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State of Sorrow

(Sorrow #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,422 ratings  ·  344 reviews
Sorrow - for that is all she brings us.

A people laid low by grief and darkness.
A cut-throat race for power and victory.
A girl with everything and nothing to lose…

By day, Sorrow governs the Court of Tears, covering for her grief-maddened father, who has turned their once celebrated land into a living monument for the brother who died before she was born.

By night, she seeks
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by Scholastic UK
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Molly Davies I’d have to say no - there is mild sexual content that wouldn’t really be appropriate for an 11 year old!

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Got a hardcover from Fairyloot of this book. Per usual, click on link after picture to see the goodies in all their glory!


It was okay.
Charlotte May
I don’t hand out 5 stars ⭐️ lightly. Usually only for books that shock me or are unlike anything I have ever read.

However, having just finished this YA fantasy- I honestly cannot think of a single thing I didn’t like.

So screw it 5 stars from me!

“Sorrow, for that is all she brings us.”

Sorrow Ventaxis is the daughter of the Chancellor of Rhanna, an empire who have had a tempestuous relationship with their neighbour Rhylla for many years.

On the day of Sorrow’s birth, a peace treaty was arrang
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars


State of Sorrow was a book I had never heard of before getting it in my March Fairyloot box. I had never read anything by Melinda Salisbury before even if I had drooled countless times on her book covers.

In our Fairyloot box was Melinda’s interview where she says: “I’m all about aesthetic and making things look beautiful.” An that she “prefers decorating cakes to making them.” It truly shows in her covers! Honestly State of Sorrows is one of the most lovely covers that I own and deserves
Oh. My. God.
Why didn´t I know about Melinda Salisbury before? Her world building is absolutely outstanding. I only bought this copy because it was signed and the cover was nice, but now I need to buy everything I can find of her.
The positive:
It´s written in 3rd person.
Her descriptions of surroundings, landscape, cloths was amazing.
Characters were deeper than just pretty face and weren´t overwritten, there is still some mystery about them. Some characters you cannot NOT hate and thats the
Umairah | Sereadipity
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Plot: 4/5 Characters: 4/5 Writing: 3/5. 

State of Sorrow was a captivating fantasy and was full of political intrigue and mystery.

Sorrow was the daughter of the Chancellor of Rhannon. Her father had been distant ever since his first son was killed in an accident and his wife died whilst giving birth to Sorrow- he had a low key resentment towards her because of that- and became addicted to drugs. He then threw the entire country into a state of mourning for years and years where no one was allowed
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
State of Sorrow was a book that gave me a lot of different emotions. At first I almost hated it and was so close to putting it away. Suddenly, it got better and things became more interesting. Still I was not sure whether I would want to read the book’s sequel once I had finished it. After reading the quite sensational ending of this book, I am now fully convinced that I need the next book as soon as possible!

The book’s main character, Sorrow Ventaxis is the daughter of Harun Ventaxis, chancell
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

State of Sorrow is the first novel I have read by Melinda Salisbury and I shall certainly be reading more! This book is beautifully written, incredibly descriptive and packs a political punch. We follow the life of Sorrow Ventaxis (the daughter of the Chancellor of Rhannon) as she comes of age and due to her drug-addicted father, is prompted by the Jedenvat (group of Chancellor's advisors) to depose him and take the position herself.

But things are far from easy. Nineteen years ago, her
Samantha Shannon
A gorgeous new fantasy from Melinda Salisbury, which explores imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and the meaning of family.

Driven by a protagonist with a burning desire to shake her country out of its stagnation, State of Sorrow is a timely celebration of young people stepping into the political sphere and a rare look at how an election campaign might play out in a secondary world – a breath of fresh air in a genre dominated by monarchies.

Twists, secrets and threats abound, and you can expect the s
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction

*Rated 4.5 stars

A grief-stricken world void of colour and laughter. Stories that seem legendary, but were real eighteen years ago. A girl taking the chance she never realised she wanted. All of this – and more – you’ll find in State of Sorrow, and I guarantee you it’s worth the read.

