Title: Kingdom of the Wicked
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: October 27th, 2020 (Jimmy Patterson)
Synopsis: Two sisters.
One brutal murder.
A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…
And an intoxicating romance.
Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe—witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin… desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked Princes of Hell that she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
Emilia di Carlo and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe, part of a community of witch families who live in Sicily amongst humans, hiding their powers. Even as they learned to use their witch powers, the sisters have grown up listening to their grandmother’s stories about the dangers of dark magic and the Wicked – Princes of Hell – whom witches must beware. But with several witches found brutally murdered, they all realize something dangerous is here. When Vittoria is found to be the latest victim, Emilia is willing to go to any length to find the murderer. Her quest leads her to accidentally summoning Prince Wrath, who also claims to be after the killer, and while she does not trust him, working with Wrath seems to be quickest path to gaining her vengeance.
I’m back – my reading slump is finally over (fingers crossed) and I have books to review again! I’ve been meaning to pick up one of Kerri Maniscalco’s books, specifically Stalking Jack the Ripper, for the longest time, but once I had this one on hand, I simply had to read it – and it was such a fun read! I haven’t read any books about witches in a while, so it was great to get back to the genre, especially since Gods and Monsters is coming up on my TBR pretty soon. The setting of Sicily was perfect for this and the descriptions of the backdrop made me wish I was back in Italy. Emilia’s family owns a restaurant and she was always experimenting with different recipes and such – the descriptions of all the food were amazing and I had to take multiple snack breaks because it made me so hungry! If that wasn’t enough, there was a whole supernatural layer on top of this already enchanting world with dark magic, prophecies and demons.
Emilia was a solid central character and quite a stubborn one too. In her zeal for vengeance, she definitely made more than a few mistakes and bad decision, but she remained likeable by and large. I liked Wrath much however – dark and mysterious but still kind of nice – and the banter between him and Emilia was very amusing. The enemies to lovers trope was beautifully executed, though it didn’t lead anywhere concrete in this book and I’m really curious to see where their relationship goes in the sequel.
The only thing I didn’t like too much about this book was the writing style, which was pretty average. The story was full of plot twists and given that it was a murder mystery of sorts, it should have been way more…exciting, I guess. Not to say that this wasn’t an entertaining read, but the credit for that largely goes to the plot and characters rather than presentation.
I had to read the ending twice just to make sure I’d read it correctly because it was shocking, confusing and dissatisfying in the best of ways and I have so many questions now. Overall, Kingdom of the Wicked was an interesting read, and after that ending, the second book is bound to be just as good, if not better and I can hardly wait for it! Highly recommended!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: