Review: KINGDOM OF THE WICKED by Kerri Maniscalco
Also by this author: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1), Hunting Prince Dracula
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked #1
Published by Jimmy Patterson on October 27, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I was a big fan of Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her latest novel, Kingdom of the Wicked, especially once I heard it was about witches and demons. I started reading it last week and let me tell you, it’s the perfect dark and twisted read for spooky season.
Kingdom of the Wicked follows Emilia a young witch who lives with her family, including her twin sister Vittoria, in Sicily. The witches in Sicily live in secret to avoid persecution, so it is quite shocking when witches start turning up dead, brutally murdered. Who’s responsible? Is it the new witch hunting group that has suddenly cropped up or is something supernatural afoot? When Emilia’s twin becomes a victim, Emilia, who was normally the more cautious of the two, throws all caution to the wind and vows revenge.
At its heart, I’d say Kingdom of the Wicked is a story of revenge. Emilia is willing to do absolutely anything to bring her sister’s killers to justice and is tunnel visioned on that quest, even when it quite literally takes her to Hell, or to the Princes of Hell, I should say. And it is when she magically binds herself to Wrath, one of the Princes of Hell, that everything changes…
The chemistry between Emilia and Wrath is off the charts. They both really knew how to push each other’s buttons and I couldn’t get enough of their banter and bickering. Wrath is dark, dangerous, and sexy, and it becomes clear as the story progresses that he develops feelings for Emilia that go beyond just the magic of the bond. He has a soft spot for her, whether he likes it or not. Emilia finds herself experiencing similar feelings. Neither should trust the other but can they fight the intoxicating lure of their attraction? I was a huge fan of Charmed way back when and these two seriously gave me Phoebe and Cole vibes!
Aside from the amazing chemistry between Emilia and Wrath, and the compelling mystery as to who has been killing witches, I also fell in love with the worldbuilding, especially 19th century Sicily. I’m a sucker for a story set in Italy, particularly if there’s food involved, and Emilia’s family owns a restaurant. Emilia loves to cook so the story is filled with vivid descriptions of delicious Italian recipes. I also loved how atmospheric the story was. It’s dark and eerie every time someone goes out because of the tension of knowing there’s a killer among them. I also thought Maniscalco did a brilliant job with the witchy folklore. I absolutely loved the details of Emilia’s family history and how they ultimately became tied to the devil himself. And speak of the devil, her descriptions of the Princes of Hell are truly brilliant. This is one of those books where, as I was reading, I could easily imagine it as a film.
I don’t want to give anything away regarding Emilia’s quest for revenge and how her entanglement with Wrath factors in, but I will say some unexpected twists and turns at the end have me very eager to get my hands on the next book.
If dark and twisty reads filled with witches and demons are your things, you’ll want to visit the Kingdom of the Wicked. You won’t be disappointed!
Ooh this sounds so good. I love your Charmed comparison, I was a big fan too!
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…THE REMAKING by Clay McLeod Chapman – Review
Now I really need that one Suzanne!
Sophie recently posted…Breathless by Jennifer Niven . Review
You’re right, this does sound perfect for the season! I love the setting, so dramatic!
That sounds like a fantastic read!
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Oh hello, this sounds delicious- the banter and bickering and chemistry sound like just the perfect escape!!
What an awesome start to the series! I actually haven’t read many books that have witches so that aspect is pretty intriguing to me. And I definitely want to meet Wrath. 🙂
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #228 | November 1, 2020
Ooh you sold me on the Phoebe and Cole vibes! This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, so I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it.
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I like how this seems to be a complete personality shift for Emilia! I can’t wait to read this!