What’s the Deal With… Emily A. Duncan?

Emily A. Duncan, is a young adult fantasy author popular for their series Something Dark and Holy. The first novel in the series, Wicked Saints, debuted in 2019. Since this publication, the series now has two published sequels; Ruthless Gods and Blessed Monsters.

Welcome to the “What’s the Deal With…” series; a place where we deep dive into the facts surrounding the drama, cancel culture and problematic issues of those within the book community.

These posts are to enlighten you about why certain names are being thrown around, discussed and/or bad-mouthed on the internet. They are not intended to shine hate on any one person, rather to lay out the facts and provide unbiased commentary on news in the book industry.

All facts will be provided with some type of screenshot, link or citation. If you notice any mistakes or key missing details regarding the story, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Check out the entire series!

And with that said – What’s the Deal With… Emily A. Duncan?

So what happened with Emily A. Duncan and why is they are all over your Twitter feed right now (April 2021)?

This isn’t the first time this author has been put on blast within the book community. This article will first go over what is happening right now and then backtrack and show you what else has got readers and other book community members upset.

Emily Duncan Bullies Asian Author on Twitter

On April 5th 2021, author Rin Chupeco started a thread on Twitter. Long story short, Chupeco called out author Emily A. Duncan for calling an Asian author ugly on an author group chat using the communication platform, Slack. The thread alleged that Duncan “trashed” the author and book because of similar themes with Duncan’s own publication, both of which were published this week, April 5th to 11th, 2021.

Chupeco stated that they would not release the name of the author being bullied without their permission.

Discounting Incest Survivors, Mocking Book Bloggers & Ignoring the Teenaged Audience

With the recent situation, Rin Chupeco reminded readers of previous problematic situations Duncan has been involved in. In particular, discounting the trauma of a survivor of incest and mocking book bloggers.

In May 2019 (determined from dates in screenshots), Duncan and a number of their friends harassed and intentionally triggered an incest survivor on Twitter – according to recounts and Twitter screenshots. Comments made on Twitter also showed Duncan denying that they had any young audience on the Twitter platform, despite being a young adult author, justifying their public discussion about potentially triggering content.

While many of the other authors involved were redacted from screenshots, friend and fellow YA author Jessica Cluess was also involved, subtweeting the incest survivor as well as discounting their experience with Duncan.

With the recent accusations against Duncan, another author (who has publically not to be shared) spoke out about the situation.

On the 7th April 2021, an anonymous account claiming to be the incest survivor harassed by Duncan and others spoke out using an anonymous Twitter account:

Mocking Book Bloggers & Confronting Negative Book Reviews

Emily A. Duncan also has some history with problematic interactions with their readers and others in the book community. There have been a number of recounts of Duncan calling out, attacking, quote-tweeting or commenting on negative reviews about their published books (check out this article by Bookish Tiffany more details).

In addition, Chupeco also mentioned Duncan mocking book bloggers on their thread calling out the author. While they did not explicitly direct their audience to the situation in question, it is possible that it was related to a comment made in May 2019 in response to a negative book blog review about their publication (see final two screenshots below).

I am not writing this article to encourage you to ‘cancel’ Emily A. Duncan.

I am not telling you to throw away their books. What I am encouraging is that you look at the facts, the screenshots, and the situations presented to you and make your own decisions about whether Emily A. Duncan is an author you want to support. 

Note: The allegations surrounding Emily A. Duncan are ongoing so there may be updated information that are not yet included in this article. Please feel free to contact bec&books if there is something crucial missing.

Happy reading, bec&books



  1. Reply



    i would also add that her books are really antisemitic. i don’t really want to get into it because it’s A LOT and i’m tired, but i just wanted to add that.

    • Reply



      You are right and this is something I hope to find time to update/add to the current post. A lot of the really prominent conversations popped up after this article went live. But it is absolutely something I will be finding time to do!

  2. Reply

    Molly (she/they)


    Hi, so first I just wanted to let you know that Rin Chupeco is nonbinary and, afaik, uses they/them pronouns.
    Second, thank you for posting this! I had already read the first two books in Emily’s trilogy and purchased the third when I learned about all this so I had felt a little torn about reading it. I did end up reading it (just finished it a little while ago) and wanted to know more about what happened.

    • Reply



      My most heartfelt apologies, I believe I made that mistake on one of the pronouns used for Chupeco. Thank you for picking up my mistake, it should all be good now. I am so glad that this post helped you out, I just want to make this info easier to find for reader’s decision making.

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