daughter of the burning city – amanda foody | review + discussion

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Published July 25th 2017 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult, fantasy, mystery, lgbt, magic, romance

rating: ★★★★


Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering 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.


didn’t expect daughter of the burning city to be so cool!!! i didn’t read any reviews or the synopsis so i had no clue what was going on except that it involves a sort-of circus. the way the book started immediately piqued my interest and my attention was focused on the different fascinating characters. sorina’s ability to create a family out of illusions was incredibly intriguing. i was definitely hooked from the beginning. also, i didn’t realise it was going to be a murder mystery which made things even cryptic.

i fell in love with the moving, burning, twisted and beautiful city. there’s always something to discover. it’s an endless adventure. i’ve never really read a book on a fantasy carnival/circus setting and i was enthralled by all it could offer. the different types of magic felt unique and special, and unlike the typical kinds we see in most books or movies.

other than the murder mystery aspect, and the atmospheric setting, i came to love the characters. there’s a huge emphasis on family and love. in the dark world of gomorrah, they were deemed as freaks because they have superpowers and wield magic. they are seen as lesser beings as compared to the humans. a clear segregation was drawn yet humans are captivated by the unknown world of magic. even though sorina’s family are her own creation that she breathed life into, they can function as normal human beings. they love each other, care for each other and would do anything to keep everyone else safe.

sorina is POWERFUL. an illusionist who can create people with personalities of their own? AMAZING! as her family members get killed of one by one, her determination grew to find who was behind the murders. she loves her family fiercely. every person in the family are such vivid people who unknowingly crept into my heart. even tree who can’t articulate a single word, and has no dialogue in the book, is so precious (kinda like groot).

one thing about the book is that i didn’t cared for the politics but it does play an important role within the murder plot. i could do without it. also, a map could have come in handy while they were talking about different areas. or rather, i’d just like a map of gomorrah cause it seemed like it was huge and i want to know what is where. i’m definitely looking forward to amanda foody’s other works which i heard great reviews of!

“My sweet baby boy, you were too young,” Crown chokes out. “I wish more than anything that you were here with us right now. So I’ll tuck you in one last time, and maybe one morning, we’ll see each other again.”

^ crown really broke me with this speech. he was the one who cared the most for blister and now he’s just gone. i thought it was apt that crown was the one who dealt the dealing blow on villiam.

villiam is an interesting character. i didn’t know if i could trust him even though he’s nice and sweet towards his daughter and was affected by the loss of gill at the start. SO AS I READ ON, I COULDN’T RULE OUT ANYONE ELSE SO I WAS PRETTY SURE VILLIAM WAS THE ONE KILLING HIS FAMILY BUT I NEVER KNEW THE REASON WHY BUT HOLY SHIT. and his magic!! he could alter people’s memory by a touch; and all these while it has been the forehead kisses she had cherished. he tainted that supposedly loving gesture with his disgusting, twisted motives.

how the illusions were killed was interesting. they were tied to an object belonging to a real person and would die if that person dies. it’s horrifying to know that your life depends on the other person to survive. it’s tough to know that your family might just drop dead the moment their counterpart dies. you will never know when. and how they did was horrifying too. venera by slit of throat, blister by drowning, gill by suffocating; all because the other persons died the same way.

luca turned out to be sorina’s illusion shocked me. when it slowly became clearer that he might not be a real person, i couldn’t stop reading the book. it immediately threw me into a whirlwind of questions and i had to know the ending.

4 thoughts on “daughter of the burning city – amanda foody | review + discussion”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s