Title: The Lives of Saints
Writer: Leigh Bardugo, illustrated by Daniel J. Zollinger
Publishing House: Imprint
Date of Publication: October 6th 2020
Rated: 5 stars
‘’There have been too many stories in between, miracles and martyrdoms, too much blood spilt, too much ink. There was a war. There were a thousand wars. I knew a killer. I knew a hero. They might have been the same man.’’
Leigh Bardugo opens one more portal to the exciting universe of the Grishaverse. This is The Istorii Sankt’ya, the Lives of Saints, created by Alina Starkov, narrating the tales of saints. Stories of beauty and death, violence and injustice, mercy and divine providence. Stories of heroines and heroes, of the violent mob and cunning demons.
Sankta Margaretha, the patron saint of thieves and lost children, who saved her people from a demon with the help of her beautiful jewels.
Sankta Anastasia, the patron saint of the sick, who saved her people with the drops of her own blood.
Sankt Kho, the patron saint of good intentions, and Sankta Neyar, the protector of blacksmiths.
Sankt Juris, the patron saint of the battle-weary, who protected the faithful soldiers from cold and starvation, with amaranth as his symbol.
Sankta Vasilka, the patron saint of unwed women.
Sankt Nikolai, the patron saint of sailors and lost causes.
Sankt Maradi, the protector of impossible love.
Sankt Demyan, the patron saint of the newly dead.
Sankta Mariya, the patron saint of those who are far from home.
Sankt Emerens, the patron saint of brewers and protector of the harvest.
Sankt Vladimir, the patron saint of the drowned and of unlikely achievements.
Sankt Grigori, the protector of doctors and musicians.
Sankt Valentin, the patron saint of snake charmers and the lonely.
‘’You can choose faith or you can choose fear. But only one will bring you what you long for.’’
Sankt Petyr, the patron saint of archers.
Sankta Yeryin, the protector of hospitality.
Sankt Feliks, the protector of horticulture.
Sankt Lukin, the patron saint of politicians.
‘’I will die in the woods, a free woman in the company of the trees. Better than the pyre.’’
Sankta Magda, the patron saint of abandoned women, and bakers.
Sankt Egmond, the protector of architects.
Sankta Ursula, the patron saint of those lost at sea.
Sankt Mattheus, the patron saint of those who love and care for animals.
‘’The orphans came to this magnificent place covered in dirt and lice, and those from the border towns arrived with ghosts in tow – memories of raids in the night, homes set to the torch, mothers and fathers gone suddenly silent and cold.’’
Sankt Dimitri, the patron saint of scholars.
Sankt Gerasim, the patron saint of artists.
Sankta Alina, the patron saint of orphans and those with undiscovered gifts.
…and the Starless One, the mysterious, shadowy saint of the ones who seek salvation in the darkness.
‘’I wander now, lost among the shelves. My hand cramps around the pen. I gather dust. But someone has to set down the words, put them in the proper order. I am the library and the librarian, hoarding lives, a catalog for the faithful. Erase my name. Indelible is a word for stories.’’