Title: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan
Format: Hardcover, 385 pages, 978-1-25019-566-1
Published: April 2nd 2019 by Wednesday Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Summary: 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. (via Goodreads )
Duncan’s debut is a delicious dark, Gothic, and haunting start to what gears up to be an immersive new fantasy series. I fell in love with the lyrical writing, the depth of her world-building and character development, and the unique culture and magic system in the world she’s created.
I love when fantasy worlds are built upon the intertwining of religion and magic, because aspects of religion are indeed fantastical in many aspects (like the saints in this volume). This addition also adds a sense of relatability and realism to the world in the pages. The writing also felt more mature and higher quality than a lot of YA fantasy, and I really loved that about Duncan’s work. There was no “writing down” to the intended audience, nor to the actual audience.
Furthermore, the fluidity and quality of this novel makes it one that both young and seasoned readers will love (even the aged 30-something like me). I can’t wait to buy a hard copy on April 2, and I plan on re-reading this book as soon as I do. I highly recommend you check out Duncan’s blockbuster debut!