The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black

A cover for the book Queen of Nothing shows a crown in one corner and a snake in another
The Queen of Nothing

The Queen of Nothing, written by Holly Black, is the much-anticipated conclusion to The Folk of the Air trilogy. After the disappointing ending of The Wicked King, this book managed to turn my opinion of the whole series to a positive one. It picks up where the last book ended, with Jude attempting to adapt to live in the human world during her exile.

Throughout this book, one of my few problems was that I did not care about Vivi and Heather as I felt they didn’t add anything to the story. Their characters were fleshed-out well enough and they had cute moments, but their only contribution was as a caretaker for Oak and a connection to the human world. Similarly, I continued to have issues with Taryn, whose “redemption” arc was not satisfying. She killed Locke, but nothing else she did warranted a close bond between the sisters or reason to believe she changed. Overall, Taryn didn’t have much impact on the main plot other than creating emotional pain for Jude in the first two books until she was forgiven and cast into the shadows in the third book.

Cardan was a wonderful character to the end. It was enjoyable to read about a character with reason to be cruel and slowly see the real him by the end of the trilogy. His character arc was refreshing and made sense. Both Jude and Cardan struggled with emotional traumas and it took them time to open up to one another and realize they weren’t all that different, which helped them heal. Black managed to create a scenario that genuinely made me worry that Cardan might not survive, and the way he was brought back didn’t anger me as most death-to-living scenarios do. The ending of the book had been prophesized from Cardan’s birth and it played out in a way that caught both the reader and characters off guard.

Jude’s dilemma with deciding what to do with the new Cardan-snake and realizing that she would rather not have Cardan than have him as a snake with full control over him was poignant and a selfless decision that I wasn’t quite sure she would make. I also liked how Jude grew in confidence over the series and finally stopped annoying me with every decision she made. Despite liking her, I still felt that when she, a human, became Queen of Faerie, if I were a faerie I would have been upset about a human ruling over my kingdom. Knowing that Cardan would rule with her, later on, helped resolve my pity for the people of Faerie.

I do wish that the epilogue had ended with Jude and Cardan in Faerie, but I still enjoyed the cute pizza scene; it just felt out of place in the story. This series was unique from the setting to the plot to the take on faeries that have been oversaturated in the young adult fantasy genre. Despite not enjoying the second book, the third book tied up loose ends and gave me a better outlook over the trilogy.

  The Queen of Nothing earns 10/10 dragons, for its perfect, emotional ending and unique world.

House of Salt and Sorrows, by Erin A. Craig

Book Cover of A house of salt and Sorrows shows gold lettering on a green background
House of Salt and Sorrows

House of Salt and Sorrows, written by Erin A. Craig, is a retelling of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It follows Annaleigh and her sisters, who keep mysteriously dying, as they try to understand why they are “cursed” and who might be behind it.

Everything about this book except the climax was wonderful. The girls had distinct personalities and I was able to connect with most of them as they suffered through the book. The romance was convincing and cute mostly throughout, and the dark tone of the book made it perfect for the beginning of fall. Craig’s writing is beautifully atmospheric, which helped develop the small islands the story took place on. I didn’t anticipate this book being scary, but there were parts that sent shivers down my spine, especially when one of the twists about the nature of the late-night ball was revealed.

One of my problems with this book was the big reveal during the climax. The idea of gods existing in the world had been explored, but it wasn’t confirmed that they existed, so when the gods suddenly showed up it was a confusing shock that took me out of the story. A god being the one behind the “curse” was as unsatisfying as the villain being some random sailor we had never met. The connection to their stepmother did make it better. It seemed anticlimactic and expanded the story in a way that didn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the story. If there were no gods involved, I would have enjoyed it much better. The conflict was over very quickly, which made the ending feel rushed.

The death at the end being undone was extremely upsetting. I can’t stand when books and movies create an emotional death only to bring them back pages later for no reason other than romance or something similar. When Annaleigh’s father died, I had to reread to find the part where he died because it was mentioned briefly in a sentence without any sort of emotional reaction from any of the girls who had just lost their only parental figure. It was a strange reaction that I feel the author must have forgotten to edit it in later or something because the girls had a good relationship with their father, therefore it should have been the big emotional blow in the end.

