‘Sinner’ is a historical fiction piece based in medieval times. It is written by Mark Teppo and is a prequel to the ‘Mongoloid’ series of the same setting. The story follows two knights errant as they met by chance in a small village currently holding trial for a suspected witch.
Intrigue follows as the knights discover that the woman who has been suspected of witchcraft may in fact not be a witch. As they race to discover the dark secrets the town is concealing, they become the target of the Inquisitor and his friends.
The novella is a short read and offers some interesting insights into what would otherwise be a fairly standard fantasy piece. For instance the political twists and the historically accurate (at least as close as you can get in a ‘historical’ fiction) sections make the reading more than the average sword & sorcery debacles.
Problems like the ease with which the knights fought multitudes of trained soldiers with ease were common. There were also regular ‘show don’t tell’ issues. The latter actually made the small amount of action come off very flat (while easy to follow). This made reading a chore at times.
One big issue that really stuck out was how cliche some plots were. The church is the bad guy who sexually abuses young defenseless women for no reason and the two brave knights who just met are instantly ready to throw away their careers to defend her. It isn’t necessarily a bad plot but it is one I have seen at least a couple of times and just didn’t feel as dire now.
Otherwise the setting was very interesting as it felt like it really was part of our world. It could almost be a loose interpretation of actual events at times which made it fun. Additionally the characters were interesting and heartfelt.
Overall this story wasn’t necessarily bad but it had issues that were hard to overlook easily. For an introduction to the series I won’t complain… I just don’t know if it makes me interested enough to read more in the series.
I give it ‘Sinner’ two out of five dancing hamsters for a creative and authentic read.
His website: http://www.markteppo.com/
His Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Teppo/e/B003D20QLK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1