Review: Kingdom of the Wicked (#1) by Kerri Maniscalco

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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…

This book was so different to Stalking Jack the Ripper, Kerri Maniscalco’s other book series. Although of course, she couldn’t resist making this series also focused on a murder! The setting of this book is completely different, as it is set in Italy around a monastery and a restaurant, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I adore books about food and as the main character Emilia works in her family’s restaurant, there is no lack of food discussions. I just find that when written well, they really draw me into the story and make the book feel very real and tangible, which I loved.

After Emilia’s sister was brutally murdered, she discovered her sister had been tampering with dark magic. I really loved the magic system, which felt unique and creative with the different witches and demons across this story. The relationship Emilia had with Wrath and the other demons was so enticing and enthralling to read about. Kerri Maniscalco knows how to write a dark and mysterious love interest!

Love is the most powerful magic.

Personally, I loved the mystery element almost as much as those in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I didn’t guess the killer, but I wasn’t shocked to find out who the killer was, if that makes sense. I don’t tend to try to guess the killer in books like this, but it definitely did feel a little more obvious than in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

However, I really enjoyed the plot in general and oh my gosh, that ending was so good! It left on such a cliffhanger and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. My only complaint about this book was I just felt quite a disconnect from the characters. I think this may come from going straight from Stalking Jack the Ripper to Kingdom of the Wicked but I just felt I struggled to relate or connect to Emilia and Wrath after loving Thomas and Audrey Rose so much.

Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.

Overall, I enjoyed this but it was the kind of book you read and think other people will enjoy it a little more than you did. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, it just wasn’t perfect for me!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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2 thoughts on “Review: Kingdom of the Wicked (#1) by Kerri Maniscalco

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