Title: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
No. of pages: Hardcover, 400
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Date Read: March 24, 2019
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.
First, thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the approval to read the eARC of Wicked Saints in exchange for an honest review.
Y’all. Wicked Saints has been one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, and now I know that it was for good reason. Emily A. Duncan has created a world that I never wanted to leave. This book will grab you from the first chapter and will keep stringing you along throughout the entire book. I honestly can’t wait for release day so I can finally have the copy I pre-ordered in my hands.
Wicked Saints follows from the point of two of the main characters: Nadya and Serefin. Nadya is the first cleric in years from Kalyazin that has been touched with the powers of the divine. Her gods speak to her and give her the ability to use their magic. Serefin is the High Prince of Tranavia, estranged from his father, a very intelligent war tactician, and one of the best blood mages around. While their countries have been at war for centuries, Nadya and Serefin have seemed to find their way in the middle of it. While Nadya is being chased by Serefin and the Tranavian empire, she collides with 3 others that are also intent on brining the Tranavian empire to its knees. Nadya, Rashid, Parijahan, and Malachiasz head towards Tranavia to help Nadya pose as a candidate for the new queen as Serefin heads back home to see who will become the next consort and, ultimately if it’s him, the new queen. But there’s something dark happening in the distance and witch’s prophecy that involves Nadya, Malachiasz, and Serefin comes to light. What follows is a story of betrayal, romance, treason, evolution, and adapting.
The backstory that we’re given and the plot as you read is so well written, but honestly the main characters are my favorite part of this story. Though there are only two “view points” (as it’s written in the third person), there’s really three main characters in the story: Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz. Nadya is strong-willed and devout to her gods. Regardless of what happens to her, she holds onto the hopes that her prayers will be answered. She also has a really great arc of coming into her own and making decisions that are what she decides. Serefin is put in this really weird position of being put at the front lines of war, but expected to still know what to do at court even though he’s never there long. It’s actually super unfair to him, but he takes it in stride. He also really wants to do what’s best for his country and he really has great friends to back him up. Malachaisz is the tortoured soul that makes the you love him and hate him all at the same time. You can never truly figure out if he’s telling the truth or if he’s playing you. Also, he oozes sarcasm and I really hope that we get more from his view in the next book.
Duncan truly creates a world that is gorgeous, breathtaking, and one that you never want to leave. These characters are so of the most well written that I’ve ever read. The plot of this story has so many twists, turns, and scenes that leave you on edge that I honestly don’t know I managed to NOT throw my kindle across the room. As a warning, this book will destroy you. You’ll think that you’re whole again, and then it will destroy you again. Truly, it’s a cycle of inner destruction. It was SO hard to put down and I can’t get this wonderful story that Duncan has written out of my head. I can’t wait for this book to release. Wicked Saints releases on April 2nd and it’ll truly be worth every moment you spend reading it.