Book Review: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)

Wicked SaintsTitle: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)

Author: Emily A. Duncan

Pub. Date: April 2, 2019

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

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.

This will be a spoiler free review.

I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this 2019 release from Goodreads Giveaway. That was months ago, and I still can’t believe I got the chance to read this fantastic book early.

Gut reaction upon finishing this book:


It’s been a few months since I read Wicked Saints and I can assure you that my reaction remains the same.

Emily A. Duncan created a wonderfully dark world, that has you captivated from the first page. It starts off hot and never slows down. The characters are engaging and don’t give away their secrets too quickly and leave you with wanting to shake them violently and then pull them into a comforting hug. I already know that I’m going to be rereading this closer to its actual release date, and then I’ll probably read the finished copy. I’m not lying when I say that I’m dying inside.

I’m not even sure where to start, but I loved the characters in this book. I loved the fast-paced plot that kept me turning the pages. I was pretty much useless and completely unavailable to my family while I read this on vacation. Much to their disappointment. I didn’t put it down until I flipped the last page over, and then the internal screaming started. The ending – there are no words for the frenzied panic I felt when I got to it. Emily killed me with the ending, and having to wait to find out what happens, I’m still dying and will continue to do so until I can read book 2.

Nadya breaks the molds of clerics, who usually hear the voice of one god who then can grant them a particular power special to them. Nadya, she’s different and can hear the voices of all the gods, and they grant her power whenever she asks.

This puts a big target on her back, and that’s where this story starts. An attack and Nadya goes on the run from a Prince, an enemy and a very, very dangerous blood mage. We are dropped right in the middle of a war While on the run, Nadya comes across a rebel group, who convinces her to help them with their mission – infiltrating the enemy palace.

I found myself torn between who to root for. The book is full of twists and turns and characters doing things that make you question if they are good or bad. They are all morally grey, in my opinion and I loved it, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide who you want to root for – whether it’s Nadya, Malachiasz, or Serefin. Most of which you know not to trust, even though you desperately want to. They are charismatic, and you want to trust them, you want Nadya to trust them, but reason suggests you shouldn’t – she shouldn’t.

I loved the magic system in this book, it felt fresh and new, and didn’t feel like anything I’d read before in any other novel. Actually, everything about this novel felt fresh and new, and I can’t pick out anything on my shelves. Inspired by Russian and Polish history this book is a fast-paced journey that you don’t want to miss when it hits shelves next April!

If you liked Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Verse, then you’ll definitely want to check out Wicked Saints!

I would suggest that if you’re interested in this book, you check out Emily’s Twitter @glitzandshadows – her teasers at book two, and commentary on people’s reactions to her book are getting me through the long wait for the release of Wicked Saints and book 2. In fact, as I write this my timeline is full of Malachiasz appreciation, and it’s made for a very easy time writing this review.

Are you excited for this book? I plan on reading it again once it comes out! Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)

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