Author: Amanda Foody
Length: 404 pages (UK paperback edition)
This story follows sixteen year old Sorina who lives with a travelling circus. Sorina is a very rare illusion-worker and has the ability to make illusions that can be seen by others and have their own characteristics. She and her illusions are the family that make up the Freak Show. Sorina believes that her illusions are not actually real until one of them is murdered.
Daughter of the Burning City is a beautifully written, magical and mysterious novel about a girl living in a travelling festival. I absolutely adored the use of imagery and description to present the extravagancy of the setting and the characters and I felt that the plot was very original.
I loved the relationship between Sorina and her family of illusions and I really enjoyed reading the banterous back-and-forth dialogue that happened between all the family members. I thought that each family member was so different from each other and, more importantly, I was happy to see that all the family members were very different to Sorina as I was worried in the beginning that they would all have very similar characterisations which would have made the story bland, however, I was happy to find that this was very much the opposite and all the characters were very original. The only downside to this was that the very quirky characteristics of the illusions made Sorina seem a bit mundane. I liked the way that each of Sorina’s illusions took on the role of family members that Sorina did not previously have in her life.
I felt that the plot of this book was unlike any book I have read before and I loved the combination of fantasy and murder mystery that Amanda Foody presented in her story. I thought that the drip feeding of information throughout Daughter of the Burning City was done very well and really emphasised the mystery of the story which made this read all the more enjoyable. I delighted in the setting of Gomorrah and its beauty. I really liked the idea of Gomorrah being a home for outcasts with many different and unusual abilities.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a dark yet magical story with a fast paced plot, beautiful imagery and loveable characters. Praise to Amanda Foody for writing such a great book!