Book Review: BURNING GLASS by Kathryn Purdie

Photo credit: Goodreads
So I was really intrigued by the whole idea of empaths in a Fantasy setting, which is why I requested the ARC, and whoa. Did this book deliver.

But first! The summary:

"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."

Right from the start, Burning Glass drew me in with probably one of the most intense first chapters I’ve read in a long time. I mean, just look at my Goodreads status updates:

Burning Glass is the type of book that grabs you by the throat from the first page and doesn’t let go until the end. With fascinating court politics, very complicated characters (and no pure evil antagonist), intense conflict and so many fascinating layers of world building, I really loved reading this. The world vaguely reminded me of a Shadow and Bone Russia-type setting, but the magic was completely unique and soooooo interesting to read about. I loved some characters, hated others, was suspicious of many more and all in all really enjoyed reading this.

I will say there was one background mythology and a throwaway line about it that was kind of ableist, that I didn’t love, and the love triangle didn't work for me in that one character was...not a viable option to me at all for spoilery reasons. But neither of those points ruined the book for me, personally, and I still found it a very enjoyable read.

Overall, Burning Glass is a wonderfully written, very exciting and emotional YA Fantasy, and I can’t wait to read the next book.

Diversity note: Sadly, I don't remember there being much of any.

Twitter-sized bite:
Looking for an intense YA Fantasy with an unusual magic system? Try BURNING GLASS by Kathryn Purdie. (Click to tweet)

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