Sword of the Seven Sins & Siege of the Seven Sins (The Seven Sins, #1 and #2) by Emily Colin
Published: August 3rd 2020 & August 3rd 2021 by Blue Crow Publishing
Rating: ★★★★ (for books 1 & 2)
Genre: Young Adult // Fantasy, Dystopia
**This book was gifted to me by the Publisher for an impartial review. There was no obligation to post/give this book a certain rating. This gifting in no way alters my review.*
Book One: From Emily Colin, author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Memory Thief.
Eva Marteinn never wanted to be a killer.
Raised in the Commonwealth, where citizens live and die by the code of the Seven Sins, Eva is sickened by the barbaric punishments the High Priests inflict. She sees the Bellators of Light, the Commonwealth’s executioners, as no more than conscienceless killers.
When she’s Chosen as the first female bellator—and can’t refuse, on threat of exile or disgrace—Eva is devastated. But she turns out to be inordinately gifted at the very role she abhors…no thanks to her mentor, Ari Westergaard, who alternates between ignoring her and challenging her to impossible tests.
Ari’s indifference conceals a dangerous secret: He’s loved Eva since they were children. When Eva falls for Ari too, she knows they should do anything to avoid each other. Love is forbidden. Lust is a death sentence. But as mentor and apprentice, they’re bound by the blood oath they swore the day of Eva’s Choosing.
Balanced on a razor’s edge of desire and betrayal, the two uncover a secret that could overturn the Commonwealth itself. Now Eva must make an impossible choice: Turn her back on Ari, and remain loyal to the only home she’s ever known—or risk everything on the slim hope of freedom, and stake her life on the boy she’s come to love.
Book Two: What do you do when the victory you’ve been fighting for is doomed to break your heart?
Rogue bellators Eva Marteinn and Ari Westergaard have escaped the restrictive world of the Commonwealth, and they would like nothing more than to leave it behind forever. But Eva is the formidable weapon the Commonwealth wants—and they’ll stop at nothing to get her back.
For years, Ari has seen Eva as his temptation and his secret, his virtue and his sin. Now that they’re finally free, he wants what he’s been craving—to start a new life…with her.
But Eva is keeping a devastating secret of her own: the very victory against the Commonwealth the two of them have been fighting for is doomed to break their hearts. She faces an impossible decision—to be the face of the revolution she’s dedicated her life to and abandon the boy she loves…or to sacrifice everything she’s fought for to stand by his side.
When I was offered the chance to read Emily Colin’s upcoming release (Siege of the Seven Sins) and given the first book to get up to date on the series, I was more than intrigued – I was desperate for this enchanting story-world to come to life in my eyes. I thought I’d review them both together as it makes things so much easier for my readers to see my thoughts on the series as a whole without waiting for a second part!
The idea of this world where the inhabitants live and die by the code of the Seven Sins intrigued me so much. Ever since a Religious Studies class at school, I always found the seven deadly sins to be such a fascinating concept, and so having that incorporated into this was already a selling point. Our main character, Eva, is the kind of person that dystopian novels are made for. She’s got some incredible character development, not only throughout the first novel but so much in the second. Her mentor Ari, is not only that but also her love interest. But because love is forbidden, it’s pretty much a death sentence to feel the way they do about one another, which over the course of just the first novel, it’s pretty clear the feelings are stronger than they both know how to contain.
Pretty soon in the first novel, Eva is chosen as the first female bellator, a killer. She’s absolutely horrified that this role has been given to her, and even though she finds out that she’s extremely gifted at this new role that she doesn’t want, it still makes her feel awful just being in the position she is in – fight and be a killer, or betray the oath she swore to the Commonwealth. With Ari by her side, anything feels possible. But faced with her choice of remaining loyal to her home or risking it all for Ari and a thin chance of freedom, it’s not the easiest of decisions to make. But after we see a cataclysmic ending to the first novel and ricochet into the second, it’s clear that Eva and Ari have chosen each other and make a break for something better than the life they were living. Though Eva is still a prized possession for the Commonwealth, gifted and vastly needed, and they will stop at no trouble to return her back to them. Only, Eva and Ari – despite free – are heading for another disaster, Eva’s tightly bound secret of their doomed love buried deep. It’s going to take more than just their love and strength to get through, and many sacrifices.
Overall, I devoured The Seven Sins books with a hunger for every enthralling chapter it had to offer. I was hypnotised by a story world crafted so descriptively magical that I found myself falling deeper into being fully immersed. The books were more than just dystopian, blending adventure, fantasy, realism and romance all together in a perfect potion of words. My favourite character was Eva, fierce and honourable in everything she did – such a memorable MC. I found the way Emily crafted the striking opening lines (especially that first book!) so poignantly that it was impossible to not feel amazed. Although I did find a few of the elements a little confusing, this can happen in fantasy novels with different rules/ways the characters live, but I still adored both of these sparkling novels. I’d highly recommend them to fans of YA Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Dystopia. Four amazing stars for both of these incredible novels!
Emily Colin's debut novel, The Memory Thief, was a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick. She is also the author of The Dream Keeper's Daughter and, for YA audiences, the Seven Sins series. In addition, Emily is the co-editor and a contributing writer for two YA fiction anthologies: Wicked South: Secrets and Lies and Unbound: Stories of Transformation, Love, and Monsters. Emily's diverse life experience includes organizing a Coney Island tattoo and piercing show, hauling fish at a dolphin research center, roaming New York City as an itinerant teenage violinist, helping launch two small publishing companies, and working to facilitate community engagement in the arts. She teaches writing for Authors Publish and works as a freelance editor. Originally from Brooklyn, Emily lives in coastal North Carolina with her family. She loves chocolate, is addicted to tiramisu, and dislikes anything containing beans. You can find her at www.emilycolin.com.