- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Wednesday Books (2 April 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250195667
- ISBN-13: 978-1250195661
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.9 x 23.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 599 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wicked Saints: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, 2 Apr 2019
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"If you like your young adult fantasy full of ice, blood, and angst, Wicked Saints will sweep you up in its wintery embrace." - NPR, "3 Young Adult Novels To Help You Out Of Hibernation"
"This dark fantasy starts off with a bang... The upfront presence of the gods adds an intriguing twist to a brutal story. The ending is as powerful as the opening, and there are explosive elements waiting to detonate in the expected sequels." - BOOKLIST
"If you love dark fantasy this book promises to be a brutal, enchanting gem, full of terrifying blood-magic." - BOOKRIOT, "20 Dark Fantasy Books For Your Winter TBR"
"Rarely does a dark, magical epic have so effective a character-grounded sense of humor." - BULLETIN OF THE CENTER OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
"Emily A. Duncan's debut YA novel does not disappoint. It's thrilling and brutal, reading like a heavy metal song. And it's the first book in a trilogy! I cannot wait for books two and three--and for whatever else this blistering new talent writes. For Fans of: Authors of dark fantasy novels, like Leigh Bardugo." - PASTE MAGAZINE
"Will leave readers hungry for a sequel." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"I highly recommend WICKED SAINTS to fantasy readers. Emily Duncan's writing style reminds me of Leigh Bardugo's. If you enjoyed the setting of Grisha Trilogy and the characters of SIX OF CROWS, I believe you will enjoy WICKED SAINTS. Duncan's debut novel is perfect for readers looking for intrigue, dark magic and betrayal on every page." - TEENREADS
"Prepare for a snow frosted, blood drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare. Utterly absorbing." - Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves and The Star-Touched Queen
"Full of blood and monsters and magic--this book destroyed me and I adored it. Emily is a wicked storyteller, she's not afraid to hurt her characters or her readers. If you've ever fallen in love with a villain you will fall hard for this book." - Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
"This is the novel of dark theology and eldritch blood-magic that I've been waiting for all my life. It's got a world at once brutal and beautiful, filled with characters who are wounded, lovable, and ferocious enough to break your heart. A shattering, utterly satisfying read." - Rosamund Hodge, author of Cruel Beauty and Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
"Wicked Saints is a lush, brutal, compelling fantasy that is dark, deep, and bloody--absolutely riveting! With a boy who is both man and monster, mysterious saints with uncertain motives, and a girl filled with holy magic who is just beginning to understand the full reaches of her power, this gothic jewel of a story will sink its visceral iron claws into you, never letting go until you've turned the last page. And truthfully, not even then -the explosive ending will haunt you for days! " - Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of the His Fair Assassin trilogy
"Dark, bloody, and monstrously romantic. This is the villain love interest that we've all been waiting for." - Margaret Rogerson, New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens
"Seductively dark and enchanting, Wicked Saints is a trance you won't want to wake from. Duncan has skillfully erected a world like no other, complete with provocative magic, sinister creatures, and a plot that keeps you guessing. This spellbinding YA fantasy will bewitch readers to the very last page." - Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep
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Plus, way too much social media hype for nothing worthwhile! 🙃
“We’re all monsters … some of us just hide it better than others.”
Starting out, the first couple of chapters hadn’t fully hooked me yet, you know? I was in, but I wasn’t obsessed (YET). Honestly, though, around the 15% mark, something “clicked” for me and I was all in. I could barely be wrenched away from my kindle to do anything because all I wanted was to devour this gorgeous, gothic little fantasy story with its lovable, magical characters and intricate world.
First, these characters are beyond incredible. It’s so clear that Emily grew up in fandoms, knowing how characters could best hit a reader’s buttons to make them melt, because these little cinnamon rolls are some of the best I’ve ever met in my life.
🙏 Nadya Lapteva is a fantastic protagonist, because she’s so easy to root for, even when I found myself disagreeing with her motives and beliefs. I couldn’t get behind how blindly she followed her faith, but I loved her all the more for it.
👑 Serefin Meleski, the sweet, wounded prince. He tries so hard to do what he thinks is best for the Tranavian people, and he just wants someone to do right by him for once (or to at least leave him alone to his booze), and he just broke my heart over and over.
🖤 Malachiasz Czechowicz, finally: I didn’t know how much I needed a gothy little smoosh like him in my life until now, and I just want to hug him and protect him at all costs, because let’s be honest, I don’t care how powerful of a blood mage he is, Malachiasz needs someone to love on him like he deserves. I honestly had to restrain myself from making this entire review about him because WOW, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH and he is easily going into my list of best book characters ever, with his sad little tattooed face and all his monstrous secrets. (I need a t-shirt that says “the best book boyfriends are monsters”, can we make this happen please)
Of course, there are also these brilliant side characters, like Parijahan (who wants nothing to do with your nonsense, thank you very much), Rashid (how precious, what a bean), Ostyia (we stan a queer girl charming the pants off all the other girls in town)—the list goes on. They’re all so ridiculously lovable (except the few who aren’t, in which case, they’re terrifying and awful and the best sorts of villains).
The last thing I have to point out is how fantastic the settings and descriptions are. Emily really is a Goth Queen™ and her writing is soaked in it, and frankly, my “no, it really wasn’t a phase, Mom” self is LIVING for it. I mean, the pictures the writing paints of the Vultures and their dwelling places? YO, give me all those creepy goth vibes forever, please and thank you.
Rambling aside, there are just so many good things I have to say about Wicked Saints, whether it’s the writing, plot, or characters, but the biggest thing I have to say is that, regardless of whether you’re a long-time fantasy lover or someone who typically steers clear of the genre altogether, you gotta give Emily A. Duncan a chance, because this debut is so powerful and I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel. 🖤
Content warnings for violence, murder, self-harm for blood magic
A quick synopsis: Nadya is a cleric that hears the voices of all the gods and is granted with the ability to call on their powers. This makes her a target for others who want to gain this power. Serefin, the prince, a somewhat evil but seriously witty blood mage, who is in danger from his own father, and Malachiasz, the leader of a group who wants to end the war...but has a deadly secret.
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but all this makes for a 5 star read with fast past action, violence, twists and turns, even romance, always making us question who can truly be trusted.
I really wanted to love this book but ended up being meh about it. It read so slow, I mean there's nothing wrong with slow books as long as the story has substance and things make sense. The plot? Oh you mean the one where Alina and Mal try to stop the darkling? oh wait, that's right, that's grishaverse. Welp this is the same thing *rolling my eyes*. This read like a grishaverse retelling. I am so confused!!! At least in the grishaverse we knew why the darkling wanted all the power, but here? why does the villain want the power?! (I'm sorry, I am very upset at the let down of this book. Please help me understand if I missed anything).
So the story started out interesting, girl (Nadya ) speaking to gods.. heck yea I'm all about it. But 100 pages in Nadya was still annoying, I couldn't stand her. She reminded me a lot of Alina from the grishaverse, "boohoo I have magic, boohoo I don't want it", which irked me. I'm all about a badass MC and this was not a strong character. I had such a hard time connecting with the characters, they were so boring. The dynamic between them was just plain and weird.
The romance was shoved down my throat and it was completely cringeworthy (eww). I typically don't give harsh reviews but I am extremely disappointed with the outcome of this story. I know a lot people loved this book and you know what that is great, but I am super disappointed. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the spring and it turns out it wasn't for me.
Sadly, this book put me in a slump back in April and I decided to give it another shot, boy do I regret that. Like I said, this wasn't for me but maybe it's good for you guys.
However, things like characters and world building seemed rather underdeveloped, particularly side-characters. I can even scarcely describe the main character's personalities.
I expected much more from this much over hyped book.