Book Reviews: Necessary Sins and Lost Saints, from the Lazare Family Saga

What does over two decades worth of research get you? An artful and brilliant series with the ability to put the reader right into the past. I have the privilege of receiving advanced reader copies before each release so far, and it’s hooked me from the first page. Since this is a saga meant to be read in order, I’m putting my reviews of the first two books here in order.

Necessary Sins

As soon as I read the first chapter, I knew this book would tear at my heart and make me want to reach through the pages to slap a couple of characters. The author dives right into the mind and life of each character, period prejudice and all, giving a vivid experience of the times and culture. Heroes are conflicted. Villains live up to their labels. Every scene, character, and phrase drives the story forward with relentless irony. 

It’s also refreshing to see an intact, loving family at the center of chaos. That makes it especially hard when…well you’ll have to find out. Joseph’s father has some incredible one-liners that will have you rooting for justice and adoring him.

I cannot fathom the amount of research and connections made to craft this story. Being the kind of person who falls asleep during mass, I am impressed at how the author found ways to bring life to old texts, teachings, opinions about them, etc., and use them to create conflict and peace. 

Lost Saints

Once again, Bell has outdone herself. The story continues to unfold, winding itself around mysteries and forgotten pasts of other characters. Bliss, survival, guilt, shame, hubris. There are huge lessons learned when things go from good to bad in the blink of an eye.

The characters start out familiar, and that’s what makes them so irritating. Like family, I feel like I hold them to higher standards than most people should. Joseph still struggles between his love of religion and his love of Tessa, and he makes some shattering decisions. Or lack of them, I suppose. But I couldn’t even get angry enough to put the book down, which is why I do think it’s important to read them in order.

When mysteries unravel elsewhere and new faces emerge, or old faces have a new shadow over them, things come full circle and the anticipation of the next book rises.

I devoured most of the last few chapters in a matter of hours and found myself useless when the final words hit me. I need to know what happens and it’s not even a cliff hanger. Even if it were, I trust this author will not disappoint in getting us the next book.

In Summary

These are well worth the read and money spent (although KU is freeeeee). If somebody can hold my attention to a priest longer than mass can keep me awake, I’m all in. You can buy each of these as e-books or paperbacks. I like the paperback because it’s got a satin coating I can’t stop running my hand over. Yes, I’m a paper nerd. I also like linen finishes, but now I’m getting carried away.

I hope I get to read the next book early too!

Necessary Sins link:

Lost Saints link:

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