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Sin Eater

(Iconoclasts #2)

by
4.26  ·  Rating details ·  766 ratings  ·  66 reviews
"I shall baptize you, sir, and my baptism will burn your folly and flesh away."

A year has passed since Auric Manteo descended into the haunted depths of a Djao ruin to return a lethal artifact, only to face down a bloodthirsty, imprisoned god. Now his daughter Agnes comes to bring him back to the capital with promises of hidden secrets finally revealed.

But the city decays,
...more
Kindle Edition, 574 pages
Published May 20th 2019
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Nick Borrelli
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mike Shel is an author who is really making quite a name for himself in the self-published Fantasy stratosphere. Mike's first book in his Iconoclasts series, Aching God, was one of my favorite reads from last year and is currently among the top 10 finalists in Mark Lawrence's Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #4. That right there should give you just some indication of the quality of storytelling that Shel brings to the table. I have been impatiently waiting for the next book in this series for wh ...more
Laura Hughes
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A stunning sequel that takes everything I loved about the first book - intrigue, dungeon delving, and a protagonist you can really root for - to the next level. The introduction of a new POV (Auric's daughter, Agnes) brings more depth to both main characters, and makes the shocking climax that much more poignant.

As always, Shel's prose is an evocative mix of poetic and brutal; almost archaic in places, but never dry; and he excels at gradually ratcheting up the tension to near-unbearable levels,
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Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
I'm really sorry to give this book only 3 stars. I really liked the first in this epic series. This one...falls a bit short.

I suppose we who read a fair amount can be used to this. I don't know how many series I've read that began extremely well only to founder. This may simply be a case of second book syndrome I won't know until I move on to the next, which I intend to do.

Here we open with an interesting extension to the last book so the book quickly draws the reader in. Then (for whatever reas
...more
Esme
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fuck yes.

I loved the opening chapter of this book, the character "The Old Man" was engrossing within a few pages and I immediately wanted more page time from his perspective. It's not unheard of for me to get attached to a character that quickly, but it's not common either - I tend to take multiple chapters to warm up to new characters while in this case, it took a couple pages.

The prose was a step up from the last book in my humble opinion, and that's not to say I thought it was subpar in the l
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The Nerd Book Review
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ll leave a better review later but quick thoughts.

I loved the book but it was a bit slow at times and could be accused of being an awful lot of world building with a fair amount of small action scenes widely interspersed with large action scenes. I personally love world building and I go dumps so I was very into it, if that’s not your thing though this book probably isn’t for you.

Character building was as good in this book as the first one.

Already mentioned a ton of world building, probably
...more
Mark Romero
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nicely done. It's not easy (I think) to switch from single POV to multiple POV, but the author pulled it off. Similar tale of adventure as the first with a bit more world building and overall story progression. Can't wait for the third installment.

I learned from book 1 and started this one a bit earlier in the day so I didn't have to stay up til the wee hours of the morning lol. Still crushed it though.
Calvin Park
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Sin Eater is the sequel to 2018’s Aching God. Mike Shel carries us once again to the Hanifaxan Imperium and treats us to another dark and disturbing tale. Sin Eater keeps the stunning ambiance and atmosphere from the first novel and couples it with more complex characters and deeper world building. Every bit as readable and engaging as the first novel, pick this one up as soon as you can.

There is a lot to love about Sin Eater. For me, that begins with the setting. The Hanifaxan Imperium is a wo
...more
Adam
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever sat down to watch “The Wizard of Oz,” but wished that Dorothy was a Holy BladesWoman and instead of visiting a wizard, they’re off to murder an evil trickster god? If so, have I got a book for you! Mike Shel’s, um, iconic Iconoclasts trilogy continues with his second entry, Sin Eater, an impressive follow-up to SPFBO4 finalist Aching God that explores inner fears, outer terrors, and expands the world’s lore farther than I ever could have imagined.

Like its predecessor Aching God, Si
...more
Alec Hutson
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sin Eater is a excellent follow up to one of my favorite reads of 2018, The Aching God . I loved The Aching God because it was a throwback to the dungeon-delving adventures that swept me away as a kid, but Mike Shel elevated the concept for my adult sensibilities with the depth of the characters and excellent worldbuilding. Sin Eater is a slightly different book, taking a step back and bringing a more epic feel to the adventure. We still have the terrific writing and strong characters, bu ...more
Jon Adams
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent follow-up.

I really enjoyed the new POV and thought Mr. Shel handled it well. There is a lot more world-building in this book than the first, but I dig that kind that of thing so it wasn't an issue. We still have lots of well-written action to balance it out. I did predict two of the big happenings towards the end, but it was so well written that it didn't take me out of the story.

If you haven't started this series, get on it!

For an indie ARC this had very few errors. I've
...more
Phil Parker
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is a sweet spot in all good fantasy stories where world building and characterisation meet; Mike Shel knows that place well. He’s found it again in the second of his Iconoclasts series.
His world is a place where religion and magic combine to create a society riddled with corruption, cruelty and menace. Its inhabitants worship gods which serve specific purposes, their priests imbued with magical abilities to address those purposes using prayer. It’s an interesting philosophical paradigm, f
...more
Travis Riddle
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sin Eater expands on the strengths of the first book, raising the stakes in this creepy, fantastical world while bringing us--and its cast of characters--closer to the truth that we'll have to face in the trilogy's finale.

Once again, Shel has created a story filled with fascinating characters and locales. Those who had issues with the pacing of the original novel will probably not find this one an improvement (we still spend a majority of the book either in one place or traveling, with only the
...more
Chip
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I kind of find it hard to believe these are Mike Shel's first books. The depth and complexity of these two books is amazing for a rookie author. Highly recommended!
DaMaar
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-sword
The Prodigal Daughter

Aching God was in my top 3 books for 2018. I assumed this would continue with Sin Eater. That wasn’t the case. I found that I couldn’t love this story as I did the first because I found Agnes a much less interesting character than her father. The writing was still good and the world is well done. But this is a character driven book - and I couldn’t connect with what ultimately was the Main POV.

Favorite Line: we don’t grow because of pain. We grow in spite of it.
RedJorgAncrath
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been waiting for this one for a while! Aching God was one of the most unexpectedly great books I've read in the last few years. Finally I get a protagonist who is likable, AND pragmatic. He doesn't do stupid stuff, for the purpose of the story.

I finished it today, and my thoughts are still in a jumble. The other strengths from Mike Shel's writing are all still there. His vocabulary has left me consistently beatific, while reading both books. He's truly empathetic with the reader. There's no
...more
C.W. Snyder
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved The Aching God. This raised the stakes and broke my heart a little, and I loved it all the more for it. If you're a fan of dungeon-delving, atmospheric fantasy, you really need to check out Iconoclasts.
Sandy Morley
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even better than Aching God, Sin Eater has a fully-realised cast, Prophecy that doesn't stink, and hints of criticism that more artsy types lap up. All on top of a maturity rare for the genre and a slightly faster pace than its predecessor that makes it more adventure than tragedy. Loved it.
Jack Frost
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't think of a single criticism

In my estimation, this book is without flaw. It isn't for everyone; I'd describe it as grimdark lite. It's moody and gory and very character focused. It's fairly dark but the characters still manage to remain hopeful, even when they have their doubts they continue to trust in each other. I appreciate that bit of light.
jillz
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sophmore novel from the author in his Iconoclasts series. The focus of this novel is on the protagonist from the first novel and his daughter and their evolving relationship. It's not a straight dungeon crawl type novel like the first and I found the pacing a bit off. It took forever to reach what I thought was the main 'quest' of the book and the denouement and conclusion felt very abrupt. I did enjoy the world building and the character interactions.
Julie Moran
Not nearly as good as the first book, and really, a bit of a slog to get through. Stylistically it is spot on. No one can accuse Mr. Shel of not having his prose down perfectly. My problem was first, with the pacing, second, with the character of Agnes-- I just never grew to like or care for her, and finally, with the ending. It was terribly predictable.

