- Author: Megan Campisi
- Series: Standalone
- No. of pages: 351
- Dates read: 12.06.20 – 15.06.20
- Star Rating: 3
- ARC received from Pan Macmillan
Plot: A Sin Eater’s duty is a necessary evil: she hears the final private confessions of the dying, eats their sins as a funeral rite, and so guarantees their souls access to heaven. It is always women who eat sins – since it was Eve who first ate the Forbidden Fruit – and every town has at least one, not that they are publicly acknowledged. Stained by the sins they are obliged to consume, the Sin Eater is shunned and silenced, doomed to live in exile at the edge of town. Recently orphaned May Owens is just fourteen, and has never considered what it might be like to be so ostracized; she’s more concerned with where her next meal is coming from. When she’s arrested for stealing a loaf of bread, however, and subsequently sentenced to become a Sin Eater, finding food is suddenly the last of her worries. It’s a devastating sentence, but May’s new invisibility opens new doors. And when first one then two of the Queen’s courtiers suddenly grow ill, May hears their deathbed confessions – and begins to investigate a terrible rumour that is only whispered of amid palace corridors.
I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, the only historical fiction books I tend to read are set in the 1920’s so alternate Elizabethan England was new territory for me.
Thank you Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book while I have written down as historical fiction its actually a world based off of Elizabethan England but essentially in a different universe with the same story about the Tudors but they all have different names. I really liked this aspect.
I thought the idea of a Sin Eater as a whole was really interesting. I loved learning about which food correlated with each sin and I loved going to learn about the different sins committed by people of all ages and all classes. Allowing us to read about the different sins for different people really helped with the worldbuilding and getting a sense of the populace in this story.
I thought the mystery as a whole was really good. I was sucked in reading this and I desperately needed to know how the story ended. I was picking up this book whenever I got the chance to. I did find elements of the story to be quite convenient with May just being in the right space at the right time but that did not stop my enjoyment of the story and the reveal at the end was very satisfying.
I really liked the numerous side characters we got to meet and I loved seeing the world through 14-year-old May’s eyes. I am so used to reading books through a adult or older teenager so it was refreshing to read something with a completely different POV.
I did at times find some of the narrative choices made reading quite uncomfortable. Elizabethan England is meant to be grotesque and I felt the author really brought that across but I felt at times it was too much for me. Especially when you remember you are viewing the story through the eyes of a minor!
The next book I will be reviewing is Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson. Another historical fiction mystery!