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Wicked Saints: A Novel

Something Dark and Holy, Book 1
Written by: Emily A. Duncan
Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's 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. 

Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

©2019 Emily A. Duncan (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

“Prepare for a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” (Roshani Chokshi, New York Times best-selling author of The Star-Touched Queen)

“This book destroyed me and I adored it.” (Stephanie Garber, New York Times best-selling author of Caraval)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Annie Armstrong
  • 2019-04-04

I LOVE THIS AUDIOBOOK!

I had the day off from work and ended up spending my whole day listening to the entire book, because I got so sucked in. I love the story and the characters and narration. Both narrators did a great job, but I was especially blown away by the soulfulness, vulnerability, and power transmitted by Ms. Soudek. She also did an amazing job on the accents... I think it’s brilliant that they obviously cast a real Russian. I actually got teary-eyed a few times, especially at the end, because her voice and the words and story went straight into my heart. Thank you. I highly recommend this audiobook and can not wait for the sequel.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole Porter
  • 2019-04-17

Awkward start, amazing characters

This book was a slow start, but by the time I finished I was bereft. The narrators' accents were a little too heavy, so it distracted from the world building. This made me almost give up on the book, and I am so, so glad that I didn't.
Eventually the world building and character roles came together, and before I knew it, I was totally engrossed in the story. The main characters were so well written, that it became impossible not to become emotionally invested in them. As of right now there are some plot holes, and loose ends, but that just makes the sequel so much more enticing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sheena Jennings
  • 2019-04-07

Wonderfully wickedly done.

Bravo!! What a great ride! I'm excited for the next one! The epilogue was beautifully done😍

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • SarahH
  • 2019-05-07

Good Story and Characters But Familiar Too

I'm dividing my review into sections.
The Story: Overall, this is a pretty standard Chosen One story. The Chosen One sets out to do The Thing she was chosen for. She does it, and there are twists and unintended consequences that set up for a second book. Emily Duncan's delivery on that structure is pretty good, and if you like Chosen One stories, you'll probably like this. It has echoes of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Spinning Silver, and The Bear and the Nightingale, while still offering a new world and magic system that is interesting on its own.

The Characters: This part is extremely subjective. If you read the Shadow and Bone trilogy and shipped the Darkling and Alina, you'll probably love the romance here. There is some similar imagery and tragic dark boy + saint girl vibes. That was not my ship, but I respect it as a thing other people like. Serefin was the best character in the book ( I know, I know, Darkling fans, your favorite is Malachiaz.) He is more complex, unpredictable, and interesting than all of the others. The two sidekick characters were massively under-developed and hardly mattered to the story.

The Narrators: whoo boy. You've probably seen the debate in the other comments. The female narrator made everything sound trite and no-big-deal. But her accent was more believable and she had more distinct voices than the male. The male narrator sounded like GPS. He had a very staccato reading voice with very little inflection. I recognized him from the Six of Crows prologue. They weren't the worst narrators I've heard on Audible, but they weren't great.

Overall: I enjoyed listening to this book. The story was familiar, as were some of the characters. That said, I didn't mind the echoes of other stories because this world and magic system were very creative and much different than the others. If/when there's a sequel, I'll probably just pick up the physical book if they hire the same narrators. I wish they had picked Kathleen Gati for the whole thing. She did an amazing job with The Bear & the Nightingale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • b
  • 2019-05-02

Awful Narration; Imaginative World Brought Down by Standard YA Tropes

Wow. The narration in this is abominable. The accents during dialogue are performed like bad Hollywood vampire tropes (“I VANT to SUCK vour buhloood” type ridiculous), while non-dialogue is flatly Americanized and bit stale. What makes the narration worse is that there is no differentiating among the accents of characters from varying countries, even though we are told in the story that they sound quite different, they are all performed identically. The author also provided a pronunciation guide for names and places, yet they are still mispronounced throughout the book, including the name of a lead character. Hopefully this is corrected going forward.

The story is fairly standard gothic YA (think Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series). The book really survives on the dialogue between characters and the strong leads. The world is complex, but it lacks imagery and true development. What is most absent throughout is ambience. If you take away the dialogue, the story is told very flat and lacks dramatic tension. We are told what happens and what (some) things look like, but there is no feeling, no tension; just straight telling not showing.

If you like the characters, gothic stories, and forbidden romance with mysterious and morally ambiguous pretty boys, you will most likely enjoy the book. If that doesn’t stand out to you, spend your credit elsewhere. The bones of a good story and compelling world and characters are there, but it lacks the fleshing out needed to really jump off the page and feel real and draw you in. If you are someone who doesn’t mind reading, you would also be better served with the physical book instead of the audio version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • kelly
  • 2019-04-18

Beautiful and heartbreaking are understatements.

I’m in pain knowing that this story is over. I’m torn between savoring it, and going back to the beginning to immediately read it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ashley
  • 2019-06-06

felt a tad fan fiction

I hear was truly looking forward to this book and I've had it on my radar for a bit. I then realized why I wanted to read it so badd. Son summoner and the darkly in fanfiction. Although a great story I didn't feel like it had enough originality in it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2019-06-03

it güd

if you like blood magic and monster boyfriends this book is made just for you

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-05-28

So good, but flawed

IT WAS SO GOOD. But so flawed. The story was amazing. But the execution didn’t work out so well. It was a very confusing read for me. I kept having to go back, feeling like I missed something. The writing made it a bit difficult to follow. But the overall story was amazing and I fell in love with the world. The narration and accents were terrible. The male narrator was much better than the female though. I recommend reading this one instead of listening to it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kris
  • 2019-05-24

Awesome.

I am devastated that I found this series and only one book is out. Absolutely great.