Set in a dismal world of permanent grief as the chancellor mourns over a tragedy eighteen years ago, we follow the chancellor’s daughter, Sorrow, as she stands up for
Mar 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Where do I begin?

I started this book as a buddy read with my 2 besties as we received it in our March FairyLoot boxes. It has the most stunning cover, but that’s all it has going for it I’m afraid...

The only good thing about this book was that it was a fast read, meaning it was over faster.

While I admit I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to find out what happened next (the only reason for 1 star is because I couldn’t put it down, otherwise I wouldn’t of rated it), I just couldn’t wait
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned

I feel as mesmerized by this book at the second time around.

There's just something about Sorrow that really resonates with me.
It's her doubts, her weaknesses, her flaws, her heart and her determination all combined.
I root for her non-stop as she goes from sad to confused, to focused to sad-confused-focused over and over again. But I see such strength in this girl who was so poorly loved and still is making the best she can for a better world.
She is understanding, and she falls, s
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)
I was surprised by how much I loved this book! Honestly, I am reading so many awesome books recently! But anyway, I read The Sin Eater's Daughter last year, and I remember thinking it was okayyy, so I was a little bit nervous about picking this one up. It arrived in the March Fairyloot box (which was awesome by the way) and my first thought was "wow that cover mate". But there is so to love inside as well as out - and I personally think this one is a lot better than Melinda Salisbury's first b ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I anticipated a lot of the plot in the first half, but then got tricked by misdirection multiple times later on! Despite being a slow build, there is so much left of this world to explore, and so many more conflicts to uncover that I'll probably be reading the sequel! ...more
Jessica {Litnoob}
This book was an unexpected joy, and one that I cannot believe I might have overlooked. Because it was everything. It ticked off my every box for politically focused books and damn! I loved it, and I loved how real Sorrow felt to me, how she dealt with the world and all that. All the stars, I’d recommend to anyone who likes intrigue in their books.
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
4.25 Stars

I really enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to start the second book in the series....come to find out that it is now unavailable through Kindle. What am I going to do? I was so looking forward to find out what happens to Sorrow and the rest of the characters.
4.5 stars.

I've read this book twice now and I came to appreciate it even more the second time around. It's one of the most unconventional books I've ever read, starting with the fact that it doesn't have a clear genre. It definitely features fantasy elements and magic, and is set in an original world, but said world doesn't reproduce the typical high fantasy tropes. For example, it features a political system built on election campaigns instead of the traditional monarchy. The political aspects
Patricia Crowther
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5*? One or two of the plot points were a little predictable but there were many that were not. I thoroughly enjoyed its almost fairytale style and take on power and politics. Looking forward to the next instalment for sure!
Pauliina (The Bookaholic Dreamer)
My heart is broken. I have no idea how to write a review.

Sorrow's father is shattered by grief for Mael, Sorrow's brother who died before she was born. In his grief, Sorrow's father, the chancellor of Rhannon, has pulled the once glorious place into darkness. The chancellor doesn't allow for music, arts or colours, not even opened windows. Sorrow struggles to deal with her father who is desperately addicted to an awful drug and thus incapacitates himself while using it to deal with his grief. In
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
DNF at pg 47

Given how positive most of the reviews for this book are, I feel like the black sheep because it wasn’t for me. The beginning is so infodumpy and so many characters are introduced so fast that it’s impossible to become invested in them. Plus, logical fallacies in the world building almost from pg 1. If the bridge is the ONLY thing connecting two countries, and armies refuse to cross it, how has there been a 50 year war? I just didn’t get it at all.

Maybe it gets better? Idk, but 50p
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Family, power, manipulation, intrigue, lies.

Honestly? Read it.

It is phenomenal.

The world is just... There are so many details that bring it to life. And the characters are truly part of the world. It's exceptional.

Full review to come.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-owned
I received this book in a past Fairyloot box and have put off reading it for quite some time now without really knowing why. The first thing to catch my eye was the cover, it looks 3 dimensional and very suitable to the story inside.

