Saint Death's Daughter

Saint Death's Daughter

by C.S.E. Cooney

1 out of 5

Life gets complicated when Death gets involved.

To be born into a family of royal assassins pretty much guarantees that your life is going to be… rather unusual. Especially if, like Miscellaneous “Lanie” Stones, you also have a vicious allergy to all forms of violence and bloodshed, and an uncanny affinity for bringing the dead back to life.

To make matters worse, family debt looms – a debt that will have to be paid sooner rather than later if Lanie and her sister are to retain ownership of the ancestral seat, Stones Manor. Lanie finds herself courted and threatened by powerful parties who would love to use her worryingly intimate relationship with the goddess of death for their own nefarious ends. But the goddess has other plans…

Lanie was born into a powerful family, and has rare necromancer magic; but she's a good person, who just wants to study and have a quiet life.

I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The story follows Miscellaneous “Lanie” Stones, the youngest daughter of the Stones family, who have been closely connected to the royal family for years.
It starts after the suspicious deaths of her parents, who were the queen's best spy and assassin.
Her older sister, Nita returns home, to get revenge and help clear her family's debt.
Nita has a very weak glamour power, and when she returns, she brings Mak - a foreign wizard enslaved by her magic.

I liked the aspect of magic in this book; that some are born with various powers - and you can tell what they are by the magic marks on their skin. They have natural power boosts during certain periods of the year (i.e. solstices).

I also liked Goody Graves - the Stones' undead servant - and the relationship between her and Lanie.
Goody's silences always speak volumes; and for a huge, undead creature, that generally dislikes everyone; she has a soft spot for Lanie.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. I gave it several attempts, but only got halfway.
I found so much of it slow and frustrating, and totally disappointing after the promise of such an exciting world, and history of violence between the countries.

Lanie was very boring to follow. I don't mind that she's bookish and into her studying; but she's our main character and she is never the driving point of the story. She sits back, complains about stuff, and observes other people having lives.
I'd rather see the world through Nita or Mak's eyes, at least they were having adventures, or dealing with conflicts.
Instead, we're told about anything exciting that happened in past tense. Just like their parents deaths. Just like Nita going all murderous.
I was screaming for something mildly interesting.

When the enemy Blackbird Queen showed up, I thought things were finally turning around.
Things got exciting for a brief stint, but quickly went back to the humdrum.

I thought Lanie's 7-year-old niece was precocious and unbelievable.

I thought that the authors choice to use antiquated English to convey whenever Quadic was being spoken was awful. It was excessively used in places, and made it nearly impossible to read.

I was thoroughly disappointed that the world wasn't explored after building those tantalising conflicts between countries and problems in court.
After some big things happened (in the background), I didn't know what was happening. I can't believe things would carry on as normal. I was completely lost as to why there wasn't more danger and tension - especially when Lanie declares that she wants to stay hidden... weird version of hidden.

There were some great ideas, but poor execution.


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