Book Review: Seven Faceless Saints (Seven Faceless Saints #1)

Title: Seven Faceless Saints

Author: M.K. Lobb

Pub. Date: February 7, 2023

Pages: 400

Pub: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: LGBT YA Fantasy Mystery

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.

After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazian military, Rossana Lacertosa is willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system—tapping into her powers as a disciple of Patience, joining the rebellion, and facing the boy who broke her heart. As the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, Damian Venturi is expected to be ruthless and strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting in a never-ending war have left him with deeper scars than he wants to admit… and a fear of confronting the girl he left behind.

Now a murderer stalks Ombrazia’s citizens. As the body count climbs, the Palazzo is all too happy to look the other way—that is, until a disciple becomes the newest victim. With every lead turning into a dead end, Damian and Roz must team up to find the killer, even if it means digging up buried emotions. As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?

Discover what’s lurking in the shadows in this dark fantasy debut with a murder-mystery twist, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I split my reading of this book between the eARC and the audio and thoroughly enjoyed myself. After how this book ended, I am desperate to find out what happens next.

I’ve been anticipating this book for months – especially after having read Kelly’s Andrew’s The Whispering Dark and seeing her constantly tweet and post about this book. I was excited before, and suddenly February could not come fast enough. Like, I said, I really enjoyed myself reading this book and it was right up my alley in terms of what I like to read.

It was high stakes, high fantasy influenced by Italy and Rome (which I’m always a fan of), a bit of a mystery thriller and I thought the cast of characters she created were very good. Very conflicted and flawed and omfg did Damian just need a solid hug. The adults in that boys life failed him so terribly. I spent most of the book just wanting to pull him into a hug and let him fall asleep on my shoulder. He also desperately needed a nap.

As for Roz – I really liked her character. Unlike Damian who needs a dose of Benadryl or a bucket of Melatonin, she needs someone to equally fan the flames under her ass and let her know that it’s okay to be angry and upset. To feel. She’s been so angry for so long, seeing the injustices of the world she lives in and wanting nothing more than to see actual change – that it’s really all she knows. She walls off her emotions because it’s easier to be mad and angry than to feel everything that is roiling inside her, walled off separate from the rest of her feelings.

She kind of reminds me of my own character in my SF WIP and I enjoyed that. I enjoyed the journey she goes on in this book, the choices she makes, their outcomes and everything else tied to her. She’s doing everything she can to basically survive in a very unjust and unfair system and I think that’s admirable.

I also love questionably moral characters, and I think she fits into that category very well.

Now, putting the two of them together – Damian and Roz. Childhood best friends, to rivals (I guess that term fits) to crime solving partners and forced proximity and the rediscovering of past feelings – I was a sucker for the two of them. I really enjoyed the tension in the beginning, the way they didn’t know how to interact – their history created this barrier between them. Amplifying the hurt Roz feels and the guilt filling Damian. It takes a while for them to start breaking the barriers, finding their way back to the place they were before being separated, before finding themselves on opposites sides, but wanting the same things.

And the spice in this book…it’s mild, but the way M.K. Lobb wrote it, I was just further sunk for the two of them.

As for the plot – the mystery element…if you liked the first two books in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, you’re going to enjoy this. It was just fast paced enough to keep me on my toes and interested, but things still took time to come to light, and the crime/mystery solving was wonderfully interwoven with the personal things going on in the book. I was totally invested.

To be honest, I often find myself guessing pretty early on who is behind it all in mystery thrillers. It never fully takes away from the book, but at the same time, it does.

That being said, I had no fucking clue.


I could not have guessed the person behind it all was the person behind it all. All my suspicions were wrong so I was actually surprised at the end.

And let’s talk about the end. What the fuck do you mean book 2 isn’t out yet? I have questions and concerns and I need answers! Things happen at the end that have me fearing for these two precious character and I don’t know how I’m supposed to wait to find out if they’re going to be okay, or if everything is going to truly go to shit before they get remotely better.

I’m so glad that this book lived up to my anticipation and I cannot wait for book 2.

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