Title: Wicked Saints
Series: Something Dark and Holy #1
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Date Published: April 2nd 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Synopsis 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. ------------------- Review This book follows Nadya and Serefin, two people on opposites sides of a centuries-long war, as well Malachiasz, a boy with a dark history, who holds secrets that could turn the tides of war.
It took me a couple of chapters to get into it, but I think that is largely due to it being a dual POV style book. I always find it takes me a bit longer to connect when you have to connect with two different people. However, once I did get into it, I loved it and sped through it, needing to know what was going to happen.
The dual POV was done excellently, I loved having an insight into two of the most influential people on different sides of the war. Serefin is the prince of Tranavia and I loved getting to see what kind of life he lived and who he was under the exterior of General and Prince. Nadya was also a wonderful POV, we get to see into her religious reviews and how she and her people view the Blood mages. I loved getting both sides, to understand the different cultures and opinions. It really gave me the understanding that no side is necessarily the ‘right’ side but rather both have their own struggles and beliefs. Consequently, the story felt like it mirrored aspects from history, excellently portraying important themes and ideals in this fantasy world.
I loved all of the main characters and really enjoyed getting to know them all. The story was thrilling and had a lot of action, plotting, and intrigue whilst still exploring broader themes. I loved that the author drew inspiration from Russian/ eastern European languages and land,
and I really enjoyed the concept of the war being between two countries with different beliefs/ customs. The author clearly shows us that a war is happening but manages to make the world so wonderfully captivating and immersive. The story was written beautifully and felt very seasoned and realistic. The pace was ideal and kept the story moving whilst allowing us time to get acquainted with the characters and the world.
Malachiasz was another key character who I loved. His dark, secretive self had me very intrigued and I felt as though I never quite knew where we stood with him. I loved how he made Nadya question and pushed her to realisations she wouldn’t have had without him. He played an integral role in the story and I can’t wait to see how the next books play out.
Overall, the book was wonderful, the lyrical writing, the cold and gothic style of the story, and with characters to adore, it was certainly a book to remember. Rating: 4.5 Stars