Review: Burning Glass (Burning Glass #1) by Kathryn Purdie10:00
Series: Burning Glass #1
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Published March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
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.
I first heard about this book back in August, and was immediately intrigued by the premise. Sonya is born with a gift where she can feel and interpret the emotions of those around her, and that makes her extremely valuable to the empire. Girls like her are rounded up as soon as they start showing their abilities, and trained to one day become the Sovereign Auraseer for the emperor. Sonya is different though, for 17 years, she's been kept hidden from the government, to keep her safe from the clutches of the emperor, and its only now that she's taken to start her training. After an incident at the convent, she becomes the only one able to replace the disgraced Sovereign Auraseer, with next to no training. When she arrives at court, she realises that she's in too far over her head, and her life is at risk, as well as her heart.
I really enjoyed Sonya. I know some people have had issues with her, and though I also found her slightly annoying at times, I felt like her nervousness and naivety was valid, considering how her life had gone. She was a complicated character, but grew quite a bit throughout the course of the book.
Fair warning, there is a love triangle in this book, but I didn't find it too problematic. Her feelings for her two love interests were different, and it's not surprising, considering the personalities of said love interests. The fact that they were brothers is a bit of a cliche, but whereas one was aloof and intriguing, the other was charismatic and down-right scary at times.
The romance was a large part of the plot, but the politics were so developed, and kept me on the edge of my seat at every turn. The action just kept getting more and more intense, until the climatic conclusion. I'm in awe of Purdie's world building, and plot, and can't wait to read more from her in the future, and the next installment of the trilogy.