Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: February 7, 2023
In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.
After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazian military, Rossana Lacertosa is willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system—tapping into her powers as a disciple of Patience, joining the rebellion, and facing the boy who broke her heart. As the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, Damian Venturi is expected to be ruthless and strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting in a never-ending war have left him with deeper scars than he wants to admit… and a fear of confronting the girl he left behind.
Now a murderer stalks Ombrazia’s citizens. As the body count climbs, the Palazzo is all too happy to look the other way—that is, until a disciple becomes the newest victim. With every lead turning into a dead end, Damian and Roz must team up to find the killer, even if it means digging up buried emotions. As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?
Discover what’s lurking in the shadows in this dark fantasy debut with a murder-mystery twist, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco.
Content Warning: various types of violence (shooting, poisoning, beheading), graphic descriptions of blood/bodies, death of parents/ friends/ siblings, a parent depicted with memory loss/confusion, PTSD and flashbacks, descriptions of war, prejudice, religious intolerance, hallucinations, paranoia, alcoholism, and mentions of self-harm.
The intriguing cover and the title made me pick this book. Being a fantasy lover, I knew I would love this book even before starting it. What made me love it even more is that its sub-genre is a murder mystery, one of my favourite genres. The book “Seven Faceless Saints” by M.K. Lobb is a mixture of fantasy and mystery and has become my new favorite.
The male protagonist, Damian, was the head security officer and fought in the war. How much war can change a person was so well portrayed. Damian, once cute and soft, had now become totally opposite. What I loved most is the way the author explained everything about his change through his childhood friend/lover Roz’s pov.
Roz, the female protagonist, had been through a lot after Damian had taken to fight in the war. She got so angry with the corrupted system and wanted to bring change to society. I love how much she cares for her friends. I wish there were more importance given to side characters like Dev, Kiran, Nasim and more. These characters have a very good base but didn’t appear much in the story.
Roz’s character was portrayed to be a strong and bold one when compared to Damian’s. This isn’t something that usually happens in stories. Strong female lead characters are almost everywhere, but a strong female lead with a vulnerable male character is new to me.
Their love is complicated yet so beautiful. They were childhood friends, but fate had a different path for each of them. When they met after three years, everything changed in them and between them, except their love for each other which was buried so deep and needed lots and lots of digging. The plot and their relationship were carried side by side in the story giving equal importance to one another.
The book starts with a murder and continues with a series of murders. I love how the author included a murder mystery as the main plot of the fantasy novel. More importance was given to the plot than the magic system. I love the fact that the twist was so unexpected and, at the same time, logical.
This book had every element I love, including magic, murder mystery, longingness, love, childhood friendship, amazing twists, and wonderful connection between the lead characters. So, I am definitely excited about the next book in the series.
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with the arc of this book.
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“Once you have known true grief, you don’t get better.” The words were firm, but gentle. “You don’t recover— you only grow stronger. You learn to bear the things that seemed unbearable. You find a way to rebuild yourself, even with crucial pieces missing.”
He was going to face it (death) like a man. Not the kind of man who convinced himself he wasn’t frightened, but the kind of man who understood it was okay to be.
About the author:
M. K. Lobb is a fantasy writer with a love of all things dark— be it literature, humour, or general aesthetic. She grew up in small-town Ontario and studied political science at both the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa. She now lives by the lake with her partner and their cats. When not reading or writing, she can be found at the gym or contemplating the harsh realities of existence.
Her debut novel SEVEN FACELESS SAINTS will be published February 7, 2023 by Little, Brown (Hachette). The sequel, DISCIPLES OF CHAOS, will follow in early 2024. M. K. is represented by Claire Friedman at InkWell Management.
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