Book Review: Wicked Saints

wicked saints
Title:
 Wicked Saints
Author:
 Emily A. Duncan
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 385
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Dark, gothic atmosphere with no punches pulled, villain romance, diverse cast
Recommended Readers: No moral purists allowed
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Before we get started, note that Duncan used 99% real Eastern European names within her novel, and that is absolutely awesome that she didn’t dilute these names and the culture just because the names are “hard to pronounce.” More like, a lot of us aren’t used to them because of how often Western societies have forced people with these names to change them, so I’m very happy to see them here. For those curious, Duncan uploaded a handy pronunciation guide on her Twitter that I absolutely referenced while reading.

The countries Kalyazin and Tranavia have been locked in a holy war for centuries. On one side are clerics who derive their magic from praying to their patron deity; on the other side are blood mages who have rejected the gods. As the war shifts in Tranavia’s favor, Nadezhda “Nadya” Lapteva finds she’s the last cleric left in Kalyazin, but instead of only hearing the voice of her patron goddess, she hears all of them, an unheard of feat. When her monastery is attacked by the High Prince of Tranavia, she is forced to flee, becoming entangled in a plot with two foreign Akolans and a rogue Tranavian that could turn the tide of the war.

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Book Review: Shadow of the Exile

books october 2018Title: Shadow of the Exile
Author:
 Mitchell Hogan
Genre: Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 491
Publisher: 47North
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Demon protagonist, driven female character
Recommended Readers: Fans of epic fantasy
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC of Shadow of the Exile by Mitchell Hogan in exchange for an honest review. And sorry this wasn’t sooner!

Tarrik Nal-Valim, a demon of the 37th order, is summoned from his exile in the Abyssal Realms to human lands by sorceress Serenity “Ren” Branwen. Ren is the daughter of Tarrik’s former master, who he’d come to trust, but now it appears he revealed all of Tarrik’s secrets for his daughter to enslave him once again to do her bidding. Ren instantly commands Tarrik to protect her from her enemies, while keeping her own goals shrouded in secrecy.

Tarrik hates Ren for enslaving him and vows to get free of her bindings as soon as he can, but his urgency grows when he discovers she’s part of the Nine, a group of deranged sorcerers who have been broken and compelled to free the worst and most powerful demon who ever lived, Samal. If Samal is freed, the human realm will be wiped out and the Abyssal Realms enslaved to his will, and Tarrik finds himself facing increasingly difficult choices, especially when Ren’s path appears to deviate from this goal.

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