Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco


by Kerri Maniscalco
JIMMY Patterson
Young Adult Fantasy
448 pages

OCTOBER 27th!!!

From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series…

Two sisters.

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…


Mystery combines with witches, demons, and curses to form a tale, which is darkly beautiful and sinfully dangerous.

Although they help their family run a restaurant in Sicily, Emilia and her twin sister aren't humans. They are witches, born in a special bloodline and constantly hiding from those who would do them harm. Their strongest charms are the pair of necklaces around their necks. They never remove them or allow them to touch because their Nonna claims that doing so would bring Hell to Earth. Not that they completely believe Nonna's tales. But when Emilia finds the body of her sister sacrificed with the heart ripped out of her and a man licking her blood, Emilia is determined not to let the murder go despite the warnings of approaching evil and eternal fires. But even Nonna and the others aren't aware of the true scope of terror about to be released.

From the very first page, this book grabs and refuses to let go. Emilia and her sister are a wonderful pair—love each other fiercely but yet have their own personalities and secrets. And their Nonna is simply a treat. When this group appears in the delicious setting of red wine, oranges, tomatoes, fresh bread and spices, it's hard not to want to get lost in their world. The author paints a rich culture and family scene before allowing the darker contrast to settle in. And then, the hook is so deep, that it was impossible to put this one down.

This is a world of magic and secrets...of monks chanting while dangerous creatures lurk in the shadows, promising to fulfil every heart's desires but with terrible costs. Lies weave with half-truths and trust is a commodity which no one can afford. And it was simply fun to join Emilia as she heads so determined from one cursed situation to the next, but not encountering anything with simplicity or direct results. The evil is twisted and cunning and has a long term goal. It creates a tight weave and made it hard to guess what would happen next. Even when the book ends, it's unclear if it's for good or worse. 

I also found it intriguing that the seven demon princes (the ones in this book are all super hot and amazing, of course) each carry simple names like Lust, Wrath, Greed and such. The author allows the temptations to flow free, and it's understandable why they have an allure, and yet, it's clear that each one is deadly and has their own scheme in place. It's simply a wonderful mix, which shows how hard it is to resist sins. 

My only complaint is that book two won't be out until next year because I would have snatched it up already and been lost in the next stage of this adventure. In other words, I enjoyed this one.

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