Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

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…

This book was a middle of the road read for me, which I’ll be honest was slightly disappointing as there has been so much love and hype for it on social media.

There were bits of it that I really, really loved. The legends of the Wicked Princes and the side stories of witches who had lost their minds to dark magic were interesting and kept me reading.

However I didn’t love Emilia and any story struggles when you don’t engage with its main character well. I found her endlessly frustrating with her refusal to work with others even when they had proven themselves to her, her stubbornness often put her in situations that could have been avoided and that was just annoying rather than anything else.

The magic system was a little hit and miss at times. Some times people used their magic and at other times they didn’t for some inexplicable reason, which only added to the feeling of the system itself not quite being fully considered.

There was enough to the story and the plot that I liked to keep me reading until the end of the book but while I can see how others could love it, it wasn’t a book I’ll be shouting about.

With thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an e-arc in exchange for honest review.

Kingdom of the Wicked is available now.

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