Published: April 2nd 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Hardover 385 pages
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.
Enchantingly Dark, Viciously Captivating, Dangerously Thrilling
and Bloody Romantic
I feel like my review will be all over the place cause that’s how my emotions are right now after reading this STUNNINGLY BEWITCHING story.
This book played with my emotions and left my heart bleeding… but it was all worth it! Aside from some parts that were a bit slow, I found myself undeniably and utterly enthralled with this bone-chilling fairy tale and deliciously bloody world. The writing was dangerously enticing, and incredibly engrossing that once I was sucked in, I never wanted this magical adventure to end. I loved the delicious, lush, and immersive world-building! Even if there were a few parts that was kind of confusing, I was absolutely enchanted by everything. The plot was just AMAZING and I loved all the wicked twists and turns and never really knowing what would happen next. The battle between dark and light, good and evil, and right and wrong have all been done before, but this book threw in so much more than I ever expected.
The story had two POVs and I thought they were really well-written and intriguing. However, for most of the time, I enjoyed Nadya’s a bit more. I was just so fascinated by her, Malachiasz, and their budding romance that I couldn’t wait to get to her chapters. I did like Serefin’s sections and they were enjoyable to some extent, but there was just more FEELS for me and excitement when it came to Nadya’s journey and her relationship with Malachiasz.
Speaking of Nadya and Malachiasz… those two just emotionally messed me up. I have always been drawn to the “bad boy” type (or in this case the monster) and I just think there’s something so satisfying when the villain isn’t really who he seems to be. I loved that they both saw something in each other that changed them for the better. I loved how sweet Malachiasz can be towards Nadya. I loved seeing him so gentle and really vulnerable. He was everything but a monster to me and that twist just made me fall head over heels for him. Nadya was likable and I enjoyed her character development a lot. I loved that she was willing to see someone other than the monster and how she struggled to reconcile her feelings for Malachiasz. I absolutely adored them and really loved their forbidden romance with all the angst and tension. Their interactions were thrilling, sometimes humorous, swoony even, and just so darn addictive. The slow-burn was totally titillating and will not disappoint if you love this kind of trope.
Honestly, I wasn’t too fond of Serefin at first. I just wasn’t charmed by him the way I was with Malaciasz, so I didn’t really care so much for him in the beginning. BUT, somewhere past the middle of the book I started to warm up to him and I eventually saw that he can be caring, sweet, and funny too. There were also things that happened to him that just broke my heart and that’s when I knew I was done for. I no longer saw him as the drunk, selfish, arrogant High Prince. He was this wounded and misunderstood boy that was trying to do whatever he thinks was good for his Kingdom.
I truly had fun reading this book and there’s just too many things I loved about this story and absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next.
Enchantingly dark, viciously captivating, and bloody romantic, Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan was one magically awesome and fantastically thrilling tale. Duncan masterfully created a bloody dangerous world filled with wicked mysteries, twists and turns, characters who surprised me like no other, a storyline that had me on edge and holding my breath, and a hauntingly beautiful enemies to lovers forbidden romance that had me feeling so many emotions. I LOVEDDDD this book. It was utterly mesmerizing and exciting, but also such wonderfully written story about faith, redemption, forgiveness, hope, and love and I really loved this book and I don’t think I can rave enough about it.
Just do yourself a favor. Pick this book up right now. I’m positive it will completely blow your mind away!
I received an advance reader copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughs and opinions are my own.
Short Author Q and A
What is your favorite part about being a writer?
I just really like making things weird. The end of Wicked Saints is… weird. I like pushing at the line between fantasy and horror. I like creating worlds and constructing wild plots. But I most especially love creating characters and then tossing them into these worlds and seeing how they respond and react; what happens when you take everything away from them, who do they become? Things like that. I like the process, even though it can be so incredibly difficult most days.
Describe your book in 3 words.
Weird. Fun. Bloody.
If there was a zombie apocalypse and you can choose 3 of your books to take with you which would you choose?
If there was a zombie apocalypse I’m not entirely sure I would be grabbing books, but probably The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
“Prepare for a snow frosted, blood drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare. Utterly absorbing.” – Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
“Full of blood and monsters and magic—this book destroyed me and I adored it. Emily is a wicked storyteller, she’s not afraid to hurt her characters or her readers. If you’ve ever fallen in love with a villain you will fall hard for this book.” – Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
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.