Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

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…”

REVIEW:

I picked up Kingdom of the Wicked after seeing it all over Bookstagram. I was definitely sucked in by the premise and very excited to read. I’m honestly still not quite sure where I land on Kingdom of the Wicked. There were a lot of things I really loved about this book, but it still had its problems.

Emilia is a great female lead and really comes into her own over the course of this book. This is a revenge story, and it was great to read a complicated female lead. Emilia is driven to find out who murdered her sister and will do anything she has to solve this mystery. Her and Wrath’s chemistry is there from the very beginning. Their banter and bickering is amazing and creates such an interesting dynamic. It becomes obvious that they both develop a soft spot for each other, which will be exciting to see handled as the series continues.

The world-building involving the witches and demons was very exciting and well done. However, the world-building of 19th century Italy was really lacking. I felt like the author would throw in an Italian word just to remind the reader. It also took me a while to get into this book. I actually enjoyed the setup, but then once Emilia summoned Wrath I felt like the pacing fell apart. It did pick back up once a little further, but ultimately overall felt like a setup for what is to come.

Overall, I do think Kingdom of the Wicked stands out from other YA fantasy series. I’m excited to see where the series goes and I do think it has a lot of potential.

RATING: 3.5/5

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