I read Kingdom of the Wicked at the beginning of October (I was luck enough to get an e-arc from the publisher on Netgalley) and I could’ve sworn I had already written a review. When I wrote my October wrap up, I realized that wasn’t the case. So today it’s time to review this new book by Kerri Maniscalco. What did I think? Keep on reading to find out!
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…
I have to start off by saying that the cover of the book is stunning (and just a little creepy, haha). I’ve read all except the last book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I enjoy this author’s writing. That was once again the case when I started Kingdom of the Wicked. I love that about books, because it’s so easy to fly through them.
When I read the prologue, I was all for the setting in Italy. I haven’t read many books set there, so that was quite a pleasant surprise. I love reading stories about magic, witches and danger and that’s what it seemed to promise. The first chapter is ten years after the prologue and if I’m honest it started a bit slow. Once Vittoria’s twin dies, things start going pretty fast. She’s out to find revenge and that makes perfect sense.
I thought Vittoria was an interesting character (even if she is a bit naive). Vittoria is clearly grieving the loss of her sister and I thought it was a good choice that the author spent some time with that. It’s not something that just disappears and I’m glad it stayed part of this book. Our main character loves making food in the family’s restaurant and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hungry while reading this one. The dishes they talk about sound amazing.
That being said this book didn’t meet all of my expectations. The story is a bit slow and I would’ve loved a bit more time learning about the family and their magic. Also, the gates of Hell are slowly opening and we start meeting the Wicked-princes it all went really fast. It felt too easy at times. I really would’ve liked more time with that and also even more of Wrath. We get time with Wrath, but I still feel it stayed a bit too much on the surface.
At times Kingdom of the Wicked was also a bit predictable (I actually ended up guessing quite a few twists) and while I enjoyed the banter between Vittoria and Wrath, I also needed more. It just really felt like we were flying through everything at times, especially near the end. Even though I do have my notes, I did enjoy this one. It was an easy read and the ending did leave me wanting more. I love the atmosphere this author creates in the settings she chooses. I felt like I was right there with our characters at times.
Even though Kingdom of the Wicked didn’t meet all of my expectations, I’m still interested in seeing how the rest of this series will play out. Have you read Kingdom of the Wicked? If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts.