Saints and Sinners

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
429 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Keith Mbuya for Readers' Favorite

The coming of Christianity in the kingdom of Mercia had seen the rise of untold unrest between the newly converted Christians and pagans. As if on cue, a monk and a pagan were murdered in Licidfelth. It also happened that during this time, the king had summoned Coenred (the son of Oeswald, the thegn of Licidfelth) to fight in his army. Thegn Oeswald had nearly lost his only son to the war. As if this was not enough, his only daughter Eafe had narrowly survived succumbing to an outbreak of disease. Both Coenred’s and Eafe’s recovery were mysterious as almost everyone who had such grievous wounds or contracted the fatal disease was dead. Thegn Oeswald was overwhelmed with all the happenings and, consequently, the unrest in Licidfelth escalated. Why were the monk and the pagan murdered? How did Coenred and Eafe survive death and what have they become? Find out more in Karin Witton’s Saints and Sinners.

Karin Witton’s style of writing is magnificent. She forged an intriguing plot with amazing characters and whisked me away from reality and into a wonderland. She uses short and twisted sentences loaded with appropriate vocabulary. Her choice of words gives the story the perfect setting of historical times (the 600-700s AD). I loved the conversations; some of them were witty and enlivened the reading experience. Karin definitely knows how to put emotions into words; I felt the fierce love, the loathing, the despair, the anger, the sadness, and many more emotions in her characters. There is action, thrills, adventure, suspense, mystery, and so much more. The scenes are picturesque. The narration made me feel like I was right there, watching the characters’ every move.

The author depicts her characters’ traits boldly, vividly highlighting their complexities. Even though Oeswald was a tough man, he also had a soft and delicate side. The details on the supernatural side of the characters sounded convincing and were exciting to read. Karin aligns her ideas consistently, giving the storyline a beautiful flow. The story is spell-binding. Being the first installment of the Revenant series, I can’t wait to get hold of the next in the series. Enthusiasts of a mystery story with a touch of an exciting and engrossing supernatural element will love Saints and Sinners.

Cecelia Hopkins

Saints and Sinners by E.C. Greenwood commences with murder, although the matter remains a mystery until the end. Eafe is the daughter of the local thegn and Coenred is his son. Despite the trouble boiling in the quaint village, Coenred must honor King Wulfhere of Mercia’s summons to war. He is gravely injured but miraculously recovers. Soon after, Eafe is stricken down by the plague, and her brother is forced to reveal a secret. Meanwhile, more murder victims have been discovered and the murderer’s motivation appears political. The pagans resent Bishop Chad living beside their sacred spring. Some Christians espouse a different bishop, and outside forces prefer a thegn who does not show mercy to pagans. Eafe and Coenred must find the killer before Licidfelth erupts into civil unrest, and then they must make a decision about their own lives.

Saints and Sinners by E.C. Greenwood is a historical murder mystery with a special paranormal twist. I liked the way the author wove history and fiction together, creating a convincingly feudal atmosphere. A spine-chilling sense of threat and unease hovered over the narrative, fueled by the reported ambitions of provincial leaders. The story kept me guessing, creating suspense right up until the appropriate point of revelation. I appreciated the inclusiveness and equity with which the various groups were portrayed during a time of religious change. I was looking for something different, and the story delivered, combining old-world charm with new-world fantasy. Altogether, Saints and Sinners by E.C. Greenwood is an intriguing read.

Rabia Tanveer

Saints and Sinners by Karin Witton is the first novel in the Revenant Series. Things were far stranger than most people expected in sleepy little Licidfelth, Mercia. Eafe and Coenred were the children of the strict Thegn Oeswald and learned to live in their father's shadows. Controlling and almost angry, Oeswald had no idea that his son Coenred was far from his fist, and he had taken Eafe far away as well. Coenred was a bloodwyre, and he turned Eafe into one when she fell sick. As two very powerful beings in Licidfelth, it made sense the siblings would help Chad, the Bishop of Mercia figure out why a pagan was dead and a monk was missing. The task was big and a little dangerous, even though a bloodwyre wasn’t that easy to kill. However, things got messy very quickly and the siblings had to make some decisions neither were ready for. Before they knew it, Coenred and Eafe had to fight for their lives, or else even being a bloodwyre wouldn’t save them.

A fantasy murder mystery, Saints and Sinners by Karin Witton was a unique story with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers entertained for hours. I read this novel in a single sitting. The atmosphere of the story was bleak, and I knew this was going to be a roller coaster ride of emotions, tension, and action. I loved Coenred, and I know some people would disagree with me, but I enjoyed his development the most. Eafe was unaware of most things and, for some time, she had no idea what was happening around her, and that scared her. However, she developed at a steady pace, which made her a strong character to look out for in future novels. The descriptions were fantastic, the worldbuilding phenomenal, and I could already tell which characters will cause issues in the future. What a fantastic way to start a new series! It truly has the potential to be the next The Mortal Instruments series.