As far as mystery books go, Craig could have done a better job at foreshadowing and maybe misguiding to keep the reader guessing. The first half of the book was fun, but it would have been more practical if it were more suspenseful.

The love triangle was annoying, as most are, but it was blatantly obvious how it would turn out from the beginning. This book offers no diversity in any form, which is disappointing as there were many opportunities to add it in a convincing way. Annaleigh’s relationship with Cassius felt very rushed towards the end when they said they loved each other, as there was no reason to suggest they felt that intensely for one another. Although there were some issues, this was a great debut for Craig that promises growth in future books.

Overall, I would rate House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig 5/10 dragons for the atmospheric writing and lack of impactful climax.

The Wicked Deep, by Shea Ernshaw

 

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep, written by Shea Ernshaw, is a story set in Sparrow, Oregon, where each summer the spirits of the Swan sisters possess three girls. Tourists swarm the town for the Swan festival in the hopes of spotting a Swan sister, who drown at least one boy each year.

The story had a unique premise that interested me from the beginning. A magical twist on the real world is always exciting and it could be compared to other myth-related festivals around the country such as the Mothman festival in Ohio. One of the issues I had with the book was that despite knowing at least one boy died each year during this festival, everyone got excited and continued to celebrate. Surely people would learn to fear it and wonder why this week brought so many deaths.

The atmosphere of the book was perfect for fall; dark and chilling. This stayed throughout the book and made it a much more enjoyable read. It was also very fast-paced, which made it easier to get through. Unfortunately, the twist in this book was very predictable, but I’m not sure there was anything the author really could have done to make it less predictable considering the plot of the story. The fear the characters had of the lake was palpable and easily made me feel tense as they traveled over it or fell in.

A glaring issue in this book was the romance. Being set over just a week, Penny and Bo were convinced they were in love without knowing anything about each other. They kept huge secrets from each other and had no chemistry. Bo was extremely obsessed with revenging his brother by killing the person who did it and could not be deterred from this idea, which should have concerned Penny as this isn’t a normal or healthy thing to want to do. Their relationship could have been good if they had months to develop but the relationship built on secrets just wasn’t convincing.

Penny was a weak lead in my opinion, and the twist made her seem even less developed because we only had a few chapters with the real Penny. It would have worked better if the readers had been able to slowly see a change in her behavior to hint at her possession without being told this upfront. That way even though the reader knew Penny would probably be possessed from the beginning, Ernshaw could add tension as the readers would know something the other characters don’t.

A lot of the book focused on flashbacks to the Swan sisters before they were drowned for witchcraft, but I wished that those parts were longer so we could understand them more and feel bad for them. But for the most part, those chapters were enjoyable.

Hazel was an infuriating character and I didn’t feel bad for her for even one moment. Bo continued to be attracted to her knowing that she was possessing Penny’s body, which was gross, as it was without Penny’s consent the whole time. Hazel’s only good action was leaving Penny with some memories of Bo so she wouldn’t be completely confused with everything that happened that week. I also wished more time had been spent exploring why the tourists like to go to Sparrow and what the festivities looked like.

Overall, I enjoyed the atmosphere of the book immensely and will be looking to read future books from Ernshaw despite not quite loving this one. The Wicked Deep earns 6/10 dragons.

Sea Witch, by Sarah Henning

Cover of Sea Witch

Sea Witch, written by Sarah Henning, is a retelling of Ursula’s story from the classic fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. It follows Evie as she helps the mysterious Annemette (who looks oddly like her dead best friend, Anna) capture the heart of Prince Nik.

From the first chapter, I realized I wasn’t going to enjoy this story as much as I hoped I would. Evie swoons over her childhood crush, Iker, who had never shown any interest in her until the next page when he starts to make out with her. There was no buildup to entice the reader to the only thing Evie focuses on in the whole book and we saw no reason for Iker to feel this way about Evie. The only reason they seem to like each other is that they find each other attractive. The friendship between Evie and Annemette was also extremely unconvincing. This book takes place over three days, and they are behaving like best friends from the start. Annemette looking and sounding like Anna doesn’t give an excuse for a fast friendship that is supposedly full of love. They both show mistrust towards each other throughout the book, so there is no reason Evie should be crying over her and be so willing to let a stranger get close with her best friend (Nik).

