Cover Image: Saint Death's Daughter

Saint Death's Daughter

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Member Reviews

I have to admit that I found this book difficult to read. Right from the beginning there's a ton of new information to try and sort through - new days of the week, new months and new gods. This is on top of the footnotes throughout the rest of the book and the new stoneses that get introduced. 

I appreciate the author is trying to create a whole new world in depth but I think that can be a little lost when there is so much to take in, it becomes an info dump. 

The writing style isn't the type I'm used to or even prefer so that also made it hard for me to get immersed in the plot. I hate to DNF but unfortunately I just couldn't make it through to the end. 

*Thank you to @rebellionpublishing and @netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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How do you review a book sensibly when all you really want to do is scream ILOVEITILOVEITILOVEITILOVEITILOVEIT!? I mean, I fucking loved it. But it did come from Netgalley so I feel obliged to make some sort of attempt. Reasons I loved Saint Death’s Daughter:

1. Lanie, the main character. She’s sensible and strong and whimsical and passionate and vulnerable. She puts mouse skeletons back together to resurrect them and then cries when she has to let them die again! SHE IS SO PRECIOUS I CANNOT. Also, imagine being born into a family of assassins while having a violent allergy to death. Yikes. It’s tempting to list fifty things Lanie does that make me adore her, but that would be kind of spoilery, so believe me when I say the mice are just the beginning.

2. Datu. I would die for Datu. That is all.

3. Canon Lir. I would also die for Canon Lir. They are the best.

4. There are in fact a lot of people in this book whom I would die for.

5. Whimsical gothic is one of my favourite aesthetics and this book hits it squarely. There are assassins, necromancers, lots and lots of dead people, mind control, a whole bunch of underground stuff, murder up the wazoo… and all of it is treated with a lightness of hand that makes it simply delightful. It’s serious too, at times. But also whimsical. I mean the main character is named Miscellaneous Stones. MISCELLANEOUS STONES. Was there ever so perfect and beautiful a name? No, never.

6. Found family. Another of my favourite aesthetics. There is nothing warmer and yummier than a sad lonely character whose family are a bit shit finding people who welcome and accept and adore them, particularly when they totally don’t expect it and all of a sudden realise that their life is FILLED WITH LOVE. The best.

7. The worldbuilding. ALL the worldbuildinggggggg. I mean, for simple plot purposes you could take out half the worldbuilding in the first few chapters and it wouldn’t change a thing, but books aren’t just about plot, are they? The little details and stories we hear in those first few chapters are just so fun and a great way of introducing us to Lanie and the world she’s grown up in, because really, Stones Manor is her world, at first, and it feels like a big complex one. We only get reminded of how small and narrow it actually is when Lanie finally ventures out into the wider world, which makes that revelation all the more effective.

8. The plot. It’s fun and engaging and I always find myself caring about whatever Lanie is trying to do. There are a couple of nice twists, and I’m super super eager to find out what’s going to happen in the next book, too.
This list feels entirely inadequate for a book that delighted me so much, but I’ve done my best. I really hope there’s going to be an audiobook, because I’d absolutely love to listen to this story, too. I already have my physical copy on pre-order. Anyway. Read this!
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This book will be perfect for lovers of high fantasy, complex worlds! 

I wanted to love this book, but it just didn't suit my tastes — I tried to get through this book despite the info-dumps and the confusing worldbuilding, and though it got a bit better as I kept reading, it wasn't enough for me to keep going. I hate DNF-ing books, but I had to with this one. 

Please don't take this as a deterrent, though — this could be the ideal book for you!
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There are so so many moving parts to this, and while I loved a lot about the concept I had trouble finishing off the book. The ending was really solid, so worth finishing, but I think a hard edit would have been really helpful . Maybe more world building? That said it was a pretty solid read, and I'm glad I finished the book. Curious what will happen with the next installment - I see a lot of reviewers couldn't finish, and again, the middle was a bit of a slog. Very fun, and worth pushing through.
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This was a very complex story with a lot of moving parts as well as a lot of people, places, and new vocabulary to keep track of. It is an extremely dense new adult fantasy story. It follows Miscellaneous Stones, a necromancer and worships the goddess of Death. Her whole family is made up of dealers of death, assassins, executioners and necromancers. Being dealers in death they are surrounded by it every day, but she suddenly finds herself an orphan and about to lose everything because of family debts so she must call home her older sister, who is vicious, manipulative and cruel. But with little other choice she must endure. But it does not end there and Miscellaneous will have to learn more about her powers, learn to fight both the dead and alive, and power-hungry bride of the Rook Kingdom, in order to save what is left of her family and to discover herself and her connection to saint death. 
	There is so much going on with this story. I loved the first half of this book, it was interesting, and I loved the magic and complex characters. Lani (Miscellaneous) was so interesting, the descriptions of her powers and how she could use them amazing and unique. I found her sister vile from the first movement. The author did a great job of writing her. I would have liked a little more world building and explanation of powers, and the political system. There were some things that did not make sense to me because they lacked explanation. I feel like this story could have been cut in half because of parts that seemed like filler. It was so long and about 65% of the way through I lost interest for a time. It did pick up again at the end with a number of twists and a surprise ending that sucked me back into the story. Which was great, but that middle could have been removed.  The number of names of people and places and even terms I was not familiar with, was a lot to keep track of. They would pop up and I have to go back to see if there were any past references that I missed. Overall, I did enjoy this story, but I think it feels overwhelming at times. Also, a more in-depth description of how the world is set up would have been helpful. There are a number of possible triggers, this is a story about necromancers, so just be aware.
Trigger warnings: murder, cutting, animal abuse
I received an advanced ebook, via Netgalley. This review is my own honest opinion.
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"Stoneses die young," her big sister explained patiently. "We have to grow up fast if we're to grow up at all."

