Wicked Saints

Wicked Saints

Book - 2019 | First edition.
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A girl who can speak to gods, a prince who must learn whom to trust, and a boy with a monstrous secret seek to assassinate the king and stop a centuries-long war.
Publisher: New York : Wednesday Books, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250195661
Characteristics: 385 pages : map ; 25 cm


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HardestyLibraryReads Apr 19, 2020

If you are a fan of gothic fantasy and Savic lore then Wicked Saints is a must read! Emily Duncan weaves a plot of conspiracy, blood and betrayal so well you will be speechless by the end.

Sep 26, 2019

Hoping there is a second novel to this. Characters had depth, surprising twists, and did not get the ending I was expecting. This author will only get better with time. Kuddos to her!

Jul 28, 2019

Pros: Took me an entire 3 days to finish it (that’s testament in itself to how much I liked it)
The one thing I’ll admit, is that I did not see the ending coming. The author foreshadows the ending SO MUCH that you think it’s not possible for it to end that way.
An interesting story...
Cons: Plot was slow moving.
Writing was fairly decent (this is Emily A Duncan’s first novel)
I can’t relate to the characters! I feel like you don’t get to know enough to love them. I need that personable feeling!
I expected a little bit more out of this book than I got, but overall, I’m happy with the outcome. Very good read. I’d definitely recommend for fans of high fantasy / gothic reading.
Can’t wait for Book 2!

forbesrachel Jun 30, 2019

Is a saint truly saintly? Is a monster only monstrous? For Nadya, a devote follower of the Kalyazin gods, and the hope of her people, this used to be an easy question to answer. But when her home is destroyed, and she decides to help one of those monsters kill the rival nation's king, doubt spreads, especially as her feelings for this young tormented man develop. Counter to this, is the perspective of Serefin, a prince, and deadly magic user of said nation, who begins to feel dejected about the never ending war, and the suffering of his people. When he returns home, matters are even worse than he suspected though, for his own father, and the ravenous Vultures have their own schemes in mind. Quick thinking, cooperation, and a little bit of magic are all that stands in the way. Duncan has created a solid premise, with some well-founded magic systems. Certain plot points do come out of left field, and the rapid progress of the plot, do make some of the character developments unearned though. Whereas many authors would spend time on the "tournament", this one gives only one duel, before moving along. Because of this Nadya goes from not grasping her magic in one moment, to feeling perfectly in control in the next. While her character arc, and that of some of the others was interesting, these additional steps were missed. Then, there was the love interest. Even it was a very predictable tale and didn't reflect well on the female lead, it actually leaves open some doors for the next volume; now that Nadya knows what an unhealthy relationship is like, there is the chance for a better one with another. There are also plenty of mysteries still unsolved, and with this foundation, there is hope that the promise of the first will still be delivered upon.

PimaLib_ChristineR May 01, 2019

TL:DR: The book is okay but not great. May be worth it to see if the next installment improves.

I wanted to love this book, and there were parts of it I did. I love the idea behind it. The magic system is interesting, if not completely explored. The three main characters are unique and well-developed and the plot and pacing are perfect. But with all that, there were some things that were just "off" about the novel. Like it could have used a couple of more trips to the editing block.

Some were small things, easier to overlook, like the moment, out of nowhere that Nadya "felt a confidence she had never really known before." What? Why? Or the flawed logic Serefin uses when riling his father. He tells himself, "if he was just being paranoid, his father would ignore his snark as he usually did." Um, don't you think his father could have faked it? Pelageya is supposed to be "mad" but she doesn't seem too far out there and her prophecies seem to make sense. In fact, she is extremely straightforward, especially the second time they meet.

But there are larger problems. Nadya spends an inordinate amount of time angsting over Malachiasz, the defector from the Tranavian side, who seems, "off-putting" but of course, she just can't resist him. Nadya never comes to term with the changes in her understanding of her magic. Nadya hates using her magic without "contact from the gods." But if she has magic without the gods, how can her magic be related to her religion? Why does she need to make way for them in a country that doesn't want them? Too much time was dedicated to creating an unnecessary love interest instead of answering the big questions. And twice Nadya has to use, what she considers "heretical" blood magic. Both times she gives herself a nearly identical speech about how she wouldn't do it if there were any other way. Okay, we get it. And because of that, it is difficult to connect with any of these characters.

Regardless, the story held enough interest that I'll be picking up the next in the series. Duncan sets us up with this image from the evil Black Vulture, or whatever controls him: "he needed four things: one that was lost, one that was held in a different song's grasp, one that had stopped listening to songs years ago, and one who was untouchable because they were too close to being a song themselves." So there's that.

Duncan shows promise with this novel and I hope her editing team steps up on the next go around.

DCLteens Apr 25, 2019

A Must-Read YA pick. In this stunning Joan of Arc-inspired debut, a peasant girl who can speak to the gods must find a way to work with a deadly adversary to turn the tide of war and assassinate the mad king.


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May 04, 2020

“Dazzle the monsters, Nadya. You've already charmed the worst of the lot; the rest should be easy.”

Dec 07, 2019

"I feel like I shouldn't ask what had you screaming bloody murder in your sleep but I admit I'm curious."

Dec 04, 2019

“Symbols fell from her lips like glowing glimmers of smoke and every star in the sky winked out.”

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
May 04, 2020

miraellie thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Dec 07, 2019

Bisknew thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 27


Add a Summary
Jul 04, 2020

Nadya is a girl who can hear the gods. Her country (Kalyazin) is at war with the Tranavians who broke off from kalyazin to develop their own heretical magic. Tranavian hunted down almost all of the clerics Nadya may be the last one. When her monastery is destroyed by Serefin Meleski, the crown prince she escapes and travels hoping to find Tvir (a war camp). On the way, she meets two Akolans and a mysterious Tranavian. They form a plan to murder the king and the crown prince of Tranavian. Wicked saints forces you to question what good and evil truly means. All in all wicked saints is one of my favorite books and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole book.


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May 04, 2020

Violence: Fight scenes with some graphic description; blood is almost a secondary character in this novel.

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