Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.
But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?
I’m giving this 3.5 stars mostly for the writing, I really like how Salisbury writes. I didn’t love the romance elements, they felt forced between Twylla and Leif, and strained and weird between Twylla and Meren. And the royalty succession thing just plain creeped me out. But I liked some of the non romance elements quite a lot, especially all the things around the poison and the elements of people being scared of Twylla – the sense of loneliness was very well done.