February 12, 2023

BLOG TOUR Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb

Hi friends! I'm pleased to be hosting a stop on the tour organized by TBR and Beyond Tours for Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb. 

Be sure to check out the other tour host's pages as well and show them some love. The link to the schedule is below. 

About the Book

Release Date: February 7, 2023
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

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.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

REVIEW of Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb
Rating: 4 Stars
Format: eARC (Courtesy of the Publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours) and Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

The first thing about M.K. Lobb’s debut novel Seven Faceless Saints that caught my attention was the cover. The young adult dark fantasy that lies within the boundaries of the cover is evocative and imaginative, and the murder mystery that the main characters find themselves at the center of is juicy. If you love Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper books or Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books, then this would be an excellent choice for you.

“That was what it meant to have power, wasn’t it? You could simply destroy that which didn’t serve you.”

The worldbuilding is dynamic. I loved how the author took a classic idea of a system where religion is the dominant power in a given civilization, and developed the idea of the seven faceless saints. The Saints exist at the center of the religious power base, so those not blessed by the Saints (“The Unfavored”) are regularly forced to fight in a war they have no part in. The attempt to remove Chaos from the history books is a tactic that shows up commonly in this type of a story, and usually sets the stage for a later conflict. However, despite this being a common archetype it still felt unique in the context of the story. 

“Everything that reminded me of home - everything that reminded me of happiness - centered around you.”

Roz and Damian are at the center of the story, and there are a lot of unresolved feelings there. It was an interesting dynamic, to have Roz be the grumpy stabby character and Damian be the soft tender hearted figure. The contrast also extends to Damian being such a fervent supporter of the Saints while lacking any ‘blessings’ or powers, and Roz being the exact opposite. Communication is essential for any relationship to function, and there are a bucket load of miscommunications between those two over the course of the story (and even before the story begins, with them being childhood friends to enemies to lovers). 

Overall, this was an excellent read and I’m excited for the sequel Disciples of Chaos. I did predict the ‘what’ of the ending, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘who’. The big reveals were well earned, and I really enjoyed how the story flowed. Narrators Barrie Kreinik, Sean Patrick Hopkins, and Saskia Maarleveld did an excellent job bringing the story to life with their performances in the audiobook version of the novel. I hope they bring them back for the next book. 

Thank you to the author, the publisher Little Brown Books for Young Readers, NetGalley and the team at TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with a complimentary review copy of the book as part of my participation in the tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review Seven Faceless Saints immensely. Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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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