Two Minute Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Title: Burning Glass
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Genre: fantasy, romance
Series: Burning Glass #1
Pages: 512
Published: March 1 2016
Source: publishers via edelweiss
Rating: 1/5

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.

I've read this book before. I read it a few times, with a few minor tweaks, a year. If you read YA and fantasy, chances are you've read this book before. There may be a differeny (highly and obviously inspired) setting but this book offers nothing new. This is a basic, generic quasi-fantasy that is propelled not by any real kind of plot, but instead by an obnoxious and hasty romance. And, in addition to using lazy tropes and pure cliches to propel the story, this romance is also a terrible-written love triangle between the Sonya in her role as the Chosen One trope aaaand two royal brothers.

Usually I would have checked out of of a novel this obviously romance-driven much sooner (think: most likely a DNF) but I was admittedly curious in the magic and abilities of the Auraseers Purdie shows here.  They are a strong kind of empath that is used by royalty for political reasons but... that angle is glossed over for some seriously skeevy romantic entanglements. The beginning, though uneven starts out memorably and uniquely. However, any substantial aspect of characterization or worldbuilding is gone from the novel once Sonya leaves for the Palace.

I am willing to be patient with debut fantasy but Burning Glass started out jumbled and confusing, continued with no real plot for much of the novel, focused instead on tepid romances, one of which was an uncomfortable victim blaming and relationship with the abuser (SPOILER[I get that her power confuses her as to whether what Valko does to her/with her is wanted or not but NO. NO TO ALL OF THAT (/END SPOILER]), no real worldbuilding, bland cliched characters and it laaaags.


  1. awww! I actually really liked this one. It did play on some typical fantasy tropes but I usually don't mind that since fantasy=Happy Kristen :-P Hopefully your next read goes better.

    1. Well I am glad that you liked it! How did you feel about the romances -- any particular ship???

  2. I took this off my list because you frowned down on it, and I know if you tend to not like a book, same here. Thank you for the warning.


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