And indeed, the Stones family has a complicated history of untimely deaths, mostly told through the footnotes at the end of each chapter. But that is not the only thing that makes them special: they have historically served as assasins to the royal family of Liriat and, most importantly, they all have rather extravagant names. Miscellaneous "Lanie" Stones is the youngest member of this family, and after her parents' deaths she and her sister must find a way to pay all their debt and avoid losing the family home, getting tangled up in some dangerous schemes along the way. 

This story was incredibly ambitious, there was a lot of worldbuilding to do and a lot of ground to cover plot-wise, and yet the book didn't feel incomplete. There were some points I was left wondering about, like the exact workings of the magic system or other types of wizards, but all that was shown made sense. As for the plot, it was a bit dense for me, especially because it didn't move that fast until about halfway through the book, and so the characters (except for the protagonist) didn't seem to have that much room for development and connection with the reader. It also left a few loose ends, so I'm hoping for a sequel that will round everything up, but the book also works as a standalone. 

Finally, I would like to mention the writing style, which was flowy but still made for a great narration. I think it was perfect for this story, with its aristocratic setting and eccentric characters. It felt humorous at just the right moments (the footnotes were a really fun aspect and their "serious" tone was perfect), but it somehow also made me feel worse for Lanie at her lowest moments. The weird family names were also a great touch, if a bit confusing at first, but they made complete sense after knowing a bit more of the family history throughout the book. 

All in all, this was a great read. It's definitely not for reading in one afternoon, but if you like fantasy you might want to give this book a try. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK!!! Iwas gripped completely by this book and read it in one sitting missing a meal to finish it. it was so well written with well developed characters and a chilling feel that left me with goosebumps. It was so interesting and completely enaging. I really enjoyed it.
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Amazing and gripping read. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

DNF at 50%

Although the summary seemed amazing, the book itself sadly wasnt like that for me.

I don't think it's fully the books fault. The writing style was very descriptive and a bit slow and although I do think it was beautiful, it just couldnt hold my attention. I had to force myself to read at least 50% and every second I spend reading it seemed like forever. There were lots of new words and that in combination with the confusing plotline meant I had absolutely no idea what was going on almost 200 pages into the book.

Although I do think the book can be great if you enjoy descriptive and long sentencences, I sadly wasnt the right public for it since I just did not understand what was happening.
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If you like detailed, action-packed fantasy with a macabre vibe, this book might be for you.
I couldn't put it down.
I liked the academic style of writing, with footnotes and information about magic and the different beliefs and cultures, as they suited the main character.
Lainie is a necromancer who is very young at the start of the book, but she grows into her power as the story unfolds.
This stood apart from other fantasy plots for me because it wasn't just about romantic relationships. It was about a girl who had been raised in an environment where she couldn't trust her family, and didn't get any love for them. The story shows her developing friendships and forging a family of choice, as well as pulling off some impressive magical acts.
The characters from different cultures and faith backgrounds reminded me a bit of Raybearer.
The aesthetic is part Addams family, part Shadow and Bone.
It's definitely worth checking out.
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I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I did enjoy it. On the other I have no interest in continuing with this series. 

This book had an interesting premise, a necromancer with an allergy to violence  is born into a family of assassins. 
Because of her relationship with the Goddess of death, she finds herself “courted and threatened by powerful parties”

Unfortunately this book was long and the story short. I felt so bogged down with characters and tidbits of backstory that I couldn’t fully enjoy the story I was trying to read. And even with an abundance of information and character development I still found myself confused.
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Saint Death's Daughter had an excellent premise, and therefore I was excited to read it, however I couldn't finish it. 

The book was slow, with information showered from the start, which doesn't stop. The large amount of processing was too much for a book that was honestly boring. A whimsical nature often fails to intrigue me, and therefore C. S. E. Cooney's book couldn't capture my attention, leaving me confused and lost very early on. Many characters which confused me were barely relevant for the plot (of which I read), the names were confusing, unnecessary and only added to the overall despair I felt whilst reading the book!

