whose only real family are the illusions she creates. She knows that they’re not real, though… at least, so she thought, until one of them is murdered. But how do you kill something that never really existed in the first place?

For a while, the investigations seemed to be taking forever and nothing was happening. I’ve read a few reviews that claimed the romance never got in the way of the plot, but I would have to disagree. Quite a bit of focus was given to Sorina’s burgeoning crush on Luca, a boy who it is impossible to kill. I did find it interesting that Amanda Foody sought to include elements of demisexuality, though I didn’t really think that Sorina and Luca had known each other long enough when their romance took off for this to be an accurate representation (though I am pretty uninformed on this topic, so take my words with a grain of salt).

I also felt that the style of language clashed with the setting and tone of the book a bit. The book is written in first person and Sorina read more like the heroine of an punchy urban fantasy, rather than something closer to high fantasy.

The world-building was really interesting, though I felt there was a lot of potential that wasn’t fleshed out properly. A lot of the time, I couldn’t quite get my head around exactly how the city-sized carnival of Gomorrah managed to continue existing, how it moved, and how the different magic systems within it managed to operate.

The plot did pick up in the last third and I found myself on the edge of my seat waiting for the killer’s identity to be revealed. It was just a shame that it took a little while to get to that point.

(Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for supplying me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review)

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5 thoughts on ““But you’re an illusion. I created you.” “That doesn’t mean I’m not real.” // Review of “Daughter of the Burning City” by Amanda Foody

    • Emily Wrayburn says:

      Glad I am not the only one! I came close to DNFing this one a couple of times, but in the end I was glad I didn’t, as pushing through it helped me out of the slump, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. alilovesbooks says:

    Great review. I found this a really difficult one to review as I kind of liked it but there was something off about it I couldn’t put my finger on. I too couldn’t get my head around bits, how does the city move but stay the same, how does Sorina actually see? It’s kind of just brushed over and not really explained. I wondered if the author was just trying to put too much into a single book. None of the relationships felt particularly real to me either but given this is a book about illusions I wasn’t sure if this was intended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily Wrayburn says:

      Yeah, perhaps it might have worked better as a duology? There could have been some kind of specific mystery in each book and the overriding murder mystery or something like that. I think it definitely could have benefited from some more thorough world-building. I agree about the relationships; we had Sorina’s word that her family meant the world to her but I didn’t really get that sense from their interactions…


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