Kingdom of the Wicked
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Check it Out: Goodreads
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 at is seems…
This was one of my anticipated reads of last year and I was excited to get my hands on something new from this author. I don’t know if I hyped it up too much or because I expected to love it as much as I did the SJTR series, but I was let down by this.
I have to admit that Maniscalco’s writing always traps me in whatever setting that she writes. She mastered this gothic magical town and it was easy to picture yourself there. From the description of the food at Sea & Vine and the ingredients in Vittoria’s perfumes, everything was vividly described.
Moving on into what I wasn’t crazy about here. There are three things that made this book two stars for me. Emilia, the supposed romance between Emilia and Wrath, and the length of the book.
This whole plot is surrounding Emilia trying to figure out who murdered her sister. Emilia as a main character was exhausting. She acted rash and was sometimes immature.
“What will you promise me, Emilia, in exchange for your deepest desire? What wouldn’t you do to achieve justice for the sister you love? Now I know there’s no price too high to demand. I can ask anything, and you’d give it.”
She showed her hand every time and if it was the wrong decision, then she made it. She wanted everything to be black and white, but things were so much more complex. She’d rather believe one enemy over one that showed her semi loyalty and was blinded so much about her sister’s death that it was like she couldn’t think clearly.
Which brings me to my next issue, Did anything really happen? This book was almost 500 pages and nothing really happened here. This honestly could have been cut down because we spent most of this book running around getting the bare minimum amount of information. The key information that we found it, I called it chapters before we even got there.
Where was the romance? I’ve seen so many people talk about Wrath and Emilia being good together and about Wrath being this hot love interest. I didn’t see that here. He remembered stuff about her and did a few things for her? Okay … but, that was it. There wasn’t any chemistry between them either. That one kiss we got? No sparks. I needed more between them to call it a romance. Maniscalco commented on Kingdom of the Cursed that this would be:
*more New Adult than Young Adult. (This definitely leaps from the slow burn romance of book one to full on spice, please do be aware of that.)
To be honest, that’s the only reason why I’m even thinking about reading the next book.
All in all, I’m disappointed and I was expecting so much more.