Perhaps the writing may have pushed me away, however I feel that despite the engaging synopsis I couldn't get into the book, therefore I have given it 2 stars- which may be generous.
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This one took me a while due to having to deal with replacing a tub that took upwards of a damn month (and because it’s a bit of a brick of a book), but every time I opened this to get through another bit, it was a luscious treat. The Locked Tomb series is going to be the first thing that people will draw comparisons to, because queer necromancers, but this is honestly an amazing world unto itself. It’s got very deep and intricate worldbuilding, but also the humor of Discworld, and doesn’t hesitate to make fun of itself both in the text and in the extensive footnotes. That humor and the inherent queerness in it brings some levity to what can be a really fucking dark text at times. It seems like Cooney is throwing a lot at the reader at first, but it all lands, while still setting up a few threads for future books. Laney, Granny, and her family and friends are all amazingly developed and fun to follow, and I can’t want to see what comes next here. Pick it up, it’s more than worth your time.
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this was a very long book that left me mostly confused. i was very excited when i read the synopsis but i feel like the execution of the book failed to keep my attention and excitement up, this is one of those books that left me wondering about how i felt about it long after i finished it (which was a bit of a struggle) and then realising that it didn't make me feel any particular emotion while reading it.
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This book is a bear. There are so many things to keep track of: new months, days, gods/goddesses, places, and characters. There are footnotes about historical events and characters that don't really matter to the main story. They're funny, but in a story with so much going on, it just made me more confused. I applaud the author for diving so deep into the world, but this should be scaled back a bit so things aren't as bogged down. Maybe some of these characters we could learn about in the sequel?

The main character is Miscellaneous "Lainey" Stones. What I liked most about her is that she sometimes makes mistakes, chooses wrong, and needs to learn to stand up against others. It made her more real and relatable and her love for her family helps show that Lainey is trying her best. I also thought Lainey's niece Datu was a funny character, even when she wasn't trying to be. She's very ambitious and always up for a story about past Stones family members and what they got up to.

There were parts I didn't quite understand because there's an overload of information. There's a lot of information and some names and titles I struggled to pronounce. I did think it was a fun book overall and maybe listening to an audio of it would be helpful. I am still interested in what the sequel will contain and maybe now that I have the layout of everything, it will be an easier read.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Solaris and NetGalley for the copy
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An interesting fantasy read. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy. I rate it a three out of five stars.
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Yeah... not for me I'm afraid. Bounced off it so many times, I like world building and there is a clear and potentially really interesting world in here but - just too much of it. So the story felt utterly overwhelmed and by the time I hit 12% (please please put page numbers back into meta data publishers), I just wanted story without the world but it was just hard work and the information dump just became too much.

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This book is certainly very different from everything I've read so far and I quite enjoyed it!
The beggining of this book was really confusing to me, since the reader is dropped in the plot without any background knowledge or explanation. Also, sometimes the plot is quite dense and moves too slowly, other times it's very exciting and intriguing.
However, I loved the ending and the plot twist!I also really enjoyed how inclusive this book was! There are many diverse characters and I think that's great!
I loved Lanie and Goody's friendship and Mak's love for his child despite him being enslaved by his child's mother. Canon Lir was a character that surprised me a lot for various reasons!
Overall, this is a good book, so if you enjoy  necromancy and sorcery, give it a try!

Trigger warnings:
-Death and murder
-Mentions of child abuse, murder, sacrifice and cannibalism 
-Violence and Enslavement 
-Torture, mutilation 
-Implied sexual content and orgy
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This book was beautiful, lyrical and fantastical in all the best ways. It’s the kind of book you want to read and reread to comprehend all of the magic and stupendous world building. The characters are mesmerising and your antagonists just as fun to read about. It is surprisingly not gory while also being very gory and has a sense of humour and fun which can often be lacking in high fantasy. I can’t wait to read more of Cooney’s work
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Saint Death’s Daughter is not for the faint of heart! This is not a light, fluffy, read-it-in-a-weekend novel. This is a high fantasy saga with a fully developed magic system that is deep, complex, and brimming with intrigue. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Leigh Bardugo, or V.E. Schwab, this book has a dark side, so if you’re drawn to worlds filled with necromancers, reapers, and death magic, this one’s for you.

It’s a massively ambitious book, at nearly 500 pages, and with dozens of characters to keep track of (plus an incredibly complicated magic system), it’s an intimidating read, for sure. I’ll admit that it was challenging for me to keep the details straight as I read; I usually like to be reading more than one book at a time, but I couldn’t hold anything extra in my head with this one!

But the world-building is second to none, and the fascinating combination of royal assassins, looming family debt to settle, and the influence of the goddess of Death made this book worth the effort. A solid 4-star read!


Thanks to C.S.E. Cooney, Rebellion/Solaris, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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