Book Review: Burning Glass – Kathryn Purdle


What do I write about again?

Sorry, exams are brainwashing me.


Name: Burning Glass
Author: Kathryn Purdle
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 1, 2016


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. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always 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 charming-yet-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.

Book Cover Comments

It’s seriously what attracted me to read this book. The sapphire necklace and the photo editing is just absolutely gorgeous.

The Actual Review

So I’d like to assume that this book is basically set in alternative Russia due to the fact that all of the character’s names pretty much sound Russian, i.e. Yuri

And that the next door country Shengli is basically China

Ok back to the main point, this book didn’t exactly live to the hype that it seemed to have with its eBook on the NYT bestseller. In my opinion at least. I felt that the beginning was somewhat messy, everything was very confusing and dizzy due to the reader not exactly understanding Sonya’s abilities due to the fact that she hid it for so long.

The synopsis also drove me crazy because I felt it didn’t deliver the correct points at the correct moment- the first paragraph seemed like a speed sum-up of Sonya’s life before the book starts. I’d also like to say that it’s less of a love triangle than tried-but-not-my-love-love and real-love, so the synopsis was slightly misleading to me.

The story started out fairly slow and extremely confusing, the location wasn’t well explained and the context was somewhat a lost for me. It would have been nice if we didn’t directly jump into the situation and have a little backstory for the readers to know WHAT WAS GOING ON.

Love sparks already flew here and there quite near the beginning of the book, and the love plot was real fun. I had a lot of struggles between the chosen one and Sonya and if my heart aches or butterflies loom in my stomach, it means that the author has done well.

But at the same time I felt the book was slightly insensitive with the way the Auraseers deal with the pressure of having to handle so many emotions at the same time. They often seek self release, and even though I understand the pressure, its not the best feeling to read something so confronting because I’ve been through some of these situations myself.

The oppression Sonya was receiving was quite, I don’t know, wow? I mean she got to sit on a god damn stool next to the king during balls. If that’s not pet-enough then I don’t know what is. All I could actually think was the Red Queen with Giant Alice sitting next to her in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. However Sonya’s ability to overcome some of these obstacles and her perseverance was what drove the story to a good path, which led to a nice ending to finish and Sonya ending up being a really strong character than what she started off to be.

Valko’s path was really well written and his personality was really interesting to read. His literal bipolar behavior was the other factor that really drove the story to its maximum potential, allowing Sonya to draw our her abilities as well. While we must not ignore Anton and its not like his contributions are nothing, but when Valko is this really impulsive character, it added good elements to the story to make it more sudden, shocking and vibrant.

Burning Glass wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure if I can really bring myself to pick up the next few books. This already is a wrap up, and while the next book continues off where the plot dropped, I felt like this book was enough by itself. Maybe I’ll feel like continuing in the far/near future, but yea.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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