Daughter of the Burning City

Sorina is the adopted daughter of Villiam, the proprietor of the Gomorrah Festival. More than a show, Gomorrah is home to tens of thousands of people who would be considered fringe members of society: jynx-workers, male and female prostitutes and assassins. Most members of the smoldering city--the smoke supposedly trapped souls on the festival borders--are either Gomorrah-born or from the Down-Mountains, a place of warm weather and diverse ethnicities.

Sorina, now 16, is the next in line to run the festival. Unlike her father, she is a powerful jynx-worker, capable of creating illusions that not only look, feel, sound and smell real, but can, in some cases, even become their own beings. In this way, she has created a family that includes (among others) a tree-man, a two-headed boy, a woman with inhuman strength and a young girl with the talons and wings of a hawk. She feels at home among these self-created "freaks" because she--born without eyes yet capable of sight--feels like a "freak" herself. Now traveling in the Up-Mountains, Sorina finds herself and her family in danger; someone (somehow) kills one of her illusions... and then another. Desperate to stop the destruction of her family, Sorina begins working with a young, disagreeable "gossip-worker" who knows all of the ins and outs of Gomorrah while also possessing powerful magic of his own: he can be killed but can never die.

The world of Daughter of the Burning City is astoundingly vivid and complex, the smells, sounds and sights of the smoldering city/traveling carnival near tangible. Amanda Foody's deliciously dark and magical whodunit has world-building so rich, the reader (like visitors to Gomorrah) is likely to leave with a hangover. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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