Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco – REVIEW
Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria 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 discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hodderscape.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“Grief carved me in half. And fury honed the pieces into a weapon. Now it was time to unleash it.”
KINGDOM OF THE WICKED by Kerri Maniscalco had everything I love – witches, demons, romance, enemies-to-lovers, and the underworld. Whilst I enjoyed SJTR, this book allowed the author so much more scope to develop her imagination. It was original and engaging with a well-plotted mystery that kept the reader invested. The ending was epic and I am so excited for the sequel.
“There are seven demon princes, but only four di Carlos should fear: Wrath, Greed, Envy and Pride. One will crave your blood. One will capture your heart. One will steal your soul. And one will take your life.”
Emilia and Vittoria are eighteen-year-old twins and strega. After Vittoria is murdered, Emilia vows revenge and turns to the dark arts, summoning a prince of Hell. The immediate chemistry and bickering between Emilia and Wrath was exactly what I wanted and I always love the trope of enemies to lovers. I’m also a fan of any books featuring sibling relationships and this one explores the grief of Emilia in a wonderful way.
“Fear made monsters of men.”
The evocative Italian setting was richly-detailed and added a luxuriousness to the story. Food plays an important role and is a recurring motif in the story, emphasising the importance of family. Despite loving Palermo, I’m excited to read more about the underworld and discover the secrets of the Kingdom of the Wicked, especially after seeing the amazing map at the beginning of the book.
“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.”
There’s so much more to this book than I have space to describe – shapeshifters, an ancient and powerful grimoire, a curse, vampires, betrayal, a prophecy and witch hunters. I could go on and on about how much I loved this book but suffice it to say it was one of my favourites of 2020 and I’d highly recommend it to all YA fantasy fans.