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Ruthless Gods

(Something Dark and Holy #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,531 ratings  ·  1,361 reviews
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… o
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Wednesday Books
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Madison Nadya is the one on the first book. You can get this just plainly from the blond hair on the girl and more so from the sentence on the hardback that’s…moreNadya is the one on the first book. You can get this just plainly from the blond hair on the girl and more so from the sentence on the hardback that’s says ‘Let them fear her’ speaking about Nadya and her power. On this book I’m fairly positive it’s Serefin from the fact that he’s one of the main characters and the sentences on the hardback of this book as well ‘king of moths - king of blood - king of horrors’ king of moths is used to describe Serefin in the book so it’s makes sense. One could argue that the picture doesn’t look like how Serefins described in the book but then again the girl on the first book doesn’t look exactly like Nadya either. This is just my inference of course but I hope that this helps😊💙(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Emily Duncan
May 17, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
it's weird! it's cerebral! everyone is sad! it nearly killed me! it's a good 100 pages longer than WICKED SAINTS!

if you like cosmic horror, forests that want to eat you, and very sad very pretty boys and very tired very done with everything girls then i have a book for you.

that's all, see ya in 2020.

edit: 6.19.19: ~we have a cover~ and i'm just going to come out ahead of arcs and put the necessary content warnings here because we're dealing with about the same level of blood/self harm as Wicke
4.75/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

Oh, m’dudes.
I hope you brought some torches with you for this one because it’s about to get dark.
Correction: darker.

I stated in my previous review, Wicked Saints, that while reading this book I got the exact same uncomfortable sensation I had as a child while entering my old childhood Orthodox church. The incense was strong, the saints were looking down at you from the walls and the ceiling and countless old ladies were gawking at you beca
Jan 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is difficult to know how to begin a Goodreads review of a book when its author so regularly takes to Twitter to decry her Goodreads reviewers. One gains the impression that one’s review of this book, and of its predecessor Wicked Saints, is less an honest opinion provided for an audience of potential readers than some sort of opening argument directed to an audience of one. I find myself selecting my phrases not based on how helpful or informational they might be to you, the Goodreads user, b ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
i have no idea what kind of dark and holy sorcery i was able to conjure in order to get myself an ARC of this so early, but praise to all the wicked saints and ruthless gods alike, because wow. this is EXACTLY the kind of darkness i needed to kick off my spooktober!

just like its predecessor, this sequel is so seductively wicked, so gothically bloody, so cruelly romantic; and my black soul has never been happier.

although the pacing seems to be bit slower than i remember it being in the first boo
Miranda Reads

September Tier List Video is up! Check it out for all my September reads!
The Written Review

Heart Eyes all the way! Can’t wait to dive into this one!

Update - it ended up being surprisingly good. Very unexpected

With thanks to Macmillan Publishing and Emily A. Duncan for a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
My special edition came from Owlcrate. Beautiful art under dust jacket plus a pin

I have no words! I mean I have a few. These poor broken babies!! We learn lots of things. Go through a million more. That ending!!!!! I hope for something good in next book.

More closer to pub date when I can quote and stuff

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
Ruthless Gods, the second installment of Emily A. Duncan's debut YA Fantasy trilogy, Something Dark and Holy, continues to bring the dark atmosphere that I cherish.

Significantly more brutal than your average YA Fantasy, this second book especially, toed the line of the Horror genre and I'm here for it.

Our three main characters, Nadya, Serefin and Malachiasz, return and, y'all, they go through some stuff.

This world is hella brutal. The magic and the landscape, it seems everything is out to get th
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
The Gods are ruthless and friends can be just as bad!

This was an amazing book. So much happened and I loved it all. Like Wicked Saints, nothing in this book was predictable. It was truly an adventure fantasy. The three main characters and their sidekicks started out in the capital city of Tranavia and ended up going on an Epic Journey to the far side of Kalyazin to change life as they know it by either ending the war or freeing the Gods from whatever made them stop talking to the cleric, Nadya.


Ruthless Gods is out today! Don't forget to check out the book if you haven't done it yet! Happy reading! ;)

And just because I love this book, here's some art made by yours truly:

**Many thanks to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book**

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

The world they wish is broken bones and blood—always blood.

