“Prepare for a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” – Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.
“This book destroyed me and I adored it.”- Stephanie Garber,New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
I want to thank the publisher for including me on the blog tour and for sending me an e-ARC of Wicked Saints, this hadn’t affected my review, nor my rating in any way.
This book can definitely be described as a gripping adventure. It started out as a slower paced novel, but quickly made me interested in Nadya’s journey. The world-building, the war, everything was fascinating and it made me want to keep on reading to find out more.
I loved the theological aspects, how Nadya spoke to her gods, how we got to see things from the perspectives of both faithless and religious people. It was interesting and probably the magic system was one of the strongest parts of this book. That and the many twists that kept appearing and taking me by surprise.
There is a war between Kalyazin (Nadya’s country, which still worships the gods. Nadya being their possibly last cleric who can communicate with gods) and Tranavia (the faithless country where blood mages exists and they believe gods are limiting their powers). The war has been very long and everyone has suffered because of it, both countries seem on the brink of ruin and it’s obvious that the war must be stopped somehow.
That ‘somehow’ made our main characters meet, they all have the same motivation – to stop the war, but they are so different that their alliance keep on shifting. They all have other motivations as well, there are lots of conflicts and intrigues. Sometimes it will be difficult for you to predict who will betray who.
The characters were so morally grey that I never knew who to trust. I definitely feel like everyone will disappoint me at some point in this series (because yes, I’m going to read the next books), it’s almost unavoidable, but I’m still going to love them nonetheless because I’m weak. Malachiasz was definitely my favorite character out of the main ones because he’s very complex and he’s probably the hardest to read and understand. I just want to know more about him.
The other main character besides Malachiasz and Nadya is Serefin, who is the Tranavian prince and a very powerful blood mage. He’s very soft and kind, definitely has potential to be an amazing character. I’m not as emotionally attached to him as I’m with Malachiasz and Nadya, but I’m pretty sure he’ll grow on me in the next books.
The romance was AMAZING, so full of tension and angst – exactly what I like.
I will keep rooting for this doomed babies forever even if the odds are not in their favour.
There is forbidden love, so if you’re a sucker for this trope, you will most definitely enjoy the romance in this one! I know that I loved reading about their conflicts and how there was always an invisible push to each other despite their differences and their rational sides.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a dark fantasy novel with an angsty romance and morally grey characters that you’ll instantly fall for. It’s an unique and well-crafted debut and Duncan is definitely an author that I’ll keep on my radar!
EMILY A. DUNCAN works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. Wicked Saints is her first book. She lives in Ohio.
Have you read Wicked Saints? Did you love it as well?
If you haven’t, is it on your radar?