Title: Kingdom of the Wicked
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy Romance
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…
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kingdom of the Wicked as it is very different from Kerri Maniscalco’s first series, Stalking Jack the Ripper. But I really enjoyed Kingdom of the Wicked like I hoped that I would, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.
The characters of Kingdom of the Wicked are definitely the stand-out element of the book and are what made me fall in love with the story. I loved Emilia as the main character and how she went about the decisions that she made. I also adored the love that she had for her twin sister Vittoria and how that love shaped her into the character that she becomes throughout the book. When it comes to Wrath, I didn’t like him initially, but the more I read, the more I grew to like him. I can’t wait to see how his character is going to progress throughout the sequel.
When it comes to the plot I didn’t find it was as strong as I expected it to be. It felt as if there were some moments where nothing was happening, which left it hard to keep picking the book up. It also felt as if there was a disconnect between the romance and the plot; it seemed as if we could only have one at a time rather than both occurring simultaneously.
Kerri Maniscalco’s wordbuilding within Kingdom of the Wicked was something that I really enjoyed. It made you feel like you were really in the city and can imagine what the sights and smells would be like. I would also recommend that you do not read Kingdom of the Wicked on an empty stomach; the descriptions of food are to die for and made me so hungry while I was reading.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel Kingdom of the Cursed, especially after the ending of Kingdom of the Wicked. I highly recommend picking up Kingdom of the Wicked if you love fantasy romance books that leave you wanting more.