Review: Burning Glass

5.22.2016
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Published: March 1st, 2016 by Katherine Tegan Books
Source: Edelweiss
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.
Kathryn Purdie certainly knows how to create and develop her characters. Sonya, an empath who is now being forced to live at the emperor's side and detect threats for him, is always flooded with the emotions of those around her. It can cloud her own thoughts and feelings. Anton, the prince, is a very complex character that I couldn't help but love. Valko, the emperor, is a pretty manipulative dude, but he's complex in his own way, too, even if I wanted to stab him the face a few times. And other unmentionable places. Purdie made each character and their actions feel very authentic. 

And SO MANY EMOTIONS. Obviously, since Sonya is an empath, that's to be expected. But the point is that they felt real. The writing made them feel real and just as authentic as the characters themselves. It was definitely a roller coaster for me, considering the way I felt the emotions the same way Sonya did. The way she struggled with all of it was very well-written. 

I do have to say that I think Burning Glass was a little too romance focused. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a plot. There's politics and plotting and I think it's well-paced and going exciting places, but because emotions play such a huge role in Sonya's life and the entire story, it just felt like there was a LOT of romance and I needed a break from it sometimes. (And as for the love triangle - as many people have mentioned, it's one of those love triangles that leans VERY heavily in one direction, so I don't consider it a love triangle at all.)

I also feel that the plot could have been just a tad more . . . intense. The danger Sonya was in concerning Valko definitely felt intense to me, but other than that, it could feel a little dull and slow at times. Burning Glass is a pretty long book, and I just wish I had spent a little more time in "on the edge of my seat" mode. I mean, they're in a castle with the most powerful man in the country, right? I wanted more court politics, more intrigue. I'm not saying that didn't exist - it did. Definitely. I just wanted more of it. 

tl;dr: The writing, emotions, characters, and world-building in Burning Glass are all excellent. The only things I had issues with were the slight lack of intensity and the slight overload of romance. 4 stars. 

1 comment on "Review: Burning Glass"

5.22.2016

Review: Burning Glass

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Published: March 1st, 2016 by Katherine Tegan Books
Source: Edelweiss
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.
Kathryn Purdie certainly knows how to create and develop her characters. Sonya, an empath who is now being forced to live at the emperor's side and detect threats for him, is always flooded with the emotions of those around her. It can cloud her own thoughts and feelings. Anton, the prince, is a very complex character that I couldn't help but love. Valko, the emperor, is a pretty manipulative dude, but he's complex in his own way, too, even if I wanted to stab him the face a few times. And other unmentionable places. Purdie made each character and their actions feel very authentic. 

And SO MANY EMOTIONS. Obviously, since Sonya is an empath, that's to be expected. But the point is that they felt real. The writing made them feel real and just as authentic as the characters themselves. It was definitely a roller coaster for me, considering the way I felt the emotions the same way Sonya did. The way she struggled with all of it was very well-written. 

I do have to say that I think Burning Glass was a little too romance focused. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a plot. There's politics and plotting and I think it's well-paced and going exciting places, but because emotions play such a huge role in Sonya's life and the entire story, it just felt like there was a LOT of romance and I needed a break from it sometimes. (And as for the love triangle - as many people have mentioned, it's one of those love triangles that leans VERY heavily in one direction, so I don't consider it a love triangle at all.)

I also feel that the plot could have been just a tad more . . . intense. The danger Sonya was in concerning Valko definitely felt intense to me, but other than that, it could feel a little dull and slow at times. Burning Glass is a pretty long book, and I just wish I had spent a little more time in "on the edge of my seat" mode. I mean, they're in a castle with the most powerful man in the country, right? I wanted more court politics, more intrigue. I'm not saying that didn't exist - it did. Definitely. I just wanted more of it. 

tl;dr: The writing, emotions, characters, and world-building in Burning Glass are all excellent. The only things I had issues with were the slight lack of intensity and the slight overload of romance. 4 stars. 

1 comment: