Dripping with blood and betrayal, The Wicked Saints is as devious as its characters, set in a lethally beautiful world that is ravaged with war. Nadya is a saint who has been raised as a soldier and is the only one left who can speak to the Gods. After a devastating attack to her home from the enemy prince, Nadya flees to save both her life and her power. Forced to team up with a band of misfits, including a heretical blood mage, Nadya’s absolute loyalty to her Gods is challenged throughout the journey to infiltrate the enemy country and end this centuries-long war. Deliciously gothic and unapologetically brutal, the line between holy and heretical is blurred into a turmoil of heartbreak and darkness in this grim tale.
- Kiera— From Kiera's Recs
Spring 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“Wicked Saints has everything I look for in a book: dark monsters, powerful magic, and a stunning atmosphere that permeates every page. Inspired by the story of Joan of Arc, Wicked Saints follows a gods-touched peasant girl raised to be the solution to a century-long war. When Nadya’s entire life is burned to the ground, she must work with the enemy and betray her gods to save them all. This book is lush and darkly romantic, perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Leigh Bardugo. Duncan’s thrilling debut explores the ecstasy and heartbreaking tragedy of what it is to love a monster.”
— Laura Graveline, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
An instant New York Times bestseller!
“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 bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves and The Star-Touched Queen
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.
“This book destroyed me and I adored it.”- Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
This edition uses deckle edges; the uneven paper edge is intentional.
About the Author
EMILY A. DUNCAN is the New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints. She works as a youth services librarian and received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. She lives in Ohio.
**Indie Next Pick for the Spring 2019 Kids’ List**
SEVENTEEN, "The 35 Best Young Adult Books of 2019 So Far"
BOOKRIOT, “20 YA Dark Fantasy Books For Your Winter TBR”
BUZZFEED, "29 YA Books You Absolutely Must Read This Spring"
GOODREADS, “32 Big Books that YA Fans Can’t Wait for in 2019”
CULTRESS, “19 books we can’t wait to get our hands on in 2019”
EPIC READS, "The 16 Most Anticipated YA Books to Read in April"
SYFY, "6 April YA Novels That are Out of This World"
THE NERD DAILY, “2019 Book Releases”
"If you like your young adult fantasy full of ice, blood, and angst, Wicked Saints will sweep you up in its wintery embrace." - NPR, "3 Young Adult Novels To Help You Out Of Hibernation"
"This dark fantasy starts off with a bang... The upfront presence of the gods adds an intriguing twist to a brutal story. The ending is as powerful as the opening, and there are explosive elements waiting to detonate in the expected sequels." - BOOKLIST
“If you love dark fantasy this book promises to be a brutal, enchanting gem, full of terrifying blood-magic.” – BOOKRIOT, “20 Dark Fantasy Books For Your Winter TBR”
“Rarely does a dark, magical epic have so effective a character-grounded sense of humor.” - BULLETIN OF THE CENTER OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
"Emily A. Duncan’s debut YA novel does not disappoint. It’s thrilling and brutal, reading like a heavy metal song. And it’s the first book in a trilogy! I cannot wait for books two and three—and for whatever else this blistering new talent writes. For Fans of: Authors of dark fantasy novels, like Leigh Bardugo." - PASTE MAGAZINE
"Will leave readers hungry for a sequel." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"I highly recommend WICKED SAINTS to fantasy readers. Emily Duncan’s writing style reminds me of Leigh Bardugo’s. If you enjoyed the setting of Grisha Trilogy and the characters of SIX OF CROWS, I believe you will enjoy WICKED SAINTS. Duncan’s debut novel is perfect for readers looking for intrigue, dark magic and betrayal on every page." - TEENREADS
“Prepare for a snow frosted, blood drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare. Utterly absorbing.” - Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves and The Star-Touched Queen
"Full of blood and monsters and magic—this book destroyed me and I adored it. Emily is a wicked storyteller, she’s not afraid to hurt her characters or her readers. If you’ve ever fallen in love with a villain you will fall hard for this book." - Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
"This is the novel of dark theology and eldritch blood-magic that I’ve been waiting for all my life. It’s got a world at once brutal and beautiful, filled with characters who are wounded, lovable, and ferocious enough to break your heart. A shattering, utterly satisfying read." - Rosamund Hodge, author of Cruel Beauty and Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
“Wicked Saints is a lush, brutal, compelling fantasy that is dark, deep, and bloody—absolutely riveting! With a boy who is both man and monster, mysterious saints with uncertain motives, and a girl filled with holy magic who is just beginning to understand the full reaches of her power, this gothic jewel of a story will sink its visceral iron claws into you, never letting go until you’ve turned the last page. And truthfully, not even then -the explosive ending will haunt you for days! ” - Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of the His Fair Assassin trilogy
“Dark, bloody, and monstrously romantic. This is the villain love interest that we've all been waiting for.” - Margaret Rogerson, New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens
"Seductively dark and enchanting, Wicked Saints is a trance you won’t want to wake from. Duncan has skillfully erected a world like no other, complete with provocative magic, sinister creatures, and a plot that keeps you guessing. This spellbinding YA fantasy will bewitch readers to the very last page." - Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep