Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Two sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself . . .

A new series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author ofStalking Jack the Ripper.

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 . . .

I believe I’m powerful, therefore I am.”

*throws arms in the air and squeals*

AHHHH SO GOOD SO GOOD! This did not disappoint. Great pacing, great romance, great introductory world building and so on, it was just perfection!

Kingdom of the Wicked is a good introductory-first-in-series novel that lets you get to know the characters concerned, establishes the world building and magic system, the backstories and legends, all alongside the initial plot that drops the breadcrumbs for the next instalment.

I thoroughly loved what Maniscalco has done with the seven deadly sins. They’ve had life and character breathed into them in an entertaining way that is so readable and left me with a deep urge to talk about the book with everyone and anyone. It’s so full of potential. And Emilia, the story’s protagonist, is likeable and easy to empathise with as she deals with the grief of her sister’s death and the plot developments.

I found the momentum of the story really good. My attention never wavered from all the excitement, and most chapters finished off with baiting sentences that made it extremely difficult to put the book down. Similarly, the ending of the book left me with a dreadful yearning for the sequel that won’t be appeased until I have it!

”If my enemies wanted to create doubt in me, I’d believe in my own abilities even more. Even if I had to fake it until it felt real.”

And oooooh the romance. It’s in its early stages but my sinners it was sizzlingly good. Maniscalco has wrote a dynamic between Emilia and Wrath that’s great chemistry and irresistible to root for. Their relationship is full of potential promise and excitement that I’m 1-trillion-percent already invested in heart and soul.

My only quibble with the entire book is I thought the mystery element was very obvious. For me, Maniscalco has the challenge of making the outcome of her mysteries not predictable, as I had this experience with Stalking Jack the Ripper series as well. But quite frankly, it didn’t really detract from the enjoyment of the story other than I wasn’t surprised by the end.

I’m excited yet equally terrified about where this story may go. Some would say that’s a good sign of a good book. I’m already planning on rereading this gem because it was so enjoyable. Definitely recommend it!

Thank you kindly to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Buy It Now

Kingdom of the Wicked (1st in series) by Kerri Maniscalco
Published October 2020
Genre: fantasy, young adult fantasy


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