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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. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.
This edition uses deckle edges; the uneven paper edge is intentional.
Nadezhda "Nadya" Lapteva, 17, is a Kalyazi cleric who, unlike her predecessors, can channel not just her patron goddess, but the "entire pantheon." The priests raising Nadya plan to deploy her as a weapon in Kalyazin's holy war against Tranavia, a heretical nation that practices blood magic, but before they finish her training, Tranavian High Prince Serefin Meleski's army attacks the monastery. Nadya escapes and joins forces with two citizens of neighboring Akoka and a Tranavian defector who are headed for Tranavia to assassinate King Izak and end the war. Meanwhile, Izak summons Serefin home allegedly to choose a bride, although Serefin fears his power-hungry father is plotting filicide. Chapters alternatingly follow Nadya and Serefin as their stories converge. First in a trilogy, debut author Duncan's Gothic fantasy muses on matters of religion, faith, politics, and free will. The story starts strong but succumbs to murky worldbuilding, uneven pacing, and underdeveloped characters. Although the devastating conclusion feels more arbitrary than earned, numerous dangling plot threads will leave readers hungry for a sequel. Ages 13 up.)