“Burning Glass” by Kathryn Purdie

Burning Glass (Burning Glass #1) by Kathryn Purdie

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books on March 1st 2016

Review Source: Publisher, Edelweiss

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Splash of Historic Russian Charm

Plot: What would you give for the ability to feel others emotions as your own? For some, a gift such as this could offer power and protection, but Sonya is not like the others at the convent where she is forced to reside. Raised by Romska gypsies and lacking refinery, the Sestras say she is too wild; her gift too unnatural. No one should be able to tap into the auras of beasts or the dead. As raw and temperamental as she may be, Sonya is the next in line to serve as the emperor’s Sovereign Auraseer. Whisked away to the capital, she soon finds herself drowning under the weight of her new position and torn between her desire for a set of royal beefcake brothers freedom and the demand to serve.

Review: Burning Glass focuses on Sonya’s struggle to wrangle a power that she cannot entirely control.  As an Auraseer, her own emotions are often confused or overpowered by anyone who happens to be feeling anything too intensely within a five-mile radius. It causes her to consistently do things that she doesn’t want to do, but since her emotions are not her own, she must. * Sigh * It was particularly troublesome for me in relation to Valko. I get that he is an emperor. I also understand that Riaznin is a land that mirrors the 18th century Russian Empire and during that time it was common for women to be treated as objects to control or oppress. However, it’s exhausting to see a heroine that could be powerful and dynamic get thrown around like a ragdoll. Worse yet, it felt a little like she was ok with it.

Some redemption was to be had from her struggle to sort out her feelings. Her relationship with Anton (a.k.a. the kinder, more modern brother of Valko) displayed that she is aware of the fact that romance isn’t equated with violence. She eventually learns to stand her ground, but honestly I just felt really disappointed and exhausted every time Sonya started trying to dissect her feels. YET I KEPT READING IT AND COULD NOT STOP.

Despite how little I cared for Sonya’s wishy-washiness I will not shortchange Kathryn Purdie’s skill as an author. She managed to hook me from the start and her attention to detail is tremendous. I couldn’t put the book down once I started, and even though her characters are all inherently flawed I STILL like them. Even Valko! It takes a lot for an author to make me simultaneously loath, love, and pity the bad guy, but by golly, she did it!

Rating: 4 out of 5 star

Who Should Snag It:  I’ll chalk this one up as a guilty pleasure for those who enjoy romance, fantasy, and a bit of historical drama.

*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*

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