Series: Seven Faceless Saints #1
Release Date: February 7th 2023
Publisher: Titan Books
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an E-ARC of this book via Netgalley
Rating: 4/5 stars
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?
Seven Faceless Saints lured me in with that intriguing title and beautiful cover. Set in the world of Ombrazia, the story follows our two main characters – Damian and Roz – as they attempt to uncover the truth about a series of murders that have taken place. Damian is head of security at the Palazzo, and recently returned from the war, he wants nothing more than to solve the murders and make his father proud. Roz is a disciple of the saint Patience, meaning she has magic and a more privileged life than many around her. But Roz never wanted to be a disciple and is strongly against the unjust systems that cost her father his life when he was killed as a deserter. While by day she is a disciple, by night she is part of the rebellion desperate to turn things around for Ombrazia’s people. Damian and Roz have a difficult history, but can the two team up and discover what is killing innocent people?
This was such a dark and addictive read. I found the concept so intriguing – a murder mystery set in a fantasy world and the fast-paced plot really kept me hooked. The story has solid world building and I must admit the reveal at the end did, in fact, take me by surprise. I really enjoyed Lobb’s writing style and there is plenty of time spent laying out the lore around the saints and the magic in the story. I am definitely keen to know more about the saints and am so intrigued to find out where Lobb will take things in book two.
Where I think Seven Faceless Saints shines is our two main protagonists. Told from both points of view, both characters are well developed as the story progresses. Roz is still grieving the loss of her father, determined to help the rebellion and her friends. Damian is tortured by the things that happened during the war and wants to solve the mystery and live up to his father’s name. Both characters have a difficult past and it was nice to have two characters already have a history instead of meeting for the first time. There is quite a heavy romance focus in the story, however, it was well executed. Overall Seven Faceless Saints is an impressive debut and if you’re looking for a dark fantasy story with plenty of magic, mystery, and romance, this will definitely be up your street.