Release Day Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco – Witches and Demons and Magic, Oh My!

It has been far too long since a book has gripped me as much as Kingdom of the Wicked has. Without further ado, let’s chat about this devilishly amazing book full of mystery, darkness, and beauty!

Also, happy release day to Kingdom of the Wicked!!! I read this earlier this month but held off on posting my review until today!


About the Book

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Title: Kingdom of the Wicked

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Presents

POV: 1st Person

Genre: YA Historical Dark Fantasy

Release Date: 10/27/2020

Page Count: 448 pages

Synopsis: Two sisters.

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…


Pros

  • Absolutely stunning cover!
  • Full of very vivid and lush descriptions
  • Witches and Demons and Devils, oh my! (I really loved Wrath and his brothers)
  • Fun mystery plot!
  • Set in Italy
  • Enemies to Lovers Trope (One of my favorites!)

Cons

  • The ending was quite rushed, with no falling action at all.
  • Some parts were confusing (like the rushed ending)
  • Loose ends not wrapped up (this is book 1 of a series, so not the worst thing ever, but we have to wait at least another year for book 2.)
  • I wish that the magic system were fleshed out a bit more
  • Not enough romance for me

Kingdom of the Wicked is the first book by Kerri Maniscalco that I’ve read, and I’m currently kicking myself for not discovering her beautiful work sooner. Her prose is stunning, loaded with vivid descriptions and imagery that make it so easy for the story to come to life in the reader’s mind. Her descriptions of delicious foods and gorgeous clothing were amazing. I can’t wait to see artist depictions of the characters in this book. Luckily, they’ll have a lot of source material to base their creations on! (I am 100% hoping that Faecrate eventually makes Emilia and Wrath plushies – and maybe the other princes of Hell as well.)

This book is perfect for the month of October. I’m very lucky that I got to read the ARC early, but it will officially release in bookstores in late October, just in time for a perfect Halloween read, especially considering that a lot of people will be staying home for the spooky holiday this year. I personally didn’t find it to be gory, but people who are a bit more squeamish than me might find a few scenes to be difficult to read.

For a book touted as having “an intoxicating romance” it really wasn’t there for me. There’s attraction, banter, and clearly some sort of connection between Wrath and Emilia, but we don’t really get much romance, which was disappointing. I wasn’t expecting anything too steamy, but we barely got anything! Hopefully the next books will explore this potential relationship more.

My biggest complaint (and the reason why this book, as gripping and fantastic as it was, only gets 4.5 stars in my eyes) is the ending. I felt like it was way too rushed, and left me confused with all of the loose ends. I obviously won’t spoil things, but a lot of things were introduced and revealed in the final chapters of the book without being resolved. The book ends on a fairly abrupt cliffhanger ending. I wish that there had been more falling action so that I could process everything that went on. Even hours after finishing it, I’m still trying to process things.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this book, and I’m glad that I have a few special editions pre-ordered from various places! It’s definitely a new favorite, and I’m hoping to collect as much merch inspired by the series as I can. (I’ve already started making my own!) I’m hoping that a lot of my questions and confusion will be answered in the next book, or that my fellow readers will be able to clear things up for me once it releases later this month.

4.5 star read!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thanks for reading! Are you going to read Kingdom of the Wicked later this month? Let me know in the comments below!


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2 thoughts on “Release Day Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco – Witches and Demons and Magic, Oh My!

Add yours

  1. I am beyond excited to get to this one!! I just read the Stalking Jack the Ripper books earlier this month and have fallen in love w/ Kerri Maniscalco, I hope this is just as intoxicating as those are!! So happy that you loved it ♥

    Like

  2. Great review!

    I adored this book but you are so right: the ending was abrupt and the romance was more so a foundation to what will hopefully be expanded upon in the next book. Despite the lack of steam, I still loved their banter and just all of their interactions d:

    Like

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