Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Title: Wicked Saints
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Publish Date: April 2nd 2019 by Wednesday Books

“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 really loved Wicked Saints it’s so dark and enthralling I just couldn’t stop reading.

I just have to put this out there first though. In order for blood mages to use their magic they need to cut themselves. They do this sometimes by using razor blades in their sleeves. There are points in the book that this made me feel uncomfortable, more so the mention of a particular characters marks. My brother has used cutting as a release for emotional pain and so it might have impacted me differently. I’m not sure how someone with first hand experience would feel.

So back to this amazing, dark and enthralling book. There are so many things I loved about this story, how it so cleverly toes the line between what is a good and what is evil. The characters are rich with personality. You are not only invested in the main POVs but I feel like almost everyone that you come in contact with.

The world building in the book is phenomenal. I truly felt transported into the story. Also the magic system is very interesting. From the use of blood in order for the Blood Mages to cast to the Vultures who are at inhuman level of magic user. Which the crypts are a scary place. Also the fact that on the opposite side we have clerics like Nadya who have been wiped out. I thought the way she interacts with the Saints themselves is very interesting. She can call on a Saint and ask for them to grant her power. Each Saint is different in their abilities and temperament. The best thing about the book is how things are shown in a way that you can see how each person feels they are in the right. That they are actually going to be the one to save the world. Also we are dealing with the two war torn countries of Kalyazi and Tranavia. I felt like the affects the war had on them was well portrayed.

Like I mentioned I felt invested in every character, from main to side. I also loved loved how they all walk this line between good and evil. Really though what makes someone evil, doing everything in their power to save their people. Is there a point where that goes to far? What if you think what you are doing is the right thing or the best thing? Maybe you truly believe it’s the only option. Each character is complex in their own way. Although we see a lot of spotlight on Nadya, Serefin and Malachiasz. There are many other kick ass characters, especially some of the ladies like Parj, Ostyia and the witch in the tower. I really don’t want to give anything away about their personalities and intentions because I think first impressions versus later impressions in the book are important and I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone.

I also want to mention the headers of each chapter is a wonderful addition and helps you to understand some of the history. Both of the Saints and the war of the two countries.

The book is really captivating, dark and magical. I was in an absolute coma after reading it, turning things over and over in my head. I really love a book that can show two sides of a story and make you really think. I both desperately want book 2 and I’m also very afraid.

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.

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