KINGDOM OF THE WICKED– Book review
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: October 27th 2020
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 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
Dark, alluring and thrilling.
This book was addictive, the writing had me gripped from the beginning. I loved the dark atmosphere and setting. This is a perfectly spooky read for October. This has been one of my most anticipated books since I heard about it. I just loved the sound of the plot and the premise. This book definitely had all the things I loved. The plot, the mystery, the romance and wow I can’t believe that ending. My heart was pounding like crazy.
This story follows twin sisters Emilia and Vittoria, who are witches living among humans on a small island near Italy. When Vittoria is found dead, Emilia is beyond devastated. Determined to find her sister’s killer, and seek revenge, Emilia will do anything, including using dark magic. When Emilia summons Wrath, a Demon Prince from Hell, she and the prince find a common cause: to find the murderer and understand why they murdered several other witches.
My favourite part of this book was being pulled alongside Emilia and seeing all the different settings. The mystery and suspense of secret gambling dens, spooky and hidden underground caves and beaches. I loved the scary and dark corridors of the church that gave me chills. Most of all, my foodie heart loved the kitchen and the descriptions of the different dishes and sweets. The different adventures in all the different places really pulled me in and I could not get enough.
The author also really made me feel the grief in the pages. I felt Emilia’s confusion, sadness and loneliness throughout the book. I really loved the presentation of the loss and depression in this book, when everything you know has been taken away and that unbearable loss that changes everything.
I liked the plot a lot. It was unique and refreshing. There is also a murder mystery that drives the story and builds tension and gives you goosebumps. I loved the concept of witches and demons, and not only one Prince of Hell but Seven. The Princes of Hell are sinister and their symbolisation of the seven deadly sins is done very well. I wish we got more of them, I feel like it would of added more to the wickedness of the book. The book was very fast paced, sometimes too fast paced. I felt that there were some time holes and jumps that were not really explained. The magical world had so much potential but it was not established properly. A lot of the things were unclear, I mean the different kind of witches and their different beliefs and myths that was revealed. I wish the author went in more depth about the magical system and there was more explanation because I was so interested. Maybe the next book will answer all the questions about the witches and magic and history that wasn’t answered in this book.
I really liked Emilia’s character. She was fierce, determined and sassy. I did find her frustrating at times though. She would make stupid decisions or do something that did not make sense at all to her character. She was described as the cautious and smart twin but she would be reckless and do things out of character. She would not plan or think before acting. Wrath was an interesting and complex character. He was helping Emilia but you could tell he was also lying and had his own ulterior motives. I felt like we barely saw his character though. We barely knew anything about him and I definitely need more. I loved the banter between the characters but I did not feel that intense overpowering chemistry between them. This was described as enemies to lovers but I did not feel that hate between the characters, it was more bickering. There was also that bond introduced, which was unexpected and not explored. After that ending, I am really intrigued to see what will happen between the two of them in the next book.
Omg the cliffhangers guys. Now the wait for the next book begins. Overall, this was an eerie, dark and mysterious book that I really enjoyed. yes I wish the characters were developed more and there was more world building but I really loved the writing. I would definitely recommend this book.
Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.