The book featured in July’s ‘Tricksters’ box from Fairy Loot was the debut novel from Amanda Foody. From first hearing about this theme I was looking forward to the book and Daughter Of A Burning City was a book which promised mysterious goings on at a travelling carnival so I couldn’t wait to get started!
The events of this novel take place at the Gomarrah Festival, a travelling circus-city filled with fascinating characters with unusual skills who perform at the festival, catering to the strangest of desires. Amongst them is sixteen-year-old Sorina, a girl who possesses a rare talent which sets her apart from the rest – she is an illusion-worker. The first of her kind to be born in hundreds of years, Sorina is capable of creating illusions, illusions who have their own personalities, who can be seen and touched. In the early stages of the story we are introduced to this diverse and unusual group, and see how collectively they form Sorina’s family. Performing together as part of the festival’s freak show, these lifelike individuals are precious to her. But a day arises in which the Gomorrah festival is thrown into disarray, culminating in the murder of one of Sorina’s illusions. But as she grieves for a lost friend, many questions are raised. Who is responsible for the murder, and why? And how can someone be killed, if they are only an illusion?
I really enjoyed the setting of this novel and the premise intrigued me so I soon became immersed in this book and in the magical world that Amanda Foody has created. I enjoyed meeting the different characters and learning about what skills they had and how they fit into life at the festival. The questions surrounding the murder and those responsible made for a gripping read and I read on in interest, eager to find out what was going on. Along the way we meet various fascinating characters as we try to piece together what happened, and how the culprit can be stopped. Sorina is a really interesting narrator who is fiercely protective of her family and determined to seek out the truth. And her journey also involves her own self discovery as she becomes more aware of her own abilities in addition to those around her. We also see her developing relationship with Luca, known as a gossip-worker, who helps Sorina in her search for answers. I was also a fan of the illustrations of some of the characters throughout the book which were accompanied by facts about their character which helped add to the mysterious feel of the book and the quest for the truth.
Daughter Of The Burning City is an original and enjoyable book about a remarkable girl’s journey to find the truth and to save those closest to her. It is a great debut novel set in a magical setting which kept me gripped throughout with its portrayal of an extraordinary festival and the sinister events that occur within.