Vile and Blessed

A.H. Serrano

YA Fantasy

A Cursed Existence. An Insidious Spirit. A Hidden Land.

There has never been an Anmerilian born without ability. Never, until River Kennry.

River has no place in a world where worth is measured by the power of one’s ability. He is an anomaly and an outcast, afflicted by an ailment no one can see or explain. Caught in the unrelenting hold of his government, he falls further into the pit of hopelessness as he wrestles with the mysteries of his past.

After a fated meeting with a cryptic stranger, River realizes the only way to uncover his past is to return to the Institute—the very place that scarred and violated him. And if he goes back, it could mean forfeiting his life.

But could everyone be wrong about him? Though he remains untouched by power, there is something inside him. Something alive and entangled with secrets that could upset the balance of everything his generation has ever known to be true.

Welcome to a world where the secrets are as big as continents, the monsters hide in plain sight, and there is always something sinister at play.

Vile & Blessed, the first book in The Vile & Blessed trilogy, is perfect for readers who love their dark fantasy with a touch of horror, plenty of mystery, and realistically imperfect characters they can grow with.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) This book started strong! I was impressed by the writing right away. Serrano builds a unique world where River has spent most of his life in an institution being experimented on. 

There was a lot I liked about this book, the characters being one of them. Mama Te was my favorite. She was so loveable and caring. She was the mother they all needed. I also loved Shiloh and her unbreakable bond with River. I always love a good relationship between siblings and this was one of the best. It was evenly paced with mystery laced throughout.

The story leaves you hanging quite a bit while it leads you along with very little info. Honestly, I’m not sure I have a full understanding of the plot now that I’m finished. I felt frustrated multiple times that I did not have enough information. I know River didn’t have the info but I felt the story would’ve moved along better if the reader had more tidbits of information along the way. Then we could be cheering him on or yelling at him. Instead I regularly felt frustrated and confused. 

All in all, it’s a unique story and a great debut that many will enjoy!

General content summary: minimal language, physical aggression and injuries, bullying with injuries, kisses, a prostitute offers herself to a young man, drugs, a sedative is injected unwillingly, people are locked up and experimented on causing extreme pain and mental confusion, a young man breaks a man’s arm with his hands (2x), torturing someone else to get someone to comply, blood, kidnapping babies, sexual harassment (with vague prostitution implication), two teens sleep in the same bed, drugs and addiction, mistreatment of patients, death during experiments, a young man pulls a man’s arm off and kills him, a bloody death, funeral and grief.

Thank you to A.H. Serrano and Emergent Realms for the gifted copy!

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


  1. That certainly sounds unique lol its hard when tbe reader doesn’t have enough info to follow

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