Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1) by Emily A. Duncan
[Blog Tour: Review]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Wicked Saints blog tour hosted by Wednesday Books. I'm thrilled I get to share my thoughts on this book with you! 

Title: WICKED SAINTS
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Series: Something Dark and Holy, #1
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pub. Date: April 2, 2019
Buy Link: Click here
Goodreads: Click here

“Prepare for a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” - Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

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.

“This book destroyed me and I adored it.”- Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but that's so hard not to do! I absolutely love the cover for Wicked Saints, and it's what initially piqued my interest. The blurb easily convinced me that I needed this book in my life, but the cover is what caught my eye and made me read the synopsis in the first place. Wicked Saints promised to be a delicious dark fantasy, and it didn't disappoint. 

It's been ages since I've read a really good dark fantasy, and this one balanced the line between dark and disturbing. If there had been vampires in this story, they would have been fat and well-fed, because the people in this book seem to bleed frequently and die often. It was almost too gruesome at times, but the author never took it too far. It was just enough intensity to keep me turning the pages, eager to find out what would happen next.

Malachiasz definitely stole the show for me, and I think he would have made a better main character. There's nothing wrong with Nadya, but she's always in his shadow. She's supposed to be super powerful, can commune with the gods, and yet she seems to defer to Malachiasz whenever he's around. If it had felt more like teamwork, or two people using each other to get what they wanted, I might have felt differently. It's hard to complain when Malachiasz was such an interesting character, but I wish he hadn't overshadowed Nadya so much.

Speaking of those two, I wish the romance had been dialed back a little. I think some of the story was sacrificed for their relationship (or whatever it was). The world of Wicked Saints was fascinating, and I would have enjoyed learning more about it. However, it does focus a lot on Nadya, Malachiasz, and their feelings for one another. Don't get me wrong, I love a good romance in books, but this one felt out of place considering their situations. 

Overall, Wicked Saints was deliciously dark, captivating, and left me staring at the last page. I love a good, unexpected conclusion! The entire story was filled with twists and turns, but the ending...

About Emily A. Duncan:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

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.

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

14 comments:

  1. Yay! *highfivesyou* Not only are we review buddies but we both loved this as well! It really was so dark and just wonderful.

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    1. Yay! *highfivesyouback* I didn't know we were review buddies! I'll definitely be stopping by to check out your review! I've been insanely busy this month, and I'm barely staying on top of my blogging responsibilities. I'm overdo for some hopping around. ;)

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  2. Oh that sounds good. I've read a couple of reviews for this one now and it seems like everyone is liking this.

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    1. The romance overshadowed some of the story, but it was a solid read that I enjoyed! If you like dark fantasy, I would recommend it.

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  3. The cover definitely fits with it then.

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    1. Truth! I love it when covers match the story, because then they're more meaningful. I haaate it when a cover is completely irrelevant, or serves no purpose but to look pretty. I want it to be significant, you know?

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  4. I do so love a deliciously dark fantasy! I definitely need to read this one!

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    1. Yay! I hope you have a chance to read it soon, and that you enjoy it as much as I did! :)

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  5. It's great to hear that this one on the whole worked out for you! I've been looking forward to this one... I'm a bit concerned about the romance overshadowing things, that is a bit of a pet peeve...

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    1. Same! It didn't feel necessary to the story, and it also wasn't effortless, so it detracted from everything else that was going on. Hopefully you're able to look past it!

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  6. I agree that the romance could have been dialed back (and honestly I'm holding out for Serefin, haha).

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless