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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Young adult

Wicked Saints

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Emily A. Duncan, on your first book!

by Emily A. Duncan

Quick take

A darkly gothic story of war, magic, and the thin line between good and evil.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_ForbiddenLove

    Forbidden love

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_GraphicViolence

    Graphic violence

Why I love it

Brittany Lutes
BOTM Ambassador, @bookswrotemystory

Want to know what topic gets my attention every time? Dark magic. Throw in “gothic fantasy” and, well, you have just guaranteed my interest in a book. There was simply no way around finding Emily Duncan’s debut novel, Wicked Saints, on the top of my (lengthy!) TBR.

From page one, Wicked Saints sets the stage with some powerful players. There’s a young cleric, blessed with unfathomable power. There’s a prince and powerful blood magician, trying to escape the plots of his own deadly court. And finally, there’s a refugee, harboring a very dark secret. As these characters fight toward their own goals and agendas, their intersecting lives weave a dark and tangled web.

The best part about this book is its gothic setting. It was all too easy for me to get swept into the mystery of the world and to never look back. And have I mentioned how atmospheric and strange it all is? Because that bears repeating. This book is dark, dark, dark and lush with magic, religion, and intrigue. If that's your cup of tea, this needs to be your next read.

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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.

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Check out a preview of Wicked Saints.

Member thoughts

All (510)
All (510)
Love (234)
Like (193)
Dislike (83)
556 ratings
  • 42% Love
  • 35% Like
  • 15% Dislike
  • Nantucket, MA

    enjoyed this so much, I am already planning a reread — no joke. Most of all I am looking forward to discussing this with other readers. This is so compelling, I just know there is going to be a huge.

  • Newnan, GA

    Emily A. Duncan has created a masterpiece. As you read, you get to know more and more about Nadya and her world. It makes you want more. The characters are amazing, the story, the telling, everything.

  • Fairfax, VA

    I loved the immersive and complex world that the author created! The prose caught my attention. I also love the internal struggles of the characters and how the author played with light and darkness.

  • Strattanville , PA

    Duncan created a world that kept readers guessing. Even though you thought you knew who was who and what was coming next, there was always a slight twist in the plot. Can’t wait for the next book!

  • Baton Rouge, LA

    OH MY LANTA THIS BOOK! I regret not reading it sooner, my inner teenage self was squealing and squirming with joy. The ending although totally heartbreaking, was perfect and I highly recommend it!

  • Duluth, GA

    The beginning was frustrating with all the name dumps, names that are clearly hard to pronounce... Once the story took hold and the main characters emerged it became such a great read. On to Bk 2!

  • Kissimmee, FL

    This is a difficult read and i almost quit 180 pages in but if you give it the time it deserves its rewarding. I enjoyed the characters and the worlds they lived in. Looking forward to next one

  • Minnetonka, MN

    This was a really quick read, and also very entertaining. It was predictable, but not to the point where it wasn't enjoyable. Definitely did a good job of setting up the next book in the series

  • Barrington , RI

    I really like any story that was so obviously inspired by Russian lit, & this is no exception. I liked it enough but could have done without some of the cheesier “romantic” elements in it.

  • Corvallis, OR

    This book was so good! . If you want to be transported to a world of "dark" and "light" magic, then this is the book for you. Also, most chapters change to a different character viewpoint.

  • Walterboro , SC

    Love the darkness of this book. I was sort of wishing there wasn't a romance but I am okay with the duo! They are light and dark and that makes my heart swell. Will be looking for book 2!

  • Los Altos, CA

    Reading this felt like eating a huge slice of deliciously rich dark chocolate cake. The worldbuilding was wonderful, and I loved the characters too. Can't wait to read the sequel!

  • Fort Worth, TX

    Took me a minute to get into the plot and characters, but it was worth it - fascinating story filled with magic and dark secrets that leaves you breathless and craving for more!

  • Fairview, TN

    I love a fairytale! Forbidden romance always makes for a quick read. Dark fantasy that leaves you wanting more! Hoping for a sequel because there’s so much left to this story.

  • Poland, OH

    This book is Wickedly good and I cannot wait for the second in the trilogy to come out. It is a combination of the His Fair Assassins Trilogy and Furyborn. Such an awesome read.

  • Spearfish, SD

    Original religion always intrigues me and exploring this world was magical and mysterious. The characters were fierce and strong. The cliffhanger has me excited for the sequel!

  • Charlotte, NC

    There were a few times when I got lost in what was going on, but overall I truly enjoyed this book. When I was about halfway through, I got online and bought the second one!

  • Eagle, ID

    I love a good YA novel. This one started out slow but then I couldn’t put it down. Terrible about the Black Vulcher, I wanted to see Nadya and him make it somehow.

  • Vermillion, SD

    I NEED MORE! As soon as I am able I will be getting the next in the series and am rather salty I don't already have it! Even had to follow the author on Instagram.

  • Yukon, OK

    From the moment I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down. Emily A. Duncan completely pulls you in with her plot and execution of her story. Worth the read!

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