Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

There’s something about reading a dark fantasy in between contemporaries.

When you’ve read about the ups and downs of real life, the best thing to dive into is blood and war and lots of dark magic.

Wicked Saints is already out now, but I managed to trade for a gorgeous purple manuscript before the release date. And despite not receiving this ARC from the publisher, I’m still ready to rant and rave about this book here and on social media.

Wicked Saints book

First of all, the first four lines should be enough to pull in Grisha fans:

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.

On Twitter, I have merely used the one line ‘Grisha but more goth’, and that’s exactly how it feels. From the magic to the setting, everything feels dark, gothic, and on the brink of war. The relationships and the rivalries all blend together until you don’t know who to trust, and of course the characters are morally ambiguous, which make it even more exciting trying to figure out who to trust and who to like (spoiler: you’ll love everyone, no matter whose side you’re rooting for).

Intricate, subtle magic systems, ever since V.E. Schwab, always draw me in. I think a lot of authors don’t realise that the magic itself in their stories is a whole other character itself. The existence of magic in a world changes everything about society and its people. It’s such a force that a people’s culture, language, music and religion would orbit it. A story that respects that, weaves the magic into everything about the setting and the characters is such deep and detailed world-building that can really make a good fantasy story great.

If you love not knowing who to believe, who to trust, and love a complicated yet intricate magic system, then grab a copy of Wicked Saints.

Trigger warnings for Wicked Saints: self harm and abuse.

Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: 2nd April 2019




  1. thewolfandbooks

    April 26, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    I love your whole paragraph about magic systems being a personality or character in itself! I’m going to adapt that concept into my own writing. Great review!

  2. tasya @ the literary huntress

    April 28, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    This book really reminds me for The Grisha Trilogy, but with darker vibe and more mature themes like written by V.E Scwhab. While it didn’t really worked for me (it was too similar with TGT imo), I’m still curious on where the story would go next!

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