The most realistic relationship in the book was between Nik and Annemette. Annemette is clearly interested, but Nik is taking the time to get to know her as any real person would. In a big twist, Nik reveals that he had been in love with Evie all along, but there was only a chapter or two that hinted that he had feelings for her. His blushing and actions towards Annemette suggest that he isn’t all that interested in Evie, but he confesses his love anyways. The most shocking part of the book was when Evie told him she loved him back, which we should have seen coming as the book is from first person and there was no indication that she had any romantic interest in Nik as she was focused on Iker the whole time. It would have been better if Evie had had feelings for Nik the whole time and completely scraped the relationship with Iker, even making him one of her friends instead.

Iker really didn’t have any role in the story; his actions at the end of the book could have been done by the queen or anyone else. His only good moment was when he insulted Annemette, which made me enjoy his character. Most of his dialogue was clunky and unnatural and his other jokes missed the mark. Hansa, Evie’s aunt, was meant to be a wise figure in the story, but so little time was spent with her that she had no importance to the story other than holding the books Evie needs for later.

Most of the story completely revolved around unconvincing romance rather than actual witch action, as the title suggests. Evie has a block with her magic, which is overcome simply because she wills it to work at the right moment. If Henning had spent more time developing the magic alongside the romance, perhaps I would have enjoyed the book more. There is no clear process to the magic, which made the whole book seem as though the author didn’t care enough to flesh out one of the main drives of the story. The lack of care put into the story was upsetting and this book could have gone through a complete rewrite. I don’t plan on picking up the next book in the duology and unfortunately must add this book to the pile of least favorites.

Overall, I would rate Sea Witch by Sarah Henning 2/10 dragons, for the lack of care put into what could have been an amazing story.

Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Illuminae, written by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, is a science fiction book following detailed reports gathered from the tragic events into what they call the illuminae files. There are two main characters, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, who are stuck on two separate ships in space.

This book doesn’t follow the usual narrative seen in other science fiction and fantasy books. Each page is a copy of a diary entry, artwork, interview, security footage report, or other classified documents. They are organized in order of the events and use a lot of documents from Kady and Ezra, as they had pivotal roles in the outcome of the story.

At first, I almost put the book down, never to pick it up again. The book started out unbelievably boring. Once you get around 100 pages in, you finally began to care a bit about the characters and their journeys. I believe this is due to the unorthodox format the book is written in. It’s more of a plot-driven book than a character one, but I do believe you begin to care about the characters, particularly Kady, towards the end.
During the action scenes, the graphics were visually stunning. It blew me away and made me wish more books involved beautiful and thoughtful art inside them. It was the best way to convey action with minimal words and arguably hit me harder than a narrative format does.

The romance in the book wasn’t my favorite. It felt boring and didn’t add anything to the plot other than a connection between the two ships. I also didn’t enjoy the text messages between the characters, because they took me out of the story and made the characters seem childish. Despite this, there were some moments that made me giggle. Ezra was a rather funny character and it helped keep me interested in the story, which was already so tense.

There was an AI character that is reminiscent of Ultron from Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was a cool comparison. It also brought about questions about artificial intelligence and its dangers, which is a prevalent topic heading into the future.

The end of the book upset me because something is revealed that I felt would have been better placed in another book. I can’t go into detail without spoiling it, but the book did something that really annoys me in other creative storytelling forms.

There are two other books in the series, and I know the second one follows some new characters in the same document format. Although I loved the artistic parts of the book, I won’t be continuing with the series.

Overall, I would rate Illuminae 5/10 dragons for its artistic layout and an intriguing plot. I would recommend reading if you appreciate plot-driven books and cringe romance.

Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson

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Sorcery of Thorns, written by Margaret Rogerson, is a standalone fantasy novel following Elisabeth as she uncovers the mysterious releasing of dangerous grimoires around the land. To help her are Nathaniel, a highborn sorcerer, and Silas, his ominous friend.

I went into this book not expecting too much, as the reviews for Rogerson’s last book, An Enchantment of Ravens, were mixed, with many people pointing out flaws in the romance and plot. I feel as though Rogerson took the feedback from the first novel and applied it to this one, as there were no issues with either. Giving authors a second or even third chance as they write more books and gain experience is an excellent way to see their growth and find a new favorite book, as I’ve found from personal experience, but I digress.

