Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

daughter of the burning cityDaughter of the Burning City
By Amanda Foody
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9781489242068
Pages: 416
Genre: YA Fantasy/LGBTQ+


Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

My Thoughts

Daughter of the Burning City was another Pride Month selection for me. Having sat on my shelf for too long and seeing all of the positive feedback for Amanda Foody’s latest release Ace of Shades, it only made sense to pick this up now. I have to admit that my expectations were pretty high with the recent buzz. Fortunately, they were met.

The skinny..

Sorina is a 16-year-old illusion worker (the only one born in over 100 years) living in the city of Gomorrah Festival, a traveling circus. She has the ability to create illusions that others can see and feel. They are part of the festival’s freak show and the only family Sorina knows. But they are not truly living creations. Or so she thought until one is murdered and she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous search for answers and a means to protect her family. With the help of Luca, a gossip worker, she soon uncovers a disturbing scheme that will forever change the life she has known and leave her questioning everything and everyone.

What I appreciated..

  • Characters, characters, characters! Amanda Foody has created a diverse and rewarding cast starting with narrator young Sorina who is incredibly devoted to her family and those she cares about. Born with no eyes and a strange gift, she is perhaps one of the more unique protagonists I have encountered. Supporting characters range from an odd ensemble of illusions to Luca (my personal favorite) who is demisexual (presented in a very natural and viable manner), which is something I rarely encounter in books ❤
  • Do you know what else the above means? ^ No insta-love!
  • The Gomorrah Festival is an incredible setting that offers readers something worthy of exploration. Brimming with magic and the mysterious, it is the perfect environment for this whodunnit plot.
  • The writing is fluid and engaging, carrying Sorina’s story with ease while maintaining an air of the unknown that draws the reader through each page effortlessly.

Challenges some may encounter.. 

  • Sorina lacks eyes yet maintains the ability to see all that is happening around her. We can only assume this is through some magical talent such as her ability to create illusions, however, I found myself frustrated with the lack of explanation.
  • The ending was slightly predictable but not disappointing.

Daughter of the Burning City boasts an incredible setting with a fun plot, but the real reward lies within the dynamic characters. Lacking the typical tropes, it offers readers something refreshing and worthy of a slow, savory read.

tea cup

Savor over a cup of Lapsang Souchong or your favorite smoky blend.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com  Book Depository

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Happy Reading,


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29 thoughts on “Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

    1. I do not think I have had much prior experience with their titles that I can recall. I may have to look now, you have me curious! I think the big when here for me was how naturally unique and diverse the cast was and the plot felt original. I am curious to see how I feel with Ace of Shades. Thanks Briana!


  1. Could you please stop writing such amazing reviews so I stop adding books to my TBR… thanks!!! LOL… but really this book sounds AMAZING… and you are amazing but you know that so keep it up!! loving these PRIDE month books!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hah, reading this review I realized something… I don’t know much at all about what various sexualities actually ‘mean’… I have breezed through life kind of -oh, you’re …sexual. Cool. wanna grab a beer? … I am totally oblivious, I am ashamed to admit. Maybe this why this Pride Month reading you’re doing has sparked my interest because it seems a lot of the times, the various sexualities are portrayed in great manner and realistically.
    Yet again, intriguing book and great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah shucks Stan! Thank you 💕 I had to giggle at the “oh your sexual. Cool. Wanna grab a beer?” Because that is how life should be my friend. I grew up discovering I was bi (maybe pan) and demisexual in a region of our country that was not so open minded, so I love Pride Month for a multitude of reasons! Realistic, natural portrayals are the best ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like.. it doesn’t take much to make someone question everything they believe in, or would love to have in life or.. you know, it impacts everything… stigma and narrow-mindedness are the absolute worst!
        Like in every country there have been the times of oppression and I actually remember the first time I met a person who was openly gay and I was in awe 😀 hahaha… it was in high school and he shared a dorm with 5 other guys and they were all incredibly cool about it.. I mean, it wasn’t even a thing, a thing to always hang over people’s heads.. we just were and I love that… it’s a total shame how certain beliefs have caused people to suffer… but, I would definitely think things are turning for the better overall?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorina sounds like a peculiar and fascinating character, but when you mentioned that they don’t explain how she sees… It sort of lost all its flair and awesomeness. 😦 Great review nonetheless, Danielle. The cast still sounds awesome! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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