I hope you have a safe week. Today I'm reviewing a Young Adult, Gothic Fantasy book, Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. It is the first book in the Something Dark and Holy series, which had its sequel, Ruthless Gods, come out a couple of weeks ago. I'm so excited that I don't get to wait too long for the sequel, and neither will you, if you decide to pick up this book.
Please continue reading to find out what I loved about Wicked Saints.
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 Saintsis the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..
I've had Wicked Saints in my TBR for so long. I was lucky I got my copy signed by Emily A. Duncan during YALLFest, and to be honest, the only thing I'm glad for is that I'm not going to get to wait long to read the sequel, but this is a book I feel like I should have read sooner.
Wicked Saints felt unique, yet there were some elements that felt familiar. I loved Nadya's connection to her Gods, who "granted" her special powers making her unique, since apparently clerics were thought to be extinct. The world is in the middle of war, and blood magic seems to be the only way to acquire power. I loved the idea of the spell books, which were all different (the power acquired was dependent on the spells in each book), and had limits (since for each spell used a page would be torn). Kalyazin and Transavia were different in beliefs, language, and the strong sense of culture made the world and the one-hundred-year-old war feel real. Because of all this, the tension between Nadya and her enemies was super palpable until the very end.
I'm not great with blood, and this book challenged me because of the vivid images it painted in my head. If there are any warnings to make it would be of the blood and self-harm. Wicked Saints is seductive and above all, gory (I don't think I can say it enough).
One of our main characters, Nadya, seemed to struggle in her journey to fulfill her purpose after growing up in a convent. She is separated from everything and everyone she knows very early in the story. I think WS just showed a glimpse to Nadya's true potential.
On the other hand, I loved the boys in this book. Even through Serefin is at first shown as enemy, his fate aligns with Nadya's until they're on the same side. I was totally here for that!
Now, Malachiasz. I had conflicting feelings for him by the end of the book, but I loved him so much I learned to spell his name by heart. He just had such Darkling and Edward Cullen vibes (talking about how some things felt familiar). I couldn't help feeling attracted to him, but oh man. That end! It leaves the characters in a mess bit of a mess.
Wicked Saints is just the first book in the Something Dark and Holy trilogy, which shows a lot of potential. The sequel, Ruthless Gods is now out so you don't even have to wait. I really think this could be your next favorite Young Adult series if you enjoy dark fantasy and don't mind the gore.
Here is all the info for Wicked Saints:
Reading Challenge No.: 14/45
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Length: 381 pages.
POV: #ThirdPersonPOV - Nadya & Serefin
Series or Standalone? #FirstInSeries - Something Dark and Holy # 1
"The calming echo of a holy chant filtered down from the sanctuary and into the cellars."
Favorite Character: There was just something fascinating about Malachiasz.
Add Wicked Saints to your Goodreads shelf , here.
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I know we are going through difficult times, and I hope I'm able to provide good book recommendations for you. I'm currently reading an ARC of The Silvered Serpents, sequel to The Gilded Wolves; listening to the audiobook for Rich People Problems, the last book in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy; and also reading a graphic novel, The Cats of the Louvre. It is never a bad time to be surrounded by books.