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  • Interesting twist as an alternative history, looking forward to the next book.

    It's a good read, with an interesting alternative Elizabethan era (with twists that play on bits of history that aren't secret, but aren't GCSE history either, so are pleasing to recognise.) The mystery is fine, but is mostly interesting for what it shows about the world of the book.

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  • Stayed with me after reading

    The Sin Eater is a fantastic concept – set in an alternate 16th century history which has ties and nods to real life but will still appease fantasy readers. The whole idea of having Sins tied to different foods and them being confessed on deathbed and eaten by a woman who is seen as a pariah is a strong one and the world building is top rate. I had no idea until I sat down to write this review that this was actually a real-life historical Welsh practice and I applaud the author for taking a real piece of history, exploring it in detail and bringing it to the attention of a contemporary reader. I would have perhaps liked a little more explanation on the foods and why certain foods were picked but as May is quite new to the practice this gap in the knowledge is in keeping with her character. May is a great character with a few odd quirks – as she is mute for most of the book, the author has found a good way to convey her feelings and question her surroundings. She has a tendency to ask questions to inanimate objects and imagine their replies which works well. She also gives nicknames to certain characters instead of using their names which does work well on occasion but I must admit I did get a little lost when the main ‘whodunnit’ style of plot was explored as there is less consistency on who characters are. The plot is good in theory as a serial killer murders members of court and plants food at their confessional eating to frame them for crimes. However in execution I found it a little confusing and I actually wanted to explore more of the job itself and May’s backstory rather than the events unfolding around the over-arching theme. I would love another instalment of May’s adventures but this is very much a standalone book with a contained ending. Overall The Sin Eater is a fantastic concept that has stayed with me after reading - highly recommended. Thank you to NetGalley & Pan Macmillan – Mantle for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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