“Kingdom of the Wicked” by Kerri Maniscalco
Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
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…
Ultimately, this ended up being a it’s-not-you-it’s-me situation. I didn’t hate the story but I also didn’t love it either.
Recommended for fans of witchy reads, delicious food descriptions, and dark atmospheres.
Maniscalco manages to build this world that you effortlessly slip into. The food (seriously loved the descriptions of food), the atmosphere (beautiful blend of historical and occult), and familial love are rich and jump right off of the page.
The world building was fascinating. You get to see the witch/magical side of this world and the demon side as well.
The romance is perfect for those who enjoy morally grey characters and the enemies to not-quite-lovers trope. I was so looking forward to the banter I grew to love in the SJTR series. It didn’t come through for me but that might because we are still only in book 1 in a series.
The bottom line? Not for me but perfect for readers who love witchy reads.