Genres: Fantasy, Murder Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Daughter of the Burning City is the story of Sorina, a girl who sees without eyes and has the power to create illusions a person can even touch and hear. Gomorrah, the wandering city she has lived in her whole life, is full of wonder, magic and danger. When a murderer starts killing her family, Sorina must find out who is behind this and why. To do that, she allies with Luca, the boy who cannot die, no matter how gruesome the attempts to his life. Is he trustworthy? Will she be able to keep her family safe? As impending war approaches, Sorina knows she must trade with care, but cannot help slowly coming to trust and befriend Luca.
I got the feeling this book was going to be a YA version of Night Circus, and in some aspects it really is: there is of course the theme of circus, especially one that works at night, and the heavy romance plot of the book. In these aspects, if you loved The Night Circus, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one, too. The mystery and murders added an extra layer of darkness to the story that I thought was pretty cool.
I was ambivalent about my feelings towards this book the entire time while reading it. I loved the premise, the plot itself was interesting, but the characters, especially Sorina, were exasperating at times. When it came to the mystery of who was the murderer, Sorina gladly ignored lots of clues right under her nose, and you kept waiting chapter after chapter for her or someone else to pick it up. Luca was a very pleasant addition to the story, I loved his morbid sense of humor, his sharpness and friendship with Sorina. From the other characters, it just felt like they were token family characters with flat personalities, except for Nicoletta, sometimes.
I was a bit disappointed to guess most of the plot twists (although not all), but I have to say a few of those were really intriguing and well-done. I just wish Sorina was more self-assured and confident and stopped to really think things through. That would’ve made her solve the mystery in about 0.3 seconds.
The audiobook was good, but there are long pauses between paragraphs which made it slower than it should be, and I got impatient listening to it at normal pace (as I normally do), so I started at 1.25x and finished the book at 1.35x.
All in all, this was an enjoyable read, and my favorite part was the murder mystery plus magic mashup!