REVIEW | Kingdom of the Wicked | Kerri Maniscalco | Kingdom of the Wicked #1

Young women died. Life resumed. Such was the way of the world, at least according to men.

This was my first Kerri Maniscalco books, and I’m very grateful to @HodderBooks for sending me the eARC. I couldn’t put it down for a second. With vengeful witches, a wrathful demon and mystery that kept me turning pages, I can’t wait for book 2.

Rating: 4 stars!

Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the review copy of this book, it has not affected my honest opinions.

Trigger Warnings: loss, grief, death of a sibling, magic used to manipulate thoughts and actions, mutilation, violence, gore

About the book:

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…

What did I think?

I wasn’t expecting to love this book as fiercely as I did. It’s been a couple of weeks since I read it and I’m still thinking about this one. Kingdom of the Wicked hit me in a lot of weak spots I didn’t know I had. It’s no big secret that I love stories about witches, especially living secretly amongst non-magical people, and Kingdom of the Wicked delivered on realistic feeling magic. I liked the way that casting spells and charms was handled, and I think the realistic aspects were tied with the fantasy aspects really well. Once I’d gotten into Kingdom of the Wicked I honestly couldn’t put it down. It’s in the summary that Vittoria, our protagonist Emilia’s twin sister, is murdered, but still I felt an absolute gut punch when it happened early on. Kerri Maniscalco’s writing is really vivid and beautiful and I loved it, even when it wounded me. The way that Emilia’s grief is written felt raw and real and it made me feel as urgent and desperate for a conclusion as Emilia did.

The princes of Hell, Wrath in particular, was predictably loveable. One day I’ll stop being obsessed with monstrous men but it’s not this day. The princes were all pretty interesting actually, I liked the way that their powers were manifested to match their deadly sins and considering I knew Wrath was going to be the typical hot-demon type, I was still totally bowled over by him. The relationship between Emilia and Wrath made me laugh out loud at multiple points, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series so I can see more from these characters I’ve grown to adore. I didn’t realise that this wasn’t a standalone until most of the way through the book, and I can’t wait to reread it when I get a hardback. And then probably reread it a couple more times before I get ahold of the next one.

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Release date: 27th October 2020

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