I finished another NetGalley arc, I am on a roll! This time I finished Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco, who we all know from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.
I must admit that sometimes when an author I 100% associate with one specific series, I am a little wary when they write something entirely different. In Stalking Jack the Ripper, the emphasis lay very heavily on history and mystery. Kingdom of the Wicked is way more fantasy. Both deal with gruesome murders though. Anyway, I can tell you now that I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait for it to come out, because the finished copies look so gorgeous!
P.S: My posts look best when viewed in landscape mode on your phone!
Kingdom of the Wicked
By Kerri ManiscalcoPublished 27 October 2020 by Jimmy Patterson
fantasy | witches | young adult
My rating: ★★★★☆
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…
What I Liked
I loved the setting. I’ve never read a book that was set in Sicily (or Italy, for that matter), and I loved reading about warmth while I was shivering away in my room. Plus, the food descriptions made me insanely hungry every time. Italian food is probably my favorite, because I can’t think of any Italian dish that I don’t like.
Anyway, enough about food. I enjoyed the pacing of this book, I would describe it as medium to fast-paced, so if you’re looking for a book that will immediately pull you in, this is likely it. I read this book quite quickly, and if it wasn’t for university work I had to do, I likely would’ve read it in one sitting. The main character’s family was intact for once. Murder aside, obviously. But it’s refreshing that a character has parents and that they are normal and loving.
Speaking of characters, I really enjoyed all of them. Emilia’s character arc is subtle, but it’s definitely there. It’s one of those arcs where you don’t realize they’ve changed until you’ve finished the book and you compare them to the beginning of the story. Emilia is sensible, but fierce. I’m glad that this wasn’t one of those stories where the main character immediately dives into a string of bad decisions. Emilia at least has braincells.
Then there are the demon princes. Wrath is the prince that is most important to the story, and I really liked his character. In the sense that I thought he was well written. You never quite know what his motivations are, and he never reveals his intentions, either. I wouldn’t exactly describe him as likable, though. The other princes we encounter are just creepy.
This is definitely the type of story that keeps you on your toes. You’re sent down different paths each time you think you’re close to solving the murder. And the princes make you just a little paranoid that you can’t trust anyone.
What I Liked Less
There is only one thing I liked less about this book. I kind of missed the romance part. In the blurb it’s described as intoxicating, but honestly it didn’t feel that way for me. It didn’t feel like there was much romance at all. I can see that there is definitely room for it in the sequel, but in this book it didn’t feel like any of the parties had any real feelings for each other. I’ll have to see where it goes in the next book.