As to Agnes, well, her attitudes and viewpoints were very modern, and her Syraeic brother, Kennah, his attitudes had to oppose hers to the extr
...more
Dorian
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mike Shel’s Aching God was one of my favorite books of 2018, so you can imagine my excitement at getting my hands on an ARC of its sequel, Sin Eater. And I’m here to tell you: Aching God was no flash in the pan. Sin Eater is even better.

Shel’s deft use of language to create a foreboding (and often creepy) atmosphere is on full display in the sequel, and his pacing and characterization have only improved. Mysteries about the world and the plot are resolved and replaced with new ever-more-intrigui
...more
Ken
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh yes. Amazing continuation of the trilogy. I am so glad I happened upon these books, because I am enjoying them so much. Again, my only complaint is that the trilogy is not yet finished.

In this book Auric shares the stage with his daughter Agnes. It is mostly about them, their journey and how it affects them. There is a lot of development and pain, both physical and of the mind. Nobody in this broken, battered world is whole and unharmed. And yet they do great things, very hard things to do.
...more
Zachary
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sin Eater doubles down on everything wonderful about The Aching God, Shel's 2018 debut. Just different enough from "classic" fantasy to stand out, but familiar enough to go down like a sort of literary comfort food. It is a book very rooted in 2019 sensibilities but not beholden to them in the least. Grim and dark, but never "grimdark," funny, but never a "joke" and touching without being cloying. This is modern fantasy done right, and on the author's own terms. I can't wait for the next entry i ...more
Paul Wandless
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great continuation of the story.

Mike Shel does a great job continuing the story for Aching God. There are many surprises as the world he's creating grows. We get to know old characters better as their arcs continue and are introduced to interesting new ones. I look forward to book 3!
Nicholas Dunn
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just really loved this book

The world that is deep in Aching God leaves you invested and wanting more. The follow up just continues to build and get you more invested. This book gave me nightmares. It’s not often you can say a book ingrains itself into your subconscious, but this one did. Can’t wait for the next instalment. Well done Mike Shel, you are now very much on my radar and on anyone else’s who’ll listen to me!
Joan
Gritty, brutal and somehow unforgiving, but a cracking good read. The author pulls no punches and this is not a twee 'elves and fairies' fantasy, so be warned.

I loved it.
Stephanie Rector
Likely the most well-written series you’ll find

Writing on par with (or better than) your big name authors who appear regularly on the NYT Bestsellers List. Really wonderful stuff here.
Mike
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 out of 5 stars

Sin Eater shook me from the book rut I’d been in for months. I was struggling, in particular, with Book #2s in series that could not recapture the magic of their predecessors. Although I wasn’t as enthralled with this one as I was with Aching God, I still flew through it and enjoyed the ride.

Shel introduces several new characters for Auric’s team and although the stakes are higher this time around, the story is not able to inject an appropriate level of urgency into the proceed
...more
Julie Moran
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished
I was terribly disappointed. Not with Mr. Vance, though. His vocal talents were superb as always. No, it was the story that left me ... well, I would say 'wanting' but I'm not at all wanting to continue with this series.

First off, the social issues of the fictitious day, were too modern in its approach (homophobes, 'woke' younger daughter, same said woke daughter sniggering at her not-so-woke-possibly-sexually-repressed counterpart and daddy issues). Yeah, I get that those things are as old as t
...more
Kammi
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-books
Such a good book.. my mind is still reeling from the ending.
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Mike Shel (not his real name) was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1964 and grew up in the suburb of Dearborn, the hometown of Henry Ford, genius industrialist and virulent anti-Semite nutjob. Mike has also lived in southern Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky, Atlanta, Georgia, and now Indianapolis, Indiana. After writing two adventures for Dungeon Magazine in the early 90s, he crawled down a deep, dark h ...more

Other books in the series

Iconoclasts (2 books)
  • Aching God (Iconoclasts, #1)

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