A lot of second novels are less impressive than the books they follow, but Emily A. Duncan’s Ruthless Gods is not one of them! This novel continues the story of Nadya, Malachiasz, Serefin, and the rest of their friends. It’s dark, cold, and compelling.
There’s a lot of blood, violence, and despair here, but there is also hope, albeit a tiny, trembling flame. The characters finally start to realize—truly realize—that what they’ve always thought to be truth may not necessarily be so, Compelling, mesmerizing, riveting…whatever your synonym of choice for “I couldn’t put this down!” is, Ruthless Gods is it.
Emily A. Duncan is a New York Times bestselling author. Ruthless Gods, her newest novel, is the second book in the Something Dark and Holy series.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)
Today I am happy to be a part of the blog tour for Wicked Saints, by Emily A. Duncan, which hits stores today! I have a quick interview with the author, then a review of Wicked Saints, which you should definitely go read if you enjoy dark, atmospheric books with complex mythology and magic systems.
Q: Tell me a little bit about Wicked Saints.
A: Tired monastery girl who can talk to the gods! Anxious morally dubious blood mage boy! Exhausted traumatized prince! An assassination plan! A holy war! Eldritch gods! Lots and lots of blood!
Q: Where did your inspiration come for writing Wicked Saints?
A: Video games and metal music! Specifically, Skyrim in regards to the video games, but it was also fueled by my deep love for metal.
Q: What is your absolute favorite, read over-and-over again, book?
A: I mean, I’m very vocal about how much I love the Grisha trilogy, but to answer this slightly differently, the book I’ve reread the most is Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
Nadya is a cleric who can commune with all the gods—unheard of—living in a remote monastery. Kalyazin has been at war with Tranavia for a long time, but the war has never touched the monastery. Until it does, in the form of Tranavian soldiers led by Serefin, High Prince and blood mage. As her friends die around her, Nadya escapes into the wilderness.
She meets Malachiasz, a defector with dark secrets that Nadya isn’t sure she can trust. But Nadya’s powers may be the only thing standing in the way of destruction, so she heads to the seat of Tranavian power, desperate to find a way to stop it. Serefin, used to drinking and fighting, has been called home by his father, but Serefin finds the king in the midst of a horrifying scheme to gain immortality and ultimate power.
Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz will have to trust each other if they have any hope of stopping the coming darkness.
Wicked Saints is dark and atmospheric, with a creepy and cold setting reminiscent of Russia. The magic systems are dark and bloody, and there aren’t a lot of happy feelings in this book. I was fascinated from the first page, although I wouldn’t recommend reading it if you’re depressed at the time. Treachery, hatred, lies, deceit…all run through the pages of this novel like blood, until you can’t see what’s coming next.
Emily A. Duncan is a youth services librarian. Wicked Saints is her new novel, the first in the Something Dark and Holy series.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)