Review of Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Sonya is an auraseer, which means she feels the emotions of the people around her. When tragedy strikes at home, Sonya is taken from her small village to the palace to be the sovereign Auraseer. She is given the small task of protecting the Emperor and entire kingdom from any and all threats. No pressure. Sonya was at the beginning of her training and not at all in control of her abilities, but that doesn’t stop the Emperor’s brother Prince Anton dragging her to the palace.
Emperor Valko is volatile in every sense of the word. Sonya intrigues him, which is not such a great thing for her. On the flip side, Prince Anton, who Sonya is slightly intrigued by, has only the cold shoulder for her. Of all the character attributes I could describe Sonya with: strong, courageous, defiant… the one that speaks most to me is caring. If she does not succeed at protecting the Emperor and kingdom, she will be executed and the job will fall to the next eldest auraseer. The next eldest auraseer is only a child. Sonya cares for the two little girls Dasha and Kira that she left behind and does everything in her power to protect them from this burden.
The sentences describing how Sonya felt are well-crafted pieces of art, “I felt like a glass figurine skittering to the edge of a mantel in an earthquake. Any more of this and I would fall, break into a million pieces.” (Pg. 73). Purdie writes with an elegance and style that feels deeply unique. I tore through this book wanting more. The ending of the book could be the end of the whole story, but knowing that it’s not makes me hungry for the next one.
Emotions are never truly thought of as a power to wield. I never thought that having the power to sense every emotion around you as an asset, in fact I thought of it as a disadvantage. That is how it is portrayed in the beginning of the book as well. Slowly Sonya begins to realize that she holds more power than she gives herself credit for. Which I think is something a lot of us can relate to. We all have that deep well of abilities, weather it’s drawing, or gymnastics, or investigating the world around us, we all have it. Sonya is one of those people who views her strength as her weakness, from a decade of trying to hide and mute it. Now she is asked to use it to her full capacity and it awakens a part of her she never knew.
Burning Glass is Purdie’s debut novel, and a very good one at that. It is the first in a trilogy, the second to be released sometime next year. Purdie was inspired to write this book when she was recovering from donating her kidney to her brother.
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie is out now.