Author: Eka Waterfield
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Beautiful. Predatory. Self-obsessed to an extreme degree. All of those can be applied to the sidhe, the ancient rulers of the worlds of fae. They are also addicts – and symbols of human pollution are their drug of choice. Toxic and industrial waste, chemicals and radiation are sweeter to the sidhe than the most exceptional vintage.
Noble Lord Niavin of House Arkezea is as close to a traditional drug lord as the fae worlds will ever see. Between the scheming of his opponents, fickle customers, and the constant need to explain his strange opposition to carnal depravities, Niavin’s hands are always full. And of course, his noble peers are ever happy to create even more trouble…
About a year ago, I saw someone searching for an asexual person who could tell them if their ace character was represented in a proper, respectful way. Being asexual myself, I volunteered to look over her manuscript for her. While the story sounded very interesting, I didn’t expect much from it, but I enjoy critiquing and making other people’s stuff better, so I thought I would have a good time helping out regardless.
I vastly underestimated what I was getting myself into.
I got to read Sinners when it was in its early drafts. Waterfield is not a native English speaker, but I couldn’t tell. It was better than many other manuscripts I’ve read, though it still needed some editing. The word-craft was beautiful and elegant in a way I had not expected, especially for a story this dark. Waterfield’s description of scenery and characters is beautiful and evocative, her sentences beautifully created to conjure images of the fantastic and disturbing.
What truly struck me were the intricacies within the plot. Waterfield does not simply tell you that the sidhe are sneaky and scheming, but she shows you, keeping you on the edge of your seat and constantly guessing as you try to figure out what these devious fae are up to. The foreshadowing is great, and when the reveals come, they are shocking — though you feel a fool, because you should have known this all along.
I loved this story. I read it four times, and I never got bored. Even if the plot never changed, the story always held my interest with an iron fist. After spending so long with this novella, I probably have some level of bias, but I adored this story, and I am eager to have others read it, as well. Sinners is a fast-paced, gruesome, and beautiful story well-suited for lovers of twisted fairytales and dark fantasy.