Wicked Saints | By Emily A Duncan

Wicked Saints
Publisher:
Published: April 2nd, 2019
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.

Synopsis

(Courtesy : Goodreads)

 

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

I listened to the audiobook of Wicked Saints.
Narrative and plot

 

Wicked Saints is told from two of the main character's point of views. Despite, being a much hyped book, the story takes its sweet time to warm up to you. Before even starting to contemplate what is enjoyable and not, one cannot help but wonder at the masterful mind that built a whole fictional world and culture and dialects. In this case, even Gods and power politics. The amount of detailing and work in the world building is indeed enchanting.

Whether you like it or not, it definitely takes you on a journey in this magical world and makes you an eager bystander of the politics of magical power.

However, the book felt slow in the middle particularly those that featured it's central character Nadia. It makes you want more of Serafin and his narration because he seems more interesting than the supposedly main character who appears to be overtly doctrined and plain.

 

Characters and Conflict

 

Three people - representing three kinds of faith. A cleric, a powerful blood mage and a dark mysterious boy. As said earlier, there is an inherent slowness in the story as well as character development. Nadia being the main character feels like a bit of a let down. Yes, she is powerful and she has a gift somehow.  She had this air of condescension about her as if every one who is not her is beneath her. Perhaps it was to show how devout she was, but then, she took an unconventional path and yet remained the same until the last few pages.Had the story given more insight to where she comes from, it would have been more relatable.

This being a series, you can still hope.

Malechaeus was portrayed as this charming, disheveled bad boy who tempts you, like the forbidden apple but it felt half-cooked at times. Was he a mystery? Yes. Was he charming enough to shake someone as hard a believer as Nadia? Yes/No/Maybe. Puzzling as he is, Malachaez remained an enigma till the very end. He was never dull and you wish he had a chapter of his own.

As you've guessed by now, Serafin had been the saving grace of the entire book. Perhaps, it was the narrator, who made him absolutely enjoyable. Serafin was charming even when he didn't try, witty and rational among them all. Unintentionally it was Serafin who constantly questioned what was around him, could see through his circumstances rationally and genuinely wanted to try. Even a spin off with Serafin and his company on journey would make an interesting read. Serafin was what you wish Nadia would have been.

The conflict was one of the oldest tropes in fiction - good vs evil. Only question is what is good? It takes good writing to get you invested in plots that had no major takeaway for you in real life. Yet, this mysterious world of wicked saints sucks you in with its magic.

Conclusion

 

Overall, this is an intriguing and thrilling read. A book that would leave you wanting for more and one that you would want to come back for when the next one is out. The ratings are merely based on the wish that the main character was just a little bit more elevated. You don't want another damsel in distress. You want someone who can think for themselves and act on it. Someone who owns who she is.

Emily A. Duncan is the New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints. She was born and raised in Ohio and 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 inter-library loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. She is represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
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6 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    I really thought I loved this book when I first reviewed it minus one thing that is toon spoiler to really go into. But the more I have thought over time the more certain parts have bothered me and you brought up one of then. I want her to be stronger. She just kept throwing her belief system right out the door. I did kinda mention it in connection to the spoiler part but it has bothered me more on it’s own along with other things. I’ll probably read the second book when it comes out although not as an ARC to review because I don’t think I will want to review it but maybe I will change my mind. But I think your review is more in line with the reality than my initial review. Good job

    • Rejitha says:

      I just read your review and it’s awesome. Thank you for the comment. You made the same point as mine, but you took the positive in it. I get that, and I appreciate the ending. The characters are all real in the book. Perhaps, it is the audiobook and listening to Nadia that I felt strongly against her actions. For someone so devout, she gave up quickly and not just once. Let’s see how she bounces back with all that renewed outlook in the next book. 🙂

      • Susan says:

        Thank you for doing that. It is very kind of you. It is definitely not my shining moment as far as reviews go (speaking strictly on structure and coherence). But that’s just it. Incompletely agree with you. She does it repeatedly. I mean do it once and learn a lesson… fine we all make mistakes. But keep doing it and for the same reason? Oh my I wanted to shake her. What in the world was wrong with her? Someone shows you time and again who they are then take them for it. And yes Serafin is definitely the saving grace of it all. If I were to get an arc to review it would be because of him. That poor boy. Lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for doing that. It is very kind of you. It is definitely not my shining moment as far as reviews go (speaking strictly on structure and coherence). But that’s just it. Incompletely agree with you. She does it repeatedly. I mean do it once and learn a lesson… fine we all make mistakes. But keep doing it and for the same reason? Oh my I wanted to shake her. What in the world was wrong with her? Someone shows you time and again who they are then take them for it. And yes Serafin is definitely the saving grace of it all. If I were to get an arc to review it would be because of him. That poor boy. Lol

  3. I really want to read this but I’m afraid of what I’ll think of Nadia now, I get really easily fed up with characters who just don’t learn or grow fast enough for my liking, which is quite frankly rude of me haha. I know I’ll end up reading it anyway and I’m curious to see what I make of it now, great review!

    • Rejitha says:

      Thank you. This is a book with interesting characters. I’ll give you that. 😄 Give it a go once. Will be waiting for your review.

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