Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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Title Wicked Saints

Author Emily A. Duncan

Description from Amazon

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.

Initial Thoughts

This book has been on my TBR since I discovered it in like January.  I have been so excited to read it and I was so bummed that I didn’t have time in April (when it came out).  The story sounded amazing.

Favorite Quote

“‘We’re all monsters, Nadya,’ Malachiasz said, his voice gaining a few tangled chords of chaos.  ‘Some of us just hide it better than others.'”

— Page 233

I love, love, love Emily A. Duncan’s writing.  I usually am the first to criticize third person omniscient narration (as it often leads to a weird feeling of distance between the reader and the characters), but it works so beautifully here.

I also love all the hidden foreshadowing in her writing.  She’s subtle and yet so obvious.

Favorite Character

Malachiasz – He was the monster I wanted him to be and so much more.  He was by far the best character.  His plot line was amazing and I can’t wait to read more about him.  He’s dark and misunderstood and he was so difficult to predict.  It’s almost as if he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next.  I loved him.

Cover Art

I mentioned this in my hype post, but I’ll say it again.  The cover on this one is so beautiful (both versions).  I love the Russian inspired architecture.  I still maintain that the picture on the spine is creepy but since reading this book, I think it’s fittingly creepy.

Series Value

Excuse me while I invent a device to transport me to April 2020 when I can read Ruthless Gods because I literally cannot wait to read the next volume of this series.

Final Thoughts

I read this book all in one day (not quite one sitting because I took a break to get some lunch).  But, it was fantastic.  It had everything I look for in a book: romance, magic, fantasy, politics, plot twists.  It was perfect.  The ending left me destroyed but that’s what I want in the first book in a series.  I want it to leave me desperate for the next book and that’s exactly what happened here.

Bonus points for the fact that this was Emily A. Duncan’s debut novel.  She set the bar so high!


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • The Crown’s Game and The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye – if you like Russian inspired, magic infused, romances, definitely check this duology out.  It also uses alternating POV structure (which I didn’t mention but, I loved in Wicked Saints).
  • The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo – this is another series set in a Russia inspired world.  Also, as an added bonus, there is a very charismatic and magnetic villain (remind you of anyone 😉).
  • Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – what a surprise, I am recommending another Russian inspired series.  I can’t help the fact that all of these books have that in common.  But, there’s more than setting that makes me want to recommend this one.  Romance, setting, magic, and the politics all made me think of this book while I was reading Wicked Saints.  Definitely give it a try.


Wicked Saints on Goodreads

Buy Wicked Saints on Amazon


4 thoughts on “Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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