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.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for generously providing with a copy for review! It’s always a pleasure working with you and your incredible books.
Sin Eaters as a concept are incredibly fascinating. I had never heard of them before this book, and the idea that certain people were designated to carry the sins of their community on their souls. It seems like a confessional but like way more intense. So I was already hooked on the premise of Campisi’s novel, and she really does an incredible job of weaving a story together. I always have misgivings about stories with such a young protagonist (when I think about what I was doing when I was 14, I find it hard to believe that this is possible). But Campisi helps make it more realistic by making the setting historical (think 40 is a good ole age) and also by making May a little helpless. She doesn’t have all the solutions, she is quite genuinely scared, and she really relies on the people around her to help get her out of situations. This really made the book more believable, and super easy to fall into.
Campisi does a great job of making the characters multidimensional in ways that you don’t expect. Oh the Sin Eater? She has a backstory that is quite tragic. Oh the other people shunned by society? Not just going to accept May because they share a similar situation, and not always kind. There is no cookie-cutter character in this story, and in that way it makes the plot much more interesting. I was never quite certain how things were going to end up, and Campisi doesn’t shy away from tragedy or character death. Everything moves at quite a quick pace, and you’re never left wanting things to move a little faster.
Overall, I really loved this book, and feel extremely comfortable giving it a 5/5. It weaves together storylines from the past and present to make a complex and enthralling story, complete with interesting characters and heartfelt moments. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of Campisi’s books in the future.
Sin Eater comes out on April 7th, be sure to pick up your copy then!!
Until next time ducks!