Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review: Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Something Dark and Holy, Book 2
by Emily A. Duncan
YA Dark Fantasy
432 pages

APRIL 7th, 2020!!!

Darkness never works alone...

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who--and what--he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.


If dark, sinister, blood, dark, heart-breaking, dark, evil, and dark fantasy are your thing, then this is definitely a must read.

Nadya is at a loss in so many ways. Her connection to the gods and her powers are gone; her heart is breaking, and she's not sure why; her people are still unsafe; and she's living behind enemy lines knowing every day could be her last. Worse yet, the scar on her hand holds a connection to the most horrible monster of all. Serefin is now king but fighting to gain any respect and trust. His powers are beyond his understanding, and his eye threatens his sanity...or worse. He doesn't know what to do with Nadya or his kingdom. And Malachiasz has achieved his dreams and nightmare. He's a monster of the worst kind, a threat to himself and others, and the whisper of coming doom.

I read the first book and loved it as well as found a few problems with it. This second one grabbed me more, thanks to the deeper dive into the characters and their broken souls. This is a twisted tale, which knows no pardon. The emotions are raw, blood flows freely, and terrors are real and deadly. But each of the three characters has such a bitter-sweetness that's it's hard not to like every single one, despite how horrid some of their actions and plans are. There is a beam of hope, and it's this which makes this book so wonderful. Nadya's desire to see good, when she doesn't know it or can't see it, makes her hard not to feel for. Serefin has become beautiful in his own sad way. And Malachiasz...well, he's a class for himself.

The writing is a bit slower in this book, but that doesn't make it boring. Definitely not. Every page weeps and bleeds...not in a character sobbing sort of way. But in darkness, plots, hopes, secrets, plans, failure, and danger. It's not a read for the sensitive fantasy fans and carries descriptive morbid scenes, pain and true evil. But it's the beauty in this which draws in. There is always light in even the darkest places.

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