Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco is a story about curses, childhood stories, and demons. In Kingdom of the Wicked, we follow Emilia as she tries to avenge her twin’s death.
“Grief carved me in half. And fury honed the pieces into a weapon. Now it was time to unleash it.”
Emilia and Vittoria are twin witches who also work in their families restaurant, following their Nonna’s instructions every full moon. They’ve each worn the same pendant all of their lives, two pieces of a whole. Vittoria is the wilder of the two, doing as she pleases with whom she pleases. On the other hand, Emilia follows instructions and works dutifully as she is told to. They are opposite but the same, in some of the best ways.
“There are victors and victims. Decide who you want to be. Or the choice will be made for you, witch. And I doubt you’ll like it.”
Then, suddenly, Emilia finds Vittoria in the cathedral with her heart ripped out and a demon standing over her. After this, everything changes. In an attempt to find out what happened to Vittoria, Emilia follows a summoning spell that her sister once did. However, she didn’t translate Latin well and found herself face to face with one of the Princes of Hell – Wrath, himself.
Thank you to Netgalley and Jimmy Patterson for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was an emotional rollercoaster that I struggled to put down. Emilia’s anger was palatable and realistic. The way she grieved for her sister, in waves and different emotions, felt tangible. Unsurprisingly, I found the Princes of Hell incredibly loveable. I am not a romance reader, by any means, but the relationship between Wrath and Emilia genuinely made me excited. I think I would have liked more information on the lore, rather than the instant explanation from the grandmother close to the end.
I’ve genuinely never read a fantasy that is placed in Italy, nor using Italian culture. I thought this was really interesting and made the story all the more exciting and enveloping.
There are witty one-liners and vicious demons, and there’s not much more I could ask for in a book like this. The only reason this was not a total 5 star read was that the ending felt a little lackluster. I know it is a series, but regardless, I still have too many unanswered questions for my liking. I think there’s a balance to be had when it comes to that.