Review: Wicked Saints

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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.

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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.

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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:

  • Nadezhda
  • Zbyhneuska
  • Malachiasz
  • Svoyatova
  • Brzoska


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?





11 thoughts on “Review: Wicked Saints

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this review! ❤ I have heard a lot of praise about this book so far – I've also heard some mixed opinions about it… and I'm so thankful for your review, really. I wasn't sure whether or not I would read it and I didn't realize just how much blood there was in that story… that would definitely be too triggering for me. I'm so, so happy to hear you loved this one so much though yay!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it was so great! Honestly, I don’t really do well around blood either, even in doctor shows I can never watch them perform surgery even though I know that it’s fake 🙈 So there were some parts where I had to just skim over real quick, but overall I really enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahaha I never ever watch doctors shows for that reason 🙈 🙈 I’m so glad you liked it either way, I’ll have to think about whether I can handle it or not haha 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 😈
    I’m glad you like it! I’m so excited for my preorder to arrive next week!!! Also you keep calling the main character Nadhezda. Isn’t she called Nadya most of the time?

    Also you called the book bloody hell. Do you mean like Ron Weasly style “Bloody ‘ell mate” or that the book is a bloody hellscape? Honestly I’m down for either.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is generally called Nadya, but every chapter that’s focused on her has the chapter header Nadhezda, so that name really stuck in my head 😂

      Both types of bloody hell! But like a good hell. Where the fires warm and toasty and you can chill with Satan and roast marshmallows.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. what a great review!!! I am so excited to read this book when it comes out 💓 and the hardest name I’ve come across to pronounce is Ingebjørg. Like, once you include one of those wëírd letters like that with the accents I’m basically gone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, the weird letters absolutely kill me! Sometimes I try to pretend I know how they’re meant to be pronounced, but seeing as I can barely pronounce English words correctly, it’s asking a bit much for me to be able to pronounce words with weird accents 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Most reviews I’ve read have been quite negative, I’m gonna be honest so I loved being able to read a review from the perspective of someone who loved the book! I don’t think I’ll ever read it however, for many reasons. Also, the comparaison to Shadow and Bone is everywhere with this book, and since I didn’t really enjoy Shadow and Bone, I don’t think it’s the right book for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I was a bit wary going in especially because of all of the Shadow and Bone comparisons, since I really wasn’t a fan of the series. But I’m glad I tried it out since I ended up really enjoying it!

      I’ll be the first to admit that it’s probably not for everyone though, and I know this may sound weird, but I love when there’s a book that a lot of people disagree with. I think it’s so great to see how one book can be interpreted and received in so many different ways by so many different people.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really liked this one too! I started off a little iffy, but I got REALLY into it. I agree, I love how the author didn’t pretend like the MCs were some kind of totally perfect heroes- they weren’t, they were so realistic! I am definitely looking forward to the next book too! Awesome review, glad you enjoyed it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you! 💕 I love it when MC’s are more morally gray and imperfect! There must be some psychology behind why readers root for the “bad guy” so often, but maybe it’s just because people tend to get tired of the perfect hero cast of characters.


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