The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
A medieval landscape where Gods still hold sway over the lives of men is the backdrop for this strange and bitter feast. This is a heady mix, but a refreshing alternative to other tales of dystopia and witches. It is to be relished like a banquet - dishes of raw flesh and luscious fruit masking the stench of corruption.
Twylla's mother eats a feast of symbolic bitter herbs and offal from the coffins of the dead to atone for their sins. Twylla, however, has been drawn into the royal household, as she was discovered to be the Daunen Embodied - a position in the court to be feared and directly under the orders of the queen. The title bequeaths her the power to kill with a single touch, a power which will disappear after her marriage to the Prince. Her potency is tested each month and the poison that gifts her miraculous power is replenished. Though she is constantly told she is blessed by the Gods, life around her seems to be a crazed concoction of lust for power, political subterfuge, arranged marriage, moral delusion and decay. And then the Gods desert her.
Imagine this untouched, arrogant young woman, isolated, feared, manipulated by a treacherous regime that is descending into vengeful madness. There is a difficult road ahead, littered with deceit, betrayal and the crumbling of cherished certainties. Consume at your peril.