Title: Wicked Saints
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Source: Digital ARC via NetGalley
You know when you hear a lot of people talking about a book, so you go in not knowing what to expect and worried about it living up to the hype? That’s how I felt going into this book, but of course I shouldn’t have worried. Emily A. Duncan creates such a rich world that I just wanted to know everything about it. It is dark and Gothic and gritty and just so atmospheric.
It is a story of warring countries, separated by belief systems told by two different view points. The first is Nadezhda Lapteva, raised in the monastery, she is born a cleric, able to speak to the gods. Though the other clerics that came before her could only speak to one god, Nadya has the ability to communicate with them all. The book opens as her monastery is being attacked by the Tranavians, the people who use blood magic rather than the magic straight from the gods. Nadya is forced to flee with her friend Anna. While on the run she meets three other misfits who have plans of stopping the war.
Our other point of view is Serefin Meleski, high prince of Tranavia. He is hunting Nadya because of her powers. As a highly efficient blood mage, he and his people are interested in the power of Nadya’s blood and what it could mean for their own magic.
The stakes are high and you feel the tension through every page. I could have read this in one sitting had life not gotten in the way. One of the most interesting aspects for me was the discussion around religion, beliefs, and magic. How these things affect our view points and those around us and the lengths you are willing to go for them.
A huge thank you to Wednesday Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour!
“He shook his head. ‘So little?’ he asked incredulously. ‘They ask for far too much. Why do you think Tranavia broke with the gods? Who yearns for life yoked to another being’s whim? We wished to choose our own destiny.”
-Emily A. Duncan, Wicked Saints
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
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.
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.
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