A bloody but brilliant tale of a girl, a prince and a monster

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan

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Wicked Saints synopsis

Trigger warnings include self-harm and parental abuse. 

REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ WICKED SAINTS ?

“We’re all monsters, Nadya, some of us just hide it better than others.”

-Emily Duncan, Wicked Saints

This was a bloody book. I mean that literally. Blood is the currency, if I may use that word.

Wicked Saints is the story of a girl who is touched by divinity, a monster with secrets and a prince who wants nothing but to save his country from ruination.

Wicked Saints reminded me a bit of the Grisha trilogy , but in a darker, more gruesome way. It is set in a place where countries are at war with each other and our three protagonists-Nadya, Serafin and one other boy-might bring a stop to the war or cause utter ruination.

The story starts with Nadya who is a cleric touched by the gods. Clerics are people who can perform magic but with the aid of one god. However, Nadya can communicate with all the gods and they grant her powers whenever she is in need of them. Sounds simple? It isn’t. Nadya has lived a simple, secluded life within the walls of a monastery but she is soon about to realize just how much danger her powers will land her in.

Nadya doesn’t have to wait for long to start using her powers as the monastery is soon attacked by an enemy prince who is a powerful Blood Mage. Despite being aided by powerful gods, Nadya’s powers are not enough to save everyone and she is forced to flee with a friend.

While on the run, Nadya and her friend stumble upon three rebels who want a similar outcome as Nadia does. Malachiasz -the leader of the three- is from a country who at war with her’s so he should be her enemy but Nadya is too desperate to ignore help. In return, the three ask Nadiya’s help to infiltrate the palace of the enemy but it will be too late for Nadya to realize that she is not the only harboring a dangerous secret…

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I loved this new concept of magic, even if it was too bloody. There was no clear good or bad sides. I mean, I questioned Nadya’s faith as much as I did Malachiasz’s. The plot picked up about halfway through the book(for me) and I couldn’t put it down after that.

An achingly mournful half-smile caught at his lips and it took all of Nadya’s willpower not to kiss him again.

-Emily Duncan, Wicked Saints

The ending was unbelievable. It was a total 180 than the ending I had predicted. After closing the book and immediately wanted the sequel in my hands.

Why should you read this book? If my review didn’t convince you to pick this book then I wouldn’t know why. I can tell you why you shouldn’t pick up this book. If you have read the trigger warnings above and you feel that this isn’t for you then don’t pick it up. If you are someone who is not the audience for the said trigger warning then, what’re you waiting for?

Overall, this was a fantastically wicked fantasy novel from Emily A. Duncan and I need the sequel now!

Thanks to Macmillan International for providing me with an ARC in exchange of an honest review.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Emily A. Duncan here .

  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • Publication Date(US): 2nd April 2019
  • ARC: 400 Pages

Do you think you’ll read Wicked Saints? If you’ve already read the ARC, let me know your thoughts down below!

What are your thoughts on trigger warnings: Do you like them to be on top, before the review or after? If you’re a blogger, do you include trigger warnings in your social media reviews?

One of my favorite​ reads of 2018 | Review of The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

Synopsis: Do you remember when you believed in magic?

The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical…


Review:

‘Are you lost? Are you afraid? Are you a child at heart?’

I admit,I was totally acting like a child when the book ended. I cried as if my favourite toy was snatched ,which was absurd for a number of reasons. Let me introduce you to the book …

The prologue welcomes you into the magical world of Papa jack’s Emporium,which is a toyshop that opens with the first frost and closes when the snowdrops start blooming again. The Emporium is situated at the heart of London and is unlike any other toyshop.

Soon.we met Cathy, a young woman who ran away from her home and see her seek shelter in the Emporium. Here,Cathy meets Papa Jack, his two sons Kaspar and Emil ,a woman named Martha , and other Emporium workers.

We follow Cathy-who was pregnant when we ran away from home- wondering where to go when Emporium closed for the season but Cathy’s fears soon abated as Kaspar offered to sneak her into Wendy House-a part of the Emporium. Soon Cathy gives birth and Papa Jack offers her to stay with the Emporium permanently.

Flash Forward several years,and see Kathy’s child all grown,and Kathy married to Kaspar. Things seem really well but soon they don’t as every male shophand seems to have signed up for joining to fight in the ongoing World War. Kaspar joins to fight for England as well and soon the Emporium is no more Papa Jack’s but it is Emil’s .

Will the Emporium survive under Emil ? Will Kaspar come back from the war ?

The story is mainly focused on the brothers’-Kaspar and Emil- war or the Long War .The Long War is the battle in which the winner will control the Emporium. It has themes of love,loyalty and war .The author writes candidly and beautifully about pain and darkness. I was reminded of Night Circus,while I read the read but I wasn’t bored or wanted to DNF it at any point.

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved the setting ! Oh,it was spectacular minus the times of the Wars .
  • I hated Emil and Nina’s characters . At first,he seems like an underdog, a soft boy but later ….you need to read the book because if I complete the dots it will be a massive spoiler.

I highly recommend this book! And, I promise you ,reader, you will love this story if you give it a chance. Perhaps, you should read it when your mind is free of all burdens; read it on your bed or your favourite reading nook; read it as a physical book or an ebook ,you will fall in love with the enchanting world of Emporium.

Verdict: 5 stars out of 5

Author: Connect with Author Robert Dinsdale on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • Publication Date: February 2018
  • Paperback: 480 Pages

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Buy The Toymakers on Amazon or on BookDepository.

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Review: ​The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

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Synopsis: This voyage is special. It will change everything… 
One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.
As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.
Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?
In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

Continue reading “Review: ​The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock”