Series: Dark Legacies #2
Release Date: October 31, 2023
Book Length: 348 pages
Author: Yuval Kordov
Yuval on X: @YuvalKordov
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads


“The mountains became plains, and the seas boiled into deserts.”

So went the earth.

First came the World War, humanity’s suicide. Then came the War against Hell, humanity’s redemption. Esther, the Eternal One, led the way from darkness to light. A new order, by her will.

So went civilization.

For a time. But as history fades and the Eternal One’s yoke tightens, man turns upon man once more. Ancient dreams of independence rise in Cathedral’s shadow. Bastion’s vengeance awakens. War beckons.

And Hell is watching.


All Of Our Sins is Yuval Kordov's unexpected follow-up to The Hand of God. Unexpected, because the book surprised me in many ways with how it progressed the Dark Legacies series. Maybe that, in itself, should not have been surprising, given all the ways Yuval defied convention in the first book. The first surprise came right at the start. If you've read The Hand of God, you'll know that it ends in a pretty overt cliffhanger. So I cracked open this book, eager to see how that climactic scene plays out, and...

Did I really think I was going to get such instant gratification with this book? Nay, dear reader. This is a book for the patient. The continuation of the cliffhanger scene comes only after 150 pages, about halfway through the novel. The first book utilizes much non-linear storytelling, and the sequel is no different. Instead, we jump into the backstory of a character who is seen but not named in the first book.

Okay, I'll admit it: this was a tad annoying. But after giving the first book five stars, I trusted Yuval enough to know that if he's backing up in the story, it's to put more necessary pieces into play. By the time I finished this first chunk of the book, I don't know that I could even tell you what game these pieces were playing, but I went along with it, ushered by Yuval's continuously evocative and adept prose.

I suppose now is a good time to mention the structure of the novel. It's broken up into what are essentially four tightly coupled novellas. Each part follows either a single character or a connected set of characters, telling their piece of the bigger picture. What is that bigger picture, you ask?

Stand by...

I think this is my only gripe with the novel, and the reason I rated it a star below its predecessor. This is a very complicated story, told out of order, and in a very compact book. I never wanted to stop reading, but I was often confused about where we are in the timeline, how all the factions relate to each other, and where the story was going. It had been a few months since reading The Hand of God, and a The Story So Far section would have been welcome as a refresher. Instead, I bought the Kindle version of book one and frantically searched for names as they were mentioned to give myself some context.

Even so, a lot of it went over my head, and it wasn't until the final chapters that I realized what Yuval was setting up. Finally, the picture became clear! So let me relay some of it to you, to maybe help you avoid some of the frustration I faced while reading.

This is a story of unlikely allies coming together on the precipice of war, and it begins with a single act of heroic kindness. A boy risking his life to save a revenant mother, someone his clan has good reason to utterly hate. This event sets off not just the story of All Of Our Sins, but also (if my understanding of the timeline is correct) a good portion of what happens in The Hand of God — though we didn't know it at the time. About half the book is dedicated to the perspectives of this boy and the revenant mother as she comes into power in the most unlikely of places.

The other half of the book sees a delegation from Bastion reach the Union of clans (the so-called Scavrats) and a surviving Scavrat reach Bastion. These two factions are becoming more enmeshed and preparing to fight a war against Esther and the Cathedral (whose perspectives are noticeably missing from this book). But betrayal is afoot in all factions, and the perspectives we follow don't know the whole story. Godspeed piecing together what's going on in the background as a reader – I wasn't able to do it until some pretty significant pieces of the puzzle are dropped near the end of the book.

My face when it all finally started to make sense

If what you gleaned from this is that it's mostly a set up for the war to come, yeah, I think that's right. As such, there's remarkably little action in the book – I assume the bigger confrontations are being saved for when the war itself is put to page. That isn't to say nothing happens, however. Big shifts in power occur in All Of Our Sins, and true to form, the final chapter instantly made me wish the next book was already out so I can continue the series.

Although the pages of All Of Our Sins are not as chock full of demons and combat as the first book (and one of my favorite characters got almost no page-time), this is still a thought-provoking novel that's delivers on making the Dark Legacies story more complex and haunting. As I neared the end of the book and everything started to come together, I realized that although the story was challenging, it was rather beautifully done. Some of my confusion about the timeline led more to frustration than to the wonder (and horror) I felt reading the first book, but I'm still eagerly awaiting the release of book three.

As Gandalf says, "the board is set, the pieces are moving." I expect the war will truly get underway in the sequel – but then, maybe all I really should expect is that Yuval is going to surprise me yet again.

4/5 ⭐

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