Review: “Harbinger,” Erik Kort & Lee French

Pros: Can’t get enough of this series!
Rating: 5 out of 5

In book one of “The Greatest Sin,” The Fallen, nomadic Seer Chavali killed herself to keep herself and her gift of prophecy from falling into the hands of a madman. She was brought back to the Fallen, a group of people who have been raised from the dead and who are united in their quest to reunite the people of the world with their Creator. She agreed to join them, and they helped her to rescue the remaining three children from her clan who survived a massacre. Now, in Harbinger (The Greatest Sin Book 2), she’s settling in, learning to defend herself, and starting to go on missions. She’s even learning how to use her illusions for more than just storytelling. She and three others get sent to a town to find out what happened to an agent of the Fallen who hasn’t sent in a report in several months. From there, the machinations get quite complex! They end up investigating the agent’s death, trying to puzzle out the politics of the place, and working to rescue a kidnapped young lady.

“You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
“Do not be stupid. We have no honey here. We are the vinegar.”

I think my favorite part of this entire book has to be the four spies–working for four different politicians/nobles–who try to follow our heroes around. Being that there are four of them, and maybe they aren’t the best spies ever, of course they get noticed. And Chavali and her friends end up gradually pulling the spies into the thick of things. As for the politicians themselves, it seems like almost all of them are up to something. Then there’s a mysterious island, and an old prophecy, and an equally mysterious assailant who can mess with people’s minds.

I think the only semi-sorta negatives I can think of are that Chavali smirks and sneers too much, and once she notes a color in one of her dreams (blood red stones) followed shortly thereafter by noting that even in her dreams she doesn’t see colors.

I still love the worldbuilding in this series. All people are born with a memory in their minds of the Creator banishing them due to a great sin. However, absolutely everyone seems to disagree about what this sin is. It makes for some fascinating arguments, especially between Chavali (her clan believed the greatest sin was stagnation) and Colby (who believes that the greatest sin is lying). I’m looking forward to learning more about the various Orders, such as the Order of Spilled Blood, the Order of the Strong Mind, and so forth. I’m particularly looking forward to learning more about Chavali’s enemy, the one who caused her entire clan to be murdered.

As usual the characters are wonderful. Portia is another strong female character, in different ways than Chavali. Harris is entertaining and useful, starting out as an enemy and allowing himself to become an ally. Colby is a little simpler than the other characters, but I think we’ll continue to see more of him in future books.

I enjoyed this volume every bit as much as the first, and look forward to reading more!

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