I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Okay. Here I am trying to form coherent sentences in order to describe this book for this review, but I’m still reeling from the absolute masterpiece that it was. Just a small warning that this review might contain more ranty half-finished sentences rather than any intelligent thought on the actual content of the book.
Wicked Saints, the first book of the Something Dark and Holy Series, is an epic dark fantasy that tells the tale of two kingdoms long at war. A girl who hears the voices of gods in her head, a mysterious boy with a dark past, and a prince who doesn’t know who to trust, may be the ones to bring an end to the century-old war. Rich with blood, magic, and morally questionable characters, Wicked Saints crafts a beautifully intricate tale.
So, I know people often describe many dark fantasy books as “bloody” but none of them can hold a candle to Wicked Saints. There is so much blood in this book. Like people are constantly bleeding. Heavily. Gruesomely. From all possible orifices of the body. That is to say, if gore-ish bleeding isn’t really your thing, steer clear of this book. The main reason for the immense amount of blood is that the entire country of Tranavia practices blood magic. So I guess this means that if someone wants to light their stove with a bit of magic they just have to slice the back of their hand real quick. No biggie.
If I had to describe the book in two words
If you don’t mind bleeding then read on because this book was fantastic, and if you don’t mind gore you should definitely read it.
The worldbuilding in this book was really good. The book was fast paced and always moving, yet it still managed to keep you clued in as to the differences between the two countries (Tranavia and Kalyazin). Concerning their different magics and ways of life.
Even with all the ridiculously impossible to pronounce names that were thrown around, I still managed to keep a good grasp of what exactly was going on.
I’ve decided to include a small list of the really long names that I have no clue how to pronounce that made appearances in this book:
I wrote a post about this once, but I’m absolute trash at figuring out how to pronounce things I’ve read in books. This means that as the book went on I just resorted to reading the names as unintelligible mumbles in my head.
Speaking of character names, oh my goood the characters! They were definitely my favorite part of the book. They were all such good characters! Nadezhda, Malachiasz, and Serefin are our main cast, and my favorite thing about them is that they all sort of…suck? Like they’re all bad people and Emily A. Duncan does not try to disguise it in any way.
They all want what’s best for their respective countries, and they all want to end the war in whatever way possible. They’re all the get your hands dirty to get what needs to be done type of characters.
Also, fans of the Shadow and Bone trilogy will probably love this book. There are some definite Darkling vibes from one of the characters. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Darkling or the Shadow and Bone trilogy, but as I may have mentioned a few times before, I *loved* this book. So I may just go around describing it as Shadow and Bone, but better.
I can’t wait for the rest of this trilogy, and I absolutely can’t wait for this book to come out next week so that I can rant/rave/argue about this book with everyone!
Have you read this book yet? If not, are you looking forward? What’s the most difficult to pronounce character name that you’ve ever come across?