Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

The basics

Title: Wicked Saints


Series: Something Dark and Holy #1

- Wicked Saints (2019)
- Ruthless Gods (2020)
- Untitled (2021)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Read a full summary of Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan below. If you can’t remember what happened in Wicked Saints and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Wicked Saints?

  • Nadya is peeling potatoes at the monastery with her bff, Kostya, when the monastery is attacked by Tranavians.
  • Nadya escapes with the help of her friends, including Anna, as she’s super important and can talk to the gods.
  • Kostya is shot with a crossbow.
  • High Prince Serefin casts a spell that allows him to track Nadya. He knows she’s a blood mage.
  • Serefin questions Father Alexei on Nadya’s whereabouts.
  • Nadya runs into a group of people who seem to be blood mages. They fight, but eventually she joins them.
  • Serefin tortures Konstantin for information. He gives them Nadya and Anna’s names.
  • Nadya and her new group reach a church. They find out that Nadya is the one with magic. Malachiasz threatens Nadya until she shows him her powers.
  • Parijahan reaveals that they want to assassinate the Tranavian king.
  • Serefin’s father (said king) tells him to come home. He sends the Vultures after Nadya.
  • Nadya and Malachiasz spy on Serefin when they come across him. He’s talking about his impending marriage.
  • Nadya and Malachiasz return to the church and discover that someone has cast something on it. It’s the Vultures. Malachiasz reveals that he defected from their cult.
  • Roza, one of the Vultures, enters the church and there’s a short fight. The group runs away. Malachiasz uses Nadya’s blood to fight the Vultures off. He seems impressed for some reason.
  • Serefin returns to Grazyk. He’s summoned by his father.
  • Nadya is reunited with Anna. She heals Parijahan.
  • Serefin meets with his father. Tehy argue about the Vultures and their ability to retrieve Nadya.
  • Serefin heads to the witch’s tower. He speaks with Pelageya and they talk about his father. Pelageya starts speaking in riddles about girls, monsters, princes, and queens.
  • Malachiasz tells Nadya about how he was recruited by the Vultures.
  • Malachiasz and Nadya come up with a fake identity for Nadya so she can cross the border into Tranavia.
  • Malachiasz and Nadya argue over whether the gods are worthy of devotion.
  • Assassins try to kill Serefin. One gets put in the dungeons.
  • Serefin goes to see his mother. He tells her about the prophecy. 
  • Malachiasz and co. try to cross the border. A soldier pulls Malachiasz into his cabin, and then lets them through.
  • Nadya reaches Grazyk. The group heads to the palace. Nadya bumps into Serefin. He asks her to remove her mask, but doesn’t seem to recognise her at all.
  • Nadya is challenged to a duel. She meets Zaneta, and Serefin greets her again.
  • Nadya enters the arena and her magic feels weird. The gods feel far away. She fights Felicija and it goes horribly. Nadya refuses to kill her, so Malachiasz is forced to do it for her.
  • Serefin and Ostyia question Nadya’s magic.
  • Nadya is angry at Malachiasz for killing Felicija. He warns her to ready herself to kill the king. They kiss.
  • Serefin thinks his father has lost his mind. He’s also not sure the gods are gods? Oh dear.
  • Serefin figures out that the king is trying to turn himself into a god.
  • Zaneta gives Nadya tips on dueling.
  • Serefin wonders if Nadya could be a useful ally.
  • Ostyia compliments Nadya’s spellbook and Zenata seems to get suspicious.
  • Serefin and Nadya talk about the king.
  • Serefin kisses Nadya’s hand and she blushes. Oh dear.
  • Nadya reassures Parijahan that she’ll be fine using Serefin to get close to the king.
  • Nadya heads to the library to find information. There’s a Vulture there too. It starts to chase her. Serefin intervenes. He tells Nadya to hide in her room.
  • On her way to the room, Nadya is attacked by another Vulture. She’s locked in a room and can’t contact the gods until she cuts her hand.
  • Nadya speaks to one of the gods. She’s never spoken to this one before. It says it used to be a god once upon a time. Nadya says she’s worried the gods will take her power away, but this other being says they’re not the ones who gave it to her.
  • Nadya gets her powers back.
  • She bumpts into Malachiasz and he says they have to leave. He takes her to the witch, Pelageya.
  • Pelageya tells a story about a Vulture wanting a better relationship with the king. The Vulture vanished (this Vulture is obvs Malachiasz). They call this one The Black Vulture.
  • Serefin arrives to speak to the witch.
  • It turns out that Serefin and Malachiasz are cousins, but Malachiasz doesn’t seem to remember this.
  • Pelageya reveals that they all want to kill the king. Duh. She also says the king needs the blood of his firstborn to move into the next realm.
  • Nadya and Malachiasz talk about what was revealed, although Malachiasz doesn’t really apologise.
  • Roza shows up and threatens Malachiasz and Nadya. Malachiasz tells her to tell the king he’s been watching.

How does Wicked Saints end?

  • Malachiasz meets with the king. The king implies that Serefin is dead, although we know he’s not, and that Kalyzin was behind it.
  • In what I think is a twist, Malachiasz turns out to be a dick.
  • Malachiasz makes Zenata into a Vulture.
  • Serefin escapes with the help of his sister.
  • Blood rains from the sky.
  • Serefin confronts his father… and Malachiasz.
  • Nadya kills the king and breaks the veil.
  • Malachiasz tries to fain more power and then disappears.
  • Nadya introduces herself to Serefin properly.
  • The darkness takes over Malachiasz completely.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

Watch our review of Wicked Saints here!


  • I guessed they were cousin when we learned he was the black vulture i started to doubt but they were it may not be much and maybe it was totally obvious and i just didn’t know but it was basically the first time i ever got a there right so i was very excited !!!

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