Review: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

For today’s post I decided to give reviewing books another chance as I’ve kind of gotten out of the habit of actually writing reviews and it 100% showed in this post. xD However, I really enjoyed this book and wanted to give it a shout out on my blog relatively close to the release.

I got this as an audiobook the day it released and will probably buy a physical copy soon too (I mean, have you seen the spine? and naked hardcover underneath? this book is a work of art!) – if you needed an upfront selling point for this book. I enjoyed it so much I want two copies!

And now, before I start rambling, let’s just dive into this review!

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. (via Goodreads.com)

Plot & Pacing

I did really enjoy the overall idea for the plot – I love seeing people go head to head who think the other’s ideas/principles are wrong (in this case: blood mages vs clerics) and how/if those views change and/or are challenged.

It took about 25% for me to fully get into the story and start getting more involved and invested in what happened but once I got there? I was hooked. The beginning was mostly set up, character introductions, etc which is obviously needed in a series opener like Wicked Saints.

While we’re on the topic of the plot: this has an enemies to lovers trope going on and my god, was it fun to see play out! I almost wish it was dragged out a bit more though to really make the reader want more and keep the reader asking for more.

Overall, the story moved rather quickly and kept me drawn in throughout while also upping the game more and more. The ending was super exciting and a great starting point for the sequel!

Characters

I’m always here for witty remarks and banter between characters and we got more than enough of that. The main three characters were fleshed out and well developed with their own motivations and desires. It weirdly felt like I already knew all about Malachiasz because he’s all over my Twitter timeline quite often – not that I minded! And while I say three main characters, this is a dual POV book split into Nadya and Serefin chapters – BUT, we’re getting a Malachiasz POV in the next book!

Nadezhda ‘Nadya’ Lapteva

Nadya is the last living cleric and the only one known to be able to communicate with all the gods and being given their powers when she asks for it. I really liked that Nadya starts to question what she’s been told all her life and that she wants to be the one in charge of her life and what happens with and to it.

Serefin Meleski

Serefin is this young prince who doesn’t really want to be prince. He’d much rather be out on the battle fields fighting than be stuck at court and deal with the bullshit going on there. I found his reluctancy to be at court endearing and saw myself in certain (not so nice) aspects of him too. He’s about to go on quite the journey in the sequel and I cannot wait. There are a million questions I have. I need a reread.

Malachiasz Czechowicz

The tall, dark and handsome boy so many people on Twitter are already in love with and I get it. He’s also such a character already that I knew it was him the second he was mentioned on the page. xD He was probably one of my highlights throughout this book and someone I am quite interested to learn even more about.

Supporting Characters

Serefin and Malachiasz both have two loyal friends with them at all times and I can’t wait to hopefully learn more about them in the upcoming books. I don’t think they got enough page time in this first book but there was quite a bit of story to set up so I’m not too mad. But I did really enjoy the banter between each little group and how especially Serefin’s friends wouldn’t take shit from him or gave back as good as he gave.

Enjoyment & My Thoughts

Overall, I really and truly enjoyed this book once the story full took off. I kept finding myself actually yelling out loud ‘I KNEW’ whenever I had been able to predict something or just yelling when something good happened in general.

And while I was able to predict the ending it was still done well and in a way where you know it was all moving towards that as it’s best course of action for the characters and books. I still have a bunch of questions I need answers too and I need a reread to see how much more the author set up that I missed while reading.

Something else I wanted to mention here is that I kind of couldn’t help but at times be reminded of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse with certain smaller elements of the story which I don’t think is too far off to assume/be reminded of as the author herself is a huge fan of Leigh’s work.

I’m definitely keeping a close eye on any and all news regarding the sequel, that’s for sure!

Rating & Release Date

Wicked Saints, which was released on April 2nd, 2019 by Wednesday Books, ended up getting a very solid four stars from me!

I want to know, have you guys been able to read this book already? If so, what did you think? Did you enjoy the book? Do you know want to own multiple copies of it? Where you reminded of Leigh’s works at points too? Who’s your favorite character? Let’s chat – spoiler free! – in the comments down below! I can’t wait to hear from you. 😀

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