By: Emily A. Duncan
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: 2 April 2019
***Content warnings: Self-harm, torture, blood & gore, violence, war themes, death, assualt, alcoholism, and murder***
A girl who speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must dexide 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 was where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saintsz 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.
Let me start off with how much this book doesn’t seemed to be a debut novel from Emily A. Duncan. Her writing style is beautiful and very vivid, it kept me on my toes and wanting to read more. Not only is the writing style amazing, the world building was well-developed and you can tell that she took her time and did research to make sure the world would flow smoothly.
“We’re all monsters, Nadya, some of us just hide it better than others.”
I had heard some people thought that the pace in the beginning was too slow or fast for them, I didn’t think it was either. I thought the pace throughout the novel was perfect because it allowed me to get to know the characters. It allow me to fall in love and get heartbroken at the same time.
The main characters in Wicked Saints are amazing and I fell love with all three of them. I did enjoy the side characters too and I hope see more of them in the sequel.
“She would bring this country to its knees.”
Nadya seems to be a shelter girl who is protected behind the monastery walls, who speaks with the Gods, and the only hope for Kalyazin to end the war with Tranavia. At first, I didn’t know if I was going to like her because I thought she was not going to be strong character. I am glad that I was wrong because she was written as a strong female character who still had her insecurities and doubts but she didn’t allowed them to get in her way of what she needed to do. I love her so much and can’t wait to see how much more she developed in the sequel.
“Oh, is this how it goes? I’m murdered and everyone has orders to kill me on sight? Just to rub it in?”
Serefin wasn’t my favorite character at the beginning because of how cruel and heartless he was when you met him in beginning. But my opinion change when he was sent back to Tranavia and had to face his father (who I really hate). When he was back home, he becomes a different person. He is awkward, charming boy who has insecurities and wants his father’s acceptance and love. He is a very powerful blood mage but he has a serious issue with alcohol which is understandable. I don’t blame him with everything he had to do in the war and his father issues. I really like him and he prove to be selfless and caring person at the end. He is also one of the characters that is bi-sexual which was great to see representation of LGBTQ.
“When he stepped past her, a smile flickered at the edges of his lips. There was darkness at the corners, something evil just underneath the surface, sinister. He turned and grinned at her, monstrous but beatific, holding out his hand, darkness gone. Maybe she’d just imagined it. She took his hand.“
Malachiasz…Malachiasz! I save him for last because I really love his character! Even though he broke my heart at the end, I still love him and big fangirl. He is a fascinating, complicated, tragic, and monstrous boy. Reading about his backstory and learning how he became who he is now made a lot sense on how he is a dark and anxious character. You can feel how he is struggling within himself on not being what he trained to be and be the person that Nadya thought he was. I was rooting for him throughout the book but then the ending of the book shatter my heart to pieces. I literally scream at the pages! But I still love him and hoping for the best.
You have plunged yourself into the dark where the monsters dwell, now you must fight them off before you’re consumed.”
Honestly, I was in a reading slump when I started Wicked Saints and it reminded me how much I love dark fantasy and what I was lacking in my TBR each month. Now, I have one dark fantasy in my TBR cart to read each month.
This book isn’t an easy read and it has triggering factors which Emily has stated about them. But if you love dark fantasy and the triggers aren’t an issue, then I would highly recommend Wicked Saints.
I am looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel and get back into the world of Wicked Saints.