What I Loved:
I love historical fiction. I appreciate that an author took the time to research some event or timeframe in history and then spent countless weeks, months, or years to create a story about it. It’s especially exciting for me when I find a historical fiction book that surrounds an event or person that I didn’t know anything about previously.
I got everything that I wanted out of Sin Eater. I loved that this story was about a working position in history that I knew nothing about. I was fascinated by what the Sin Eater must do and the long list of things they must not do.
How I Felt:
I found Sin Eater as I was wandering the virtual shelves of NetGalley. I saw the cover, which has changed since I originally found it, but it just called to me. I KNEW it was a book I needed to read, and then Atria Books was kind enough to send me a copy! I am SO glad that I had the chance to read this book. It was just wonderful.
This story was so well-written and grabbed me immediately. May’s life hasn’t turned out the way she wanted it to. It’s been a hard life with a lot of loss. When caught for stealing, she ends up being punished by being made into a Sin Eater. This is one awful punishment! Tattooed on the tongue with an “S” and collared with a large metal band, she is visible to all as the Sin Eater now. Completely at a loss, she wanders the streets until she finds the Sin Eater’s home.
The entire story up to this point gave me such insight into the lives of the people at this time. One of the many things that captivated me about this book was the detail added to the story that made the world feel real. The wording used, the style of speech, the descriptions of buildings, even down to the footwear, I could picture everything. I felt immersed in the story and it was completely because of the wonderful writing from Meg Campisi.
The plot does involve the story of May becoming a Sin Eater, but it also involved some great court intrigue that May uncovers. She feels the need to find the truth and save people from danger. It added an interesting plot to the story, as May cannot speak to people unless she is hearing a dying person’s sins. She is, in reality, completely alone in recognizing these deaths as murders, and trying to solve them.
The characters were easy to connect with. The main character is May, and she is a sweet, lovable girl. We also find that she has a determined, cut-throat side that makes sure that she gets what she needs. I enjoyed her attitude at her situation, and her need to find the answers to mysterious happenings as the story progressed. I would love to read about her in another story.
Overall, I absolutely loved Sin Eater. The writing was beautiful and made the story flow from scene to scene with ease. The character, May, was the perfect character for this story to revolve around, and the plot was exciting and different.
To Read or Not To Read: I would recommend Sin Eater to readers that enjoy historical fiction with a non-romance plot and plenty of court mystery.
Where to Find This Book:
Sin Eater by Megan Campisi publishes on April 7 and is available at these sites.
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Alice in Wonderland in this gripping and imaginative historical novel about a shunned orphan girl in 16th-century England who is ensnared in a deadly royal plot and must turn her subjugation into her power.
The Sin Eater walks among us, unseen, unheard
Sins of our flesh become sins of Hers
Following Her to the grave, unseen, unheard
The Sin Eater Walks Among Us.
For the crime of stealing bread, fourteen-year-old May receives a life sentence: she must become a Sin Eater—a shunned woman, brutally marked, whose fate is to hear the final confessions of the dying, eat ritual foods symbolizing their sins as a funeral rite, and thereby shoulder their transgressions to grant their souls access to heaven.
Orphaned and friendless, apprenticed to an older Sin Eater who cannot speak to her, May must make her way in a dangerous and cruel world she barely understands. When a deer heart appears on the coffin of a royal governess who did not confess to the dreadful sin it represents, the older Sin Eater refuses to eat it. She is taken to prison, tortured, and killed. To avenge her death, May must find out who placed the deer heart on the coffin and why.
- Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
- Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery
- Publisher: Atria Books
- Page Count: 303 pages
- Pub Date: April 7, 2020
I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.