Sorrow Ventaxis has lived her life, along with all of Rhannon, in mourning for a brother she never got to meet and a mother that died 2 days later during her birth.
Her Father makes sure that none of his people can forget his life's biggest mistake when he accidental
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reads, fairyloot
Gah, this book. It’s so hard to accurately portray my feelings.

It is a little slow in the beginning, though I don’t think in a bad way. There are also a lot of characters introduced early on, along with the political set up, that made it a little hard to follow or connect with. But only at first! As it winds on, the politics is so intriguing, and the characters are complex and interesting.

I particularly like that Sorrow deals with so much - she has self doubt, suffers from her world views chan
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and Paperbacks

“Sorrow, for that is all she brings."

I had never heard of State of Sorrow until it showed up in the FairyLoot box for March. I’m so thankful it was included, otherwise I might have missed out on this marvelous, magical story.

The storytelling and worldbuilding were absolutely stunning. This is my first book by Melinda Salisbury, but it will not be my last. The story was full of breathtaking descriptions, dynamic characters, and political intrigue. Sorr
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
State of Sorrow- 5 stars-
This is definitely going to be one of my favourite YA fantasy books. I didn’t have any expectations going into this novel, since I hadn’t heard any reviews or opinions concerning it, but I absolutely loved it.
The novel wasn’t packed with action, and some may have found it slow, but I found the pacing perfect. It wasn’t packed with action, but it was full of politics. The struggle for power was intriguing and interesting without needing to have action-packed fights or ev
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
UPDATE 3 weeks later: I keep thinking about this book. I keep thinking about how excited I am to go back and continue reading it, only to remember I finished it already. The more I think about this book the more I liked it. I have not read ANYTHING ELSE since I finished State of Sorrow because I can't seem to escape the political intrigue from this novel. Everything else seems a little bland. I don't quite feel this was a 5-star story, but I'm giving it a SOLID 4.5 stars. I really wish I had a s ...more
Tara♥ {MindforBooks}
Sorrow - for that is all she brings us.

I'm actually exhausted and I'm not 100% sure I'm going to survive the wait for the second book.

There isn't anything I can really say without spoiling it.

Political intrigue that causes lots of anxiety and suspicion of absolutely everyone is about as much as I can say.

I adored Sorrow and my heart often broke for her, I felt helpless with her and I wanted to shout at her. She has basically all the markings of a great heroine. You can be mad at her and still
This was such a beautiful book. Sorrow was such an incredible and strong character to follow. Growing up with a grief-stricken father, no mother, and a country frozen in time, she shows both courage and fear, figuring out her role in her life and what she wants to be.
The worldbuilding especially beautiful and subtle. I loved how it was woven together throughout the book without doing an infodump and making it interesting but not overwhelming.
The Lamentia subplot was so intriguing that I hope we
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is so good, I don't think I've ever read a YA book so heavily steeped in politics, I loved it! The story follows Sorrow, who I instantly sympathised with, she's been brought up by relatives after the death of her mother and her father has no interest in raising her.
The introduction to the story is fairly long, meaning the beginning can feel rather slow and drawn out. However, without this thorough and detailed intro into the world the author has created there would be much more confusi
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally published on I Should Read That

I didn’t know much about State of Sorrow going in.  Not only did I completely misread the blurb when the book was announced (I thought it was a contemporary book -- don’t ask), I just picked it up on blind faith due to the cover and the author.  I enjoyed The Sin Eater’s Daughter and was hoping for more strong, yet quiet heroines and lush language.

I’m going to come right out and say it -- this book was incredibly slow to start.  I usually give a book 100
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this, a lot. Especially the first part, because it felt really artsy and abstract. The writing was really special. There are some things that don't really make sense, but all in all the book is totally worth reading ...more
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Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also lik ...more

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“I'm not scared. I'm..." She paused. "I've been locked up in this... this dungeon of a palace my whole life. As of tomorrow, that's all I'll ever have. This palace. This life. At seventeen, that's it. My future decided."
"Sorrow, I know-"
"No, you don't know." Sorrow threw her arms wide, as though gesturing to all of Rhannon. "I've only ever known Rhannon as it is. This is Rhannon, for me. No one in their right mind would want me in charge of it.”
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