Author: Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass #1
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Source: Borrowed (thank you, Ava!)
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. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t 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 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.
BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
Burning Glass was easily one of my most anticipated books of 2015. I love a good love triangle, especially one involving two brothers. It’s a weakness of mine, I suppose. So imagine my delight when my friend lends me her copy–finally, the anticipation is over! But from the first page, I knew that Burning Glass and I would have some serious problems.
Let’s start off with the plot. I would describe it to you, but I can’t, because it felt like this book had no direction. There wasn’t any real conflict or problem that had to be solved. There were whispers of some sort of secret in the beginning, but that all but disappeared in the middle of the story, and then reappeared towards the end. It felt like the main character just drifted around aimlessly for the entire book and happened to stumble upon a new plotline. And god, don’t even talk about the so called “power” that Sonya, the MC, had. It could’ve been done so much better, but instead all that happened was either 1) Sonya wondering if an emotion was her own or 2)Sonya complaining about all the people around her and her “auras.”
Because of the lack of conflict, the pacing was all over the place. The important exchanges between characters were rushed and simple events were wayyyy longer than they needed to be (a simple celebration was like 25 pages when it definitely didn’t need to be). This made the book drag on, and the middle definitely suffered from “middle of the book” syndrome when it really starts to drag (or more so than the rest of the book, anyways).
The characters. They were by far the worst part of this book. Our main character, Sonya, could never take responsibility of her own actions/emotions because someone is always “influencing” her. She claims that other people’s auras affect her own and make her feel what they are feeling. I would be okay with this once and awhile, but this happened all the damn time. It was terrible because her emotions would change with every page and I never understood her because her emotions were never her own. Anton, the love interest, was supposed to be the “quiet and reserved” one, but he was so boring. He’s hiding a secret, but that secret wasn’t even exciting. He’s shut off from Sonya for a lot of the first half of the story, so I never really got to know him well either.
I almost always love the villains, even if they’re basically irredeemable. Valko, the emperor and Anton’s older brother, is supposed to be the “bad guy” of the story. The author tried to make him well developed and multifaceted, but that just made him seem extremely unbalanced because he’d bounce back and forth between two emotions at the drop of a dime. He did some really, really unforgivable things, and yet the readers are still supposed to be able to sympathize with him. Um, no. I gave up on him pretty quickly, so it made me want to pull my hair out when Sonya tried to convince herself that he was a good person deep down.
If I hated the characters, you know I hated the love triangle. First off, it’s so clear who Sonya likes/loves more. She can’t even decide if her feelings for one brother are real because she’s worried that she’s being influenced by their aura. Girl could not take control and figure herself out. I also had a very big problem with her relationship with Valko. It’s very much a one-sided relationship, but she just won’t leave him. Even when the relationship starts to turn dark, she still stays with him and finds herself upset if he doesn’t pay attention to her. There was this one instance that really pissed me off. Things were getting violent in one scene, and Valko choked Sonya. LITERALLY ON THE NEXT PAGE SHE KISSED HIM (??????) of her own accord and thought he was still redeemable. I just couldn’t deal with it.
The writing itself wasn’t really spectacular either. There was too much detail in some area, and in other’s there was barely none. It left me either confused or bored for most of the book, and that wasn’t a good combination. Maybe with a better story the writing could’ve shone through, but it wasn’t my favorite this time around.
Overall, Burning Glass was nothing like I expected, and not in a good way. The conflict was nonexistent, the characters infuriated me, and the love triangle was not done well at all. I didn’t like much about this book, and the only reason I finished it was so that I could find out what happened. However, the end felt really boring to me; there’s supposed to be sequels, but I can’t see what would happen in them. I think I’m done with this series.