This was one of the most refreshing fantasy reads I’ve had in the past few years. Having read so many fantasy books following the same – almost cliché – outline, it was nice to read one that faced threats of a different kind. The detailed descriptions of grimoires and our main character’s peculiar interactions with ones of differing class kept me intrigued and questioning the ramifications of the conflict.

Nathaniel was a fantastic supporting character, full of depth and a very charming personality. When with Elisabeth, he complements her powers with his own, working together to fight obstacles. The chemistry between the two worked very well and was convincing. Nathaniel was also a very funny character. I found myself smiling along with his dialogue, which is something I value in a character.

The other supporting character was Silas, the demon bound to Nathaniel. The buildup to Elisabeth understanding the true relationship between Nathaniel and Silas was shown steadily throughout the book, in some unexpected ways. The time spent on interactions between Silas and Elisabeth not only helped the reader grow attached to his character, but it also allowed the emotional reveal at the end to be all the more impactful.

One character I feel needed more time interacting with Elisabeth was her friend from the library, Katrien, who played an important role behind the scenes, but I didn’t feel very attached to her.

The romance was built up wonderfully, not too quickly, as most young adult novels seem to do. The relationship went from hate to love as Elisabeth battled with the rules she followed as an apprentice at the library her whole life, which included being frightened of sorcerers and thinking they are evil. Nathaniel must battle with the idea of loving someone and opening up about his past.

The book carries feminist themes and featured a casually bisexual romantic interest (Nathaniel), which combined with the amazing plot and characters, made me love the book even more. Elisabeth is continuously described as a very tall girl, which is something I can’t recall ever reading as an attribute to the main character before. I’m sure the tall girl representation will pleasantly surprise many readers and help them see themselves in Elisabeth.

The last page was one of the most satisfying endings I’ve read in a long time and it left me excited, imagining the possibilities for our characters. This book is a standalone, therefore there won’t be a continuation as of now. I would argue this is a good thing as the book was perfect and wrapped everything up nicely; extending the story is unneeded, which is hard for me to say as I loved the characters so much.

For once, I don’t have anything bad to say about a book! I will end with a quote:

“You like this place?”
“Of course I do. It has books in it.”

       I would rate Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson, 10/10 dragons for its fantastic plot and characters.

Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo

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Crooked Kingdom, the second book in the Six of Crows duology, written by Leigh Bardugo, follows our cast of characters as they face a new challenge more dangerous than the last.

After the major heist of the first book, I wondered how Crooked Kingdom would be able to top that, and it did, using smaller yet impactful sneaking moments that worked towards a greater cause.

The characters became fully developed midway through the book. Jesper and Wylan remained the same enjoyable characters but with an interesting back story, such as the introduction of Jesper’s dad that propelled the story while adding new personal stakes. Wylan had a complex relationship with his father that added sympathy towards his character.

We learned more about Inej’s background along with her talents of climbing and moving in silence, and she quickly became my favorite character. As a female character, she is incredibly strong and independent in ways other young adult book protagonists miss. She is sure of her abilities without being arrogant, which is what we see in characters such as Aelin Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series. Arrogance seems to be overused in young adult female protagonists, therefore seeing a character who is so strong yet humble and doesn’t need others to see her abilities or lose a fight to her to feel confident she is capable, is a great person to look up to. Due to this, Inej became one of my favorite female protagonists.

We were also given more backstory on Kaz that explained his negative disposition and we got to see him grow from the hatred he had. This made him likable/understandable in the end, adding some humanity to his morally grey character. My only problems with characters were with Nina and Matthias. I didn’t feel as connected to Nina and mainly found myself annoyed by her points of view and actions. Matthias was a character I never liked from the beginning, although he did show positive development.

I loved the relationship between Kaz and Inej. Many young adult authors tend to rush romance between characters that don’t appear to be emotionally or mentally prepared for a relationship. This was a very slow-burning romance that worked perfectly and made sense between the two. Despite not ending with any real physical connection, there was an emotional one that alluded to the fact that these two characters would get together in the future when they are prepared. It doesn’t make their relationship the most important aspect of their story, which makes sense considering the stakes at hand.

I especially loved the introduction of characters from the Shadow and Bone series because it reminded me of the vast setting and was incredibly enjoyable to see unlikely characters interact, such as Nikolai and Kaz. The Grisha powers are explored more in this book than the last, especially with the ability-enhancing Jurda Parem being abused. There were also many misdirects and twists throughout the book that kept me on edge and my emotions were like a rollercoaster.

To digress, I’ve recently learned there will be a tv series about both the Shadow and Bone series and the Six of Crows duology. Nothing has been revealed besides the fact that they are in the middle of casting and location scouting, and I feel as though it’ll be an amazing series. Leigh Bardugo is an executive producer for the show, which gives me hope they will be able to portray the world and the stories in a way that even people who don’t particularly like reading will find enjoyable.

Although I will not be reading the Nikolai centered duology Leigh has recently published simply due to not being particularly interested in learning more of the characters, I do plan on reading future fantasy series by her. I would highly recommend reading any and all of her Grishaverse books, especially before the tv series releases (which won’t be for a while). Her writing and setting is so unique and dark and truly feels as though you are in a whole other world unlike any other you’ve read about before.

Compared to the first book, Crooked Kingdom was a more enjoyable book to read, earning 9/10 dragons.

Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo

 

Six of Crows, written by Leigh Bardugo, is a high fantasy book set in the Grishaverse, the same universe her previous series Shadow and Bone occurred in. It includes overlapping characters as this book took place only two years after the events of Ruin and Rising. It follows six characters as they plan an ambitious heist and form a unique bond.

The book is generally loved among the young adult book community and I haven’t heard anything bad about it. The unique story line of gang members and heisting isn’t something you find in mainstream fantasy, especially in a world that already been developed. Rather than expanding on her universe by focusing on the magical higher-ups of Ravka or other nations, Bardugo chose to laser in on the slums of Ketterdam in the small island, Kerch.

The characters posed a problem for me throughout the book. Most of the first book is spent developing the characters, therefore, it was disappointing that I didn’t seem to connect with any of them, leaving me bored and waiting for the action to start.

Kaz, a beloved character, was too cold-hearted and rude for me to understand why people liked him so much. He was an interesting character and had a unique personality, and when later things are revealed about his past, it begins to make him a more likable/ understandable character. By the end of the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, he did become a favorite of mine. Inej lacked depth throughout the first half of the book, most likely due to the shifting points of views. As with Kaz, she gets better in the second book and is also a favorite character of mine. Jesper was my favorite throughout both books, as he was comedic and lifted the dark mood. Wylan did the same. Both characters worked great in the book. Matthias never connected with me despite giving reason to, therefore I never cared about his brutish, old-fashioned character. Nina was annoying most of the time and I found myself skipping through her and Matthias’ chapters quicker than the others.
Each character had specific skills that aided the plot greatly and mixed in magic and logic in a way that was enjoyable to read.

The villain was amazingly unlikeable and brought out real emotion when the details emerge. Romance-wise, the book gave us a couple with history and two slow-burning relationships, which kept the interactions realistic because, how much time would there be for romance as you’re saving the world?

The setting was amazing due to the happy – and sad – memories of the Shadow and Bone trilogy set in the same universe. I recognized place names and overlapping beloved characters that heightened my experience reading the book. I loved the stark difference between the two stories and the underlying themes of addiction and drug use. Although the setting isn’t described as much as I would have liked, I had vivid images of the streets of the Barrel throughout the book.

Plot-wise, the book was unique and kept me on edge. Bardugo isn’t one to shy from violence, which ended with scarred characters with gruesome pasts continuing to suffer in a ruthless gang society. The heist was well thought out and nerve-wracking. I feel as though if she had given the characters more to do in the first half of the book, I would have started to like them sooner.

This book did manage to disappoint me, but the second book was a lovely surprise that makes me think back on the series with a warm heart.

Overall, I rate Six of Crows 6/10 dragons, for its amazing plot and sentimental setting. Despite issues with characters, the second book lifted the first book higher in my mind when looking back on it.

Days of Blood & Starlight, by Laini Taylor

 

Days of Blood & Starlight, the sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, was an engrossing continuation of a shocking first book. It picked up directly where the last ended, which was with a shocking climax that I can’t describe without spoiling. There were multiple points of view throughout the book, and as usual, some were more engrossing than others, but towards the middle, all parts were equally interesting to me, which was refreshing.

