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Review: Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan

Hey all, Dani here.

All right, so I have held off long enough on gushing about this amazing debut release that is coming April 2, 2019. I finished this at the beginning of December, and I have just wanted to tell every single person I know that they need to add this to their TBRs. I’ve already pre-ordered it, and I do not often actually pre-order books.



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..

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I was first told about this book by my friend Signy Cullen, and she told me that it was an amazing dark fantasy read. So I started doing a little research about it, and ended up starting to follow Emily on Twitter. There I discovered that we like a lot of the same music, and that she also went to Kent State University and earned an MLIS. Then Emily mentioned that she had gotten the idea for this book while playing Skyrim and that it was inspired by/influenced by clerics in Dungeons & Dragons.

Pretty much that all spoke to my soul, and I absolutely needed to read it. So, I prepared an e-mail and sent it in to the publisher, hoping to be granted early access to this book. I didn’t care if it was an e-galley or an ARC. (Now that I’ve read it, I really really would like an ARC of this one to keep in my collection). It was my first time actually approaching the publisher; typically I just request books on NetGalley. Thankfully, this time, I can say that my request was answered, and I downloaded this book.

Wow, okay, so two paragraphs in to my thoughts, and I haven’t really said anything about the book, just background details. Sorry.

I tried to take my time with this book, because I knew it wasn’t being released until April. I was reading about 15-20% a day at work. But then I had a day at work where I had a few hours with no work to do…so like any responsible book blogger, I read. And I devoured the last 60% of this book in that one sitting at work. I was so enraptured by this story and these characters that I could not stop reading.

As a little backstory before I make my next point, I play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and the primary class that I play is cleric. There’s just something about their divine nature that really appeals to me. Emily’s writing about talking to the deities, and channeling the magic, and just every aspect of the cleric lifestyle was so on point to what I know from all of my characters. So imagine my surprise when I talked to her on Twitter and found out that she has actually never played a cleric in D&D. It is immensely impressive that she so perfectly writes out Nadya’s character. I am honestly just in awe. Of course I can say that Nadya is different from most D&D clerics because she actually can talk to and channel the power from all the deities in the pantheon, not just one. Which is very intriguing to me honestly.

Oh, I suppose I should also put out a possible content warning out there for some of you. There are a number of blood mages in this book, and they cast spells by first cutting themselves and channeling power from the blood. So if cutting/self-harm is a trigger for you, then maybe pass on this book…or at least make sure you are in a good mental health position before you dive in.

But I simply adored the characters in this. There were some revelations in this book that surprised me in the best way possible. Nadya and Serefin and Malachiasz all had different motivations, and I loved seeing how the various relationships amongst the characters developed. If you were a fan of the Darkling in the Grisha trilogy, then you’re probably definitely going to like Malachiasz.

So, writing this review has made me want to read this book again. Let’s just admit that I’m probably going to read it again soon, and then I’ll probably read it again once the final version is printed.

I loved this book so much. That’s all I can really say.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. It will be on sale April 2, 2019.

22 thoughts on “Review: Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan”

    1. Fantastic! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. I seriously want to re-read it, and I definitely need to get my hands on a physical ARC just so I can have all of the editions in my library.


  1. I loved this book SO MUCH and it was gonna be a five stars for me until I hit like the last forty pages, which felt a little bit like a fever dream lmao. I had no idea what was going on! But I guess we’re meant to be confused about it all? I’m guessing all the questions that were brought up will be answered in the next two books but I thought we’d get SOME answers so I’m frustrated a bit! But it’s still a solid 4.5 for me; I loved the characters SO MUCH, especially Malachiasz. I thought the author walked a really delicate line with his character and it was so well done!

    Liked by 1 person


        I just had so many questions about Malachiasz motivation’s, how Serfin ~came back to life, what Nadya’s god’s really are exactly, who that new god is, and what Malachiasz became. Unless I’m just dense and things fell through the cracks for me haha

        Liked by 1 person

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