KINGDOM OF THE WICKED
BY KERRI MANISCALCO
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…
Kingdom of the Wicked was such a sinfully good book full of demon princes, witch magic and a secret curse hidden away for centuries.
I loved Emilia immediately. She was okay fading into the background while her twin takes the spotlight. More content to read at home or experiment at the family restaurant. Vittoria’s death changes her though and we get to see this amazing development in her. She steps up determined to find her sister’s killer no matter the cost. While still a tad naive in the ways of the Wicked, Emilia is a fast learner. While she may have made some mistakes she was still an incredibly strong young woman. I admired her determination and how she approached situations.
The Princes of Hell were downright terrifying yet simultaneously swoony as hell. Pun intended. Each the personification of sin itself. I loved when a new one showed up on the scene. Wrath, Greed, Envy, Lust and finally Pride, the real devil. Yes they’re bad and you should avoid them but gosh dang it we love our bad boys. The bad boy that’s only good for you trope (if it’s not a thing it should be).
While Emilia said she wasn’t easily swayed by looks, lines did get a tad blurred with Wrath. The romance was so good that it was hard to remember that Wrath was an actual Prince of Hell. He was a bad guy that i kept forgetting was bad. The ending was quite a steamy yet rude awakening.
While I really loved this book there were a couple issues I had with it. The magic system was never really explained. Emilia seemed naive in the ways of Magic, sheltered almost, but then could pull a spell out of nowhere. We truly don’t know her experience level with magic, it’s not really explained. My other complaint was how rushed the ending felt. It actually jumped around a bit, to the point where I thought I’d missed a paragraph or even a page about a scene change. It didn’t seem to fit with how the rest of the book had been written. The pacing felt extremely off and made it a tad confusing.
The ending was brutal, leaving us with some big unanswered questions. It also ended up taking a turn that I somewhat expected but ended up discarding halfway through the book. I do still have some theories though about Wrath, Pride, the curse and how Emilia will fit into it all. A year seems so far though and I’m way too excited to explore the Kingdom of the Wicked.