To finish this monstrous book on Friday the 13th and on full moon is a sign. A sign that this terrible, erratic, weird but beautiful

tw: blood magic (aka blood & self harm); gore; lots of body horror (especially stuff with eyes)

I was hoping I'd enjoy this book more than I did Wicked Saints, but I largely have the same issues as I had with the first book. I did go into this installment with lowered expectations though, which helped.

This series is so deeply about the aesthetics. Duncan is very good about invoking an image, sense of dread, and overall ~mood~ that sticks with you long after reading. That was true of Wicked Saint
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
I have been sitting on this review for weeks and am finally ready to tweak the final version. Here goes.

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books via NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

I read Wicked Saints as an ARC too and enjoyed the basis of the story, although found Duncan's writing style to be repetitive to the nauseatingly "I need to skim" point of being terrible. I thought she would take that round of criticism from Wicked Saints and build a bette
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
The Darkling fan fic continues in round two.

So..this had some high highs and low lows for me.

Again, like the first novel this jumped about so much for me. And it didn’t do a refresher in the first couple of pages that I enjoy books to do in a series (I acknowledge my personal preference here).

The world of the Gods is slightly more explored in this book but it’s also just as confusing and parts are explored that aren’t explained but we’re supposed to just get it? And I didn’t?

Also we have lgbt c
Kimberly (Deity of Books)
#1) Wicked Saints: ★★★☆☆

It's been a long time since I've dnf'ed a book, but I just had to with this one. It was so boring that I would choose sleep over reading this book. I got to page 250 though.

The writing is awful and confusing, even though I haven't finished reading this. I feel like the writing is all over the place. Sometimes the writing is formal (???), but then occasionally it switches to modern-day vernacular (ex: suss, flexing).

The romance between Malachiasz and Nadya is so annoying,
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Holy cannoli people! Ruthless Gods was one wild ass roller coaster ride. Sort of emotional for me because I kept shipping (and will probably continue to do so for the rest of my life) two people that just NEVER did anything romantic (yet). I still have high hopes and that's that.

In this, you are reunited with the gang again: Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz. Of course there are other important and lovable people but then I wo
I feel like I'm in exactly the same place with RUTHLESS GODS as I was with WICKED SAINTS. This series, the content in these books, the twisty story of betrayal and blood and more betrayal, is both worthy of love and full of frustration for me. The worldbuilding, the pantheon of gods, of monsters, of heretics and holy people, it's all very complex and fascinating, but equally confusing and repetitive.

I feel this one did hold together better than book one, where we know so little and even less is
Nomadic Reader (Baba Yaga)
When I read Wicked Saints a year ago, I thought I had found the perfect guilty pleasure to appease my inner goth teen. You can therefore imagine my excitement when I realized its sequel was coming out right in the middle of lockdown — talk about perfect timing!
Except...this book retained very little of the fun, over-the-top, romantic Grisha fanfic that was Wicked Saints. More specifically, my problem with Ruthless Gods lies in the fact that contrary to its predecessor, this book really wants to
Dark River
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
We're going on an adventure!

I must begin with saying that I am a big fan of second books in series. We already know the most important characters, we know the world, basic rules have been established. It's less introducing us to everything and more plot, more character development. Luckily, it was no different here. It felt a bit like coming home (well, if your idea of home is a bleak, wet, snow-covered forest that houses a bunch of monste
ash | novelly rooted
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Hahahahah I'm not okay.

Ruthless Gods is an aesthetic nightmare filled with perpetual influence and betrayal-- from the gloomy, dark tones, villains and monsters to the bone chilling landscapes dripping in mystery and suspense. With darkness often comes a sense of horror and dread. Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz are at the epicenter of it all, contemplating their eternal damnation as they try to avoid plunging the world into darkness as they try to save it from dominant powers hostile to humanity
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
3.5 bloody stars

This novel was one of my most anticipated sequels of the year, if not THE MOST anticipated overall. Duncan's first novel, Wicked Saints, had left me at awe and I read it several times, on audio as well as in physical copy. (The audiobook is fantastic by the way. The narrator's accent is perfect!) What makes these novels so different are the Slavic folklore vibes infused with the gothic and grotesque, yet the writing is brilliantly beautiful in places.

Ruthless Gods has a bit of a
Amy Imogene Reads
4.5 stars

Considering the fact that I hated the beginning of this, no one is more shocked than me that this is a damn good book.

First 100 pages:
Plot: ★★★★★
Character development: ★★★★★

This is the second book in a series, so if you don't want to be spoiled for Wicked Saints, please check out that book first! (My review of it here.)

Wicked Saints was a surprisingly polarizing read in 2019, and I think Ruthless Gods will be similar—if not for the same reasons. Ruthless Gods, in my opinion, is LEAGU
Ashlee » Library In The Country
EMILY, HOW DARE YOU. Y’all are not ready.

This book is cruel and dark and WONDERFUL. Everything it was destined to be. Onyx and obsidian, laced in blood. An inky and monstrous gem of a sequel.

I don’t know how I was lucky enough to get my hands on Ruthless Gods so early, perhaps it’s a gift from the divine or something far more sinister. Perhaps both? You’ll probably have to read the book to find out. And read the book you should.

Wicked Saints completely shattered what I believed was possible in
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
This was every bit as deliciously dark and full of blood, guts, gore, and death as the first book and while I did love every single page of it and all it's dark magic madness, this second book somehow felt different from the first.

Yes, it is different, of course it is. Things have changed. Everyone is more desperate, things are getting real up in here and yet, at times the writing felt disjointed. It took me a few paragraphs sometimes to figure out what had just happened, where we were in the st
DNF at 25%. I’ve just come to realize that I don’t think I care about this series now as much as I did when the first book came out. What I did read was well written though.
Lia Carstairs
Actual Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5
I feel betrayed.

And speaking of betrayals...........just wow......
There were a whole bunch of them in Ruthless Gods. If you thought the betrayals in Wicked Saints was bad, your in for a real treat here.

It's kind of ironic actually. There were so many betrayals in the book, yet at the end I also felt betrayed along with the characters.

"They had all been waiting with their knives at one another's backs. It was time to plunge the dagger home." 💀

After the ending of Wicke
"It was different, this time. Darkness was something he was intimately used to; darkness was nothing to him. He had lived and toiled and learned in darkness. This was both more than that and yet something else entirely."


First, I will be careful with the spoilers, just so you guys know. Second, this was my first time doing a buddy reading and I did it with my wonderful friend Carmen.

Emily A. Duncan is a game-changer.

I just can wish for m
Laura ☾
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The world they wish is broken bones and blood—always blood.”
Ruthless Gods, picking up where Wicked Saints left off, is a dark, magical tale, even more dark, unsettling and eerie than the first instalment.

“He was everything; he was nothing. She was torn apart in a thousand directions but there was only one and it was forward. There was nothing else but this.”

I loved Malachiazs as a complicated villain/monster. In this instalment we really see all the characters evolving, changing, twisting and
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off one word: WOW! What a great sequel to something I've been anticpating. This book took me a while to read I tried reading the arc back in Ocotober when I first got it because I read wicked saints in September. And I was like: 'Perfect timing, I just finished the first book let's go onto the next one!'
Well nope past Drew u rushed in it.
And so in March of 2020 I buddy read this with my friend Heather but couldn't get into it then. And then April 7 rolled around and I got the audiobook
Katrin D
Jun 25, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-april-2020
Excuse me, but this cover is one of the most depressing things I've seen lately.
Anubha (BooksFullOfLife, LifeFullOfBooks)
Oh the ending of the book! The story was more detailed and more extensive than before. A cursed couple. Lgbtq+ elements, a girl, a monster, a prince and a queen!
Erin A. Craig
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gruesome, grotesque, and so so glorious
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“Emily A. Duncan was born and raised in Ohio and works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. She is represented by Thao Le ...more

Other books in the series

Something Dark and Holy (3 books)
  • Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1)
  • Blessed Monsters (Something Dark and Holy, #3)

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Are you searching for a great young adult novel to dive into? In that case, you've come to the right place. Goodreads members are pros at...
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“This was going to kill her. This, right here, this beautiful boy and his monstrous power and his lies and the knowledge that nothing mattered, they would always betray each other in the end.” 9 likes
“The world they wish is broken bones and blood—always blood.” 8 likes
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