My main issue with the book was that it spent a huge amount of time simply restating what happened in the first book without doing much to set up a new conflict. This was nice for me to read as I had read the first book around four years ago, although I could see something like this annoying those who are reading them consecutively. The first one hundred pages were very slow but there was a turning point that really allowed the captivating details of the world to shine through and become the focus of the novel. Overall, not much actually happened in the book, but it allowed the characters to develop loads and was a good bridge to a high stakes finale.

The characters are extremely fleshed out, allowing the reader to easily differentiate between them beyond their names. The two human characters Mik and Zuzana became my two favorites; their humor carried the book and lightened the mood for more than just the monsters they performed for. Karou, the main character, is more down to earth and spends a lot of time focused on what happened and how to fix everything. From what I remember, Akiva was a character I liked a lot, but in this book, he just proved to be annoying with his every thought being about Karou.

Despite developing so many characters, one of the main villains, Thiago, wasn’t developed enough to explain his actions later in the book and I wished that he had more interactions with Karou so we could get to know him like we did his sidekick, Ten.

The romance is very complex, and Taylor subverts expectations by continuing to keep the characters apart, as they should be considering everything that occurred between them in the previous book. Throughout the story, there were many moments I thought Karou would have the opportunity to get in a relationship with someone other than Akiva, which many other authors would have included, but refreshingly there wasn’t any new romance introduced. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the connection between Karou and Akiva anymore and don’t want them to get back together as I’m sure they will in the final book. I’m not quite sure why I feel this way as most people seem to like them together, but perhaps the final book will change my mind.

Overall, I would rate Days of Blood & Starlight 6/10 dragons for its realistic characters and intriguing world.

Wicked Saints, by Emily A. Duncan

Cover of Wicked Saints novel

Wicked Saints, written by Emily A. Duncan, is an action-packed fantasy filled with love and betrayal. It follows our main character Nadya, a cleric from Kalyazin who can speak to the gods, while she works to save her people. She meets Malachiasz, a blood mage from the rival kingdom Tranavia, who she works with to end the war. The book also follows Serefin, the crown prince, who is just trying to figure things out with his kingdom while trying not to die by the hands of his father. I would highly recommend this book so beware of spoilers down below.

The magic system in this book is refreshingly unique. Nadya herself has powers gifted to her by the gods and she speaks with them to get her power. The mysteries of her magic are explored throughout the book and it’s very intriguing. The Tranavians use a power called blood magic, which Nadya continuously calls heresy. They must use their blood to activate spells they draw into their spell books.

The plot of the book was similar to other young adult fantasy books: save the kingdom and end a war. What differs is that there is a clash in religion. While Nadya and her people believe in the gods and are very religious, the Tranavians seem to be atheists. The battle between the two opposing belief systems becomes a real conflict that can be shown in today’s society to some extent. It also leaves the reader in a peculiar position of not knowing which side to be on and wondering who they should really be rooting for.

The romance was very well done and heartbreaking. The rivalry between the two’s beliefs create the “forbidden romance” and adds to the confusion Nadya feels as she navigates her journey. The character development was amazing. Each had their own personality that was distinguishable from the others, which you don’t always find in young adult books. They all have internal struggles that could be relatable to some people. Serefin is the most relatable character and his personality is unlike others I’ve seen, which is refreshing and makes him a lovable character. The development for Nadya was smooth and believable, although the romance did move quickly at the beginning, so it could have used some more pages and adventures to flesh it out. Malachiasz was a confusing character towards the end of the book. As a perpetual liar, it was hard to distinguish what was real and what wasn’t, which could have been the author’s choice, but it left me a little frustrated.

The two of the side characters felt a little underdeveloped and sort of didn’t need to be there, so hopefully, Duncan gives them a chance to shine in future books. There was plenty of diversity in the book that didn’t feel forced, which will make it easier for all readers to feel connected to the book in some way.

The book is very dark and the characters have some morally grey areas that they have to cross when dealing with religion, so I would recommend this book to older teenagers if those topics bother you.

I would rate Wicked Saints 9/10 dragons for its unique story and heartbreaking romance.