By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Book review: 'Burning Glass' weaves story of intrigue, betrayal and passion
"Burning Glass" by Utah author Kathryn Purdie - photo by Wendy Jessen
"BURNING GLASS," by Kathryn Purdie, Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 512 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

Kathryn Purdie's debut novel "Burning Glass" is a young adult fantasy that brings mystery, romance and complex deception together in a suspenseful story full of twists.

Sonya has a gift or curse of sensing and absorbing what the people around her feel, both physically and emotionally. After hiding her gift from the empire for 17 years, she is brought by bounty hunters to a convent where she lives with other Auraseers and trains to protect the palace of Riaznin from assassins.

Before she is fully trained and able to understand her gift, Sonya finds herself next in line to serve the new emperor as his sovereign Auraseer after the queen is murdered. Her job is to sense the intentions of those throughout the palace and detect anyone with ill intentions toward the emperor. Failure to do so will result in her death and put at risk the lives of the few people close to her.

While trying to hone her abilities, Sonya finds herself struggling between her required loyalty to the charming and volatile Emperor Valko and her feelings toward a revolution brewing among the peasants, nobles and those closest to her. Valko and his brother, the crown prince, Anton, are at odds with each other over how the kingdom should be handled.

Complicating matters further, Sonya must determine whether her feelings are her own or are from others' auras affecting her choices and passions. Her growing attraction to Anton further clouds her decision to protect the throne of Riaznin. She soon realizes she is both the key to saving the empire and the one person with the power to bring it down.

Purdie expertly weaves a complex storyline with well-developed characters in a vividly described world to entrance readers with her words. "Burning Glass" is more appropriately suited to teens in high school and older readers.

"Burning Glass" has some scenes of mild violence pertaining to revolution and some described instances of dominating brutality that almost result in death. Sexual content does not go beyond kissing, though there are some references that show one character's desire to go beyond that against another character's will. There is one instance of mild swearing.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters