Here is the summary of the book:
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.
BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
Not sure what the title means in context of the plot but Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie offers a marvelous world building, beautiful writing within its pages and a protagonist who can sense the emotions of those around her. Auraseers they are called and they are a prized commodity in the kingdom. But Sonya is a special case even amongst her unusual peers. Not only the living but also the dead, she can sense them. That in itself is unusual. Of course, she was brought to the convent 8 months prior, so hadn't had the means of controlling her erratic powers yet.
When an accident leads to her being the only Auraseer left of the right age. She is thrust in the heart of the royal court and appointed the royal auraseer of the Emperor.But the capital is a much more populated area than the convent was, the royal court much much dangerous. And Sonya has her work cut out for her trying to separate what she is feeling in context to everyone does around her. There is the manipulative Emperor Valko and the brooding Prince Anton to consider as well. Sonya is seemingly out of her depths and more than ever realizes that as well.
While I understand Sonya's plight and appreciate her efforts I also didn't like how she just always got swept by the emotions of those her. Especially the Emperor's as she always soaked on his raging emotions and it always feels like she didn't have control over herself at all. Of course then she meets the Prince and like always finds her center. I like flawed characters as a whole because they offer a certain amount of dimensionality to the plot but i'm not really sold on a protagonist who always gets swept away by the intentions of those around her.
The romance was another part I didn't like here. It appears as a love triangle at first but painstakingly moving through the pages it becomes quite clear who Sonya prefers but I didn't like what I found on the way. The synopsis also proclaims that Sonya chooses one of the brothers to trust but it actually becomes quite clear that one she trusted as always and the other just wanted to get physical with her.
Although, alls well that ends well. The ending is quite hopeful and happy but it left a lot of things undone. I especially wanted Sonya to atleast use her seers abilities to save Valko's life during the story and be a little less needy whenever she was near him. There is also no clear villain here. The Emperor maybe portrayed as such but he was only your average ambitious King taught to do things in a certain way since infancy. And Anton the revolutionary Prince who only wanted everyone to have equal rights .... Just a suggestions if the author had told the story in three separate point of views including flashbacks from the time Anton and Valko spent away from their home ..... Maybe things would have been more interesting then. But no I am not completely sold out on Purdie's debut but i'll reserve my judgement for the sequel.
"Great plot and a marvelous world but didn't hold my fancy"