Parents' Guide to

Wicked Saints: Something Dark and Holy, Book 1

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Provocative but bloody Gothic fantasy trilogy starter.

Wicked Saints: Something Dark and Holy, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (2 ):

This bloody fairy tale, set in a darkly gorgeous world and told in alternating points of view, is a gripping though at times uneven read. The main characters of Wicked Saints shine, and -- along with their supporting allies -- they make a likable, if morally compromised, bunch. Strong and resilient Nadya is also full of self-doubt. Serfin and Malachiasz are alternately cruel, vulnerable, and caring. Ostyia is loyal, confident, and can defeat even the stealthiest of attackers. Token characters of color Parijahan and Rashid are friends from a neighboring country who are depicted as full, admirable people with interesting backstories.

The story begins and ends with intense, violent action, but the middle, where the trilogy's brutal, beautiful world is being built, can feel slow. That said, an alarming attempt to murder Nadya as she journeys to Tranavia and the believable (and alluring) enemies-to-lovers romance do manage to pull readers through, and the cliffhanger ending is quite satisfying. Sadly, Nadya never quite develops into the fearsome magical lead that the tagline on the cover ("Let them fear her") promises: She's held back by the conflict of blind faith and her growing feelings for Malachiasz. Only at the very end does she begin to claim control of her life from the many gods and people who've sought to use her for their own ends. Luckily, readers have two more books in this trilogy to see just how powerful Nadya can become.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate