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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
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 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
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-13

Waiting

Given all the glowing reviews, I tried my best to stick this one out. I could not get past chapter 8 or so, despite coming back to the book and giving it a second (and third) go. I could appreciate the quality of the writing and sensed patience with the plot would be rewarded, but I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe I’ll save it for a rainy day.

4 of 4 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
  • 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 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Roxanne
  • Mississippi
  • 2019-06-27

Returned

I wanted to get into this book but it was torturous. Boring, difficult to understand with the strange accents. I couldn’t stand to listen for one more minute.

3 of 4 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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheena Jennings
  • Las Vegas
  • 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 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 2019-10-06

Just Read Shadow and Bone

This book feels like a fan fiction remake of "Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo. Trust me when i say Bardugo does it better. I'm not sure if Duncan's goal was to create a main character that repeats the same thoughts about 3 times a minute or if maybe she just lost track of how many time she repeats the exact same phrases but this book was incredibly hard to get through. I also feel strongly that Duncan never did any research into how teens of war torn countries live, react or deal with trauma, but I found this book almost an insult to teenagers (particularly those with hard lives).

There were some good ideas here - but honestly every aspect of this book has been done way better by other authors. I could barely finish it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amandahawkes
  • 2019-09-25

Good story

It started out tediously slow but pick up towards the middle and the ending was great. Overall great story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • EJ Martin
  • BLACKLICK, OHIO, United States
  • 2019-09-22

Switching accents

The narrators were good, but switched between what sounded like a russian/it's book equivalent accent when speaking and a "normal/american" accent when doing normal narration. It really threw me off and kept taking me out of the story. The overall story is also not really my type of story, so I didn't love it. It is very much a high fantasy novel.