Hello Humans! How can it possibly be the end of March? How? Who allowed this to happen? We are ¼ through the year! It seems fitting to have started the year reading Melinda Salisbury and then to mark today with her latest book State of Sorrow. This was a book that I honestly wasn’t that interested in before I got to know Mel’s work and realised that she has an absolutely wonderful writing style and she has now become one of my auto-purchase authors!
A people cowed by grief and darkness.
A cut-throat race for power and victory.
A girl with everything and nothing to lose…
Sorrow all but rules the Court of Tears, in a land gripped by perpetual grief, forever mourning her brother who died just days before Sorrow was born. By day she governs in place of her father, by night she seeks secret solace in the arms of the boy she’s loved since childhood. But when her brother is seemingly found alive, and intent on taking control, Sorrow has to choose whether to step aside for a stranger who might not be who he claims to be, or embark on a power struggle for a position she never really wanted.
This book is utterly phenomenal! I read the entire thing in maybe two hours I was so desperate to know what happens. Melinda Salisbury has a talent for creating settings and situations that just capture my imagination. In The Sin Eater’s Daughter it was the idea of the funeral ritual that drew me in, in this case it was the ritual obsession with grief, and the idea of someone brought up grieving who had never known those she was meant to mourn.
Sorrow, she is the most wonderful character. What I appreciated most about her was that, while she pushed the boundaries of her societies expectations, her doing so was completely believable. She didn’t feel like a stock YA character, she’s not a princess, nor is she a revolutionary, she’s someone who has been dealt a fairly rubbish (but not that awful) hand and who wants to make changes because she loves her country.
The other thing I think it is worth mentioning is that this book will twist your mind sideways and will make it so you cannot trust anyone anymore. Every time I thought I had got my head around what was going on and who I liked and who was a baddie, there would be a major plot twist and I would be left flailing and confused (in the best way).
Also, don’t let the summary fool you, this isn’t a drippy romance. Yes there is a little bit of forbidden love in there, and it does inform the plot to a degree, this is far more a story about finding independence and power through your own means. I’ve never had any issues with how Melinda Salisbury has written romances in the past and I don’t think that’s changed now.
This is a great example of a fantasy setting with just the right amount of worldbuilding. This world isn’t too complex, there aren’t pages of metaphysic or anything, but the details you need to fully immerse yourself in a fantasy society are there. I’m interested to see how this will develop in the later stories in this world because it definitely left me on a huge cliffhanger.
Should you read this? If you have enjoyed Melinda Salisbury’s work in the past I think you will certainly enjoy this. Equally, if you weren’t excited about The Sin Eater’s Daughter then why not start this whole new series and see how it goes?
Finally, this isn’t relevant to the book review I just thought I’d mention, on my paperback the o/ripple is embossed in such a way that it’s basically a worry stone and it was immensely satisfying to fiddle with while reading!
My rating: 5/5 stars
All opinions are my own.
What say you? Who are your auto-buy authors? Let me know in the comments below!