Review

The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending

by Jon Land

“To Dream…To Dare…To Win….” are
the words inscribed in Latin on the gold medallion that Vito
Nunziato finds as a teenager. Vito nearly drowns the day he
discovers the medallion while snorkeling at the bottom of the sea
off the Isola di Levanzo, across the Mediterranean Sea from
Marsala. According to legend, the medallion was once owned by King
Midas, and later by Julius Caesar.

Since the day of Vito’s discovery, the mysterious medallion
and the chain holding it have been his most prized possession. And
each time he tells his young son Michele the story of how he found
the medallion, Vito makes Michele promise that no matter what
happens, he will never part with it until Michele can pass it on to
his own son.

One sunny Sicilian day in 1975, Michele sneaks the medallion from
his father’s hiding place and plays with it in the barn while
waiting for his mother to prepare lunch. But his childhood
innocence comes crashing down that afternoon. In a hail of gunfire,
he huddles in the barn in horror as his family and their farmhands
are murdered. Cowering in a haystack, Michele clutches his
father’s prized medallion and prays that his own life will be
spared.

Orphaned and afraid, Michele is raised by Don Luciano Scaglione, a
powerful and rich Mafia boss. Growing up, Michele’s most
cherished possession is the medallion, which he wears around his
neck as a reminder of his past --- and protection against harm. The
words on the medallion propel him to excel academically and achieve
great financial success, while dreaming of moving to America --- a
country where he believes anything is possible.

After a bitter parting of ways with Don Scaglione as a result of a
sour business deal, Michele arrives in America, determined to
escape his painful past. With the assistance of corporate attorney
Naomi Burns, he reinvents himself, changes his name to Michael
Tiranno (the Tyrant) and settles in Las Vegas, Nevada. In Sin City,
his grand vision of financing and constructing the elegant and
luxurious Seven Sins Casino and Resort eclipses the glitz and
glamour of other casinos on the Strip.

But all is not well in Sin City. Like Julius Caesar, Michael is an
ambitious man --- and ambition is a grievous fault. In his rise to
wealth, power and fame, he has made many ruthless and determined
enemies. He also has endeared himself to loyal friends, most
notably his strong-arm, killing-machine bodyguard, Alexander.

When simultaneous terrorist attacks explode across the desert
landscape --- destroying several Las Vegas casinos and damaging The
Seven Sins --- tourists, gamblers and high-rollers flee for safety.
With the city’s future in danger and his personal fortune at
risk of ruin, Michael is convinced that the attack on the casino is
personal.

Determined to discover the identity of the mastermind planning and
bankrolling the attacks, Michael circles the globe --- and he
returns to his humble beginnings in Sicily. In his quest for the
truth, he uncovers secrets, conspiracies and vendettas.

In THE SEVEN SINS, acclaimed author Jon Land has created a
rollercoaster-ride thriller with a flawed yet fascinating
protagonist in Michael Tiranno, whose daredevil personality and
single-minded ambition thrust him into a high-stakes world of
greed, betrayal, revenge and murder. Hell-bent terrorists,
cut-throat pirates, murderous vendettas, ancient medallions and
blood-thirsty sharks --- in water and on land --- THE SEVEN SINS
has it all. Land’s gripping novel is a sizzling summer
page-turner to devour while sunning on the beach. But while
you’re reading it, you might not want to think too much about
the sharks.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt (dvolkenannt@charter.net) on January 23, 2011

The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending
by Jon Land

  • Publication Date: June 10, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books
  • ISBN-10: 0765315343
  • ISBN-13: 9780765315342