Kingdom of the Wicked is the first book in Maniscalco’s new fantasy series. The sequel, Kingdom of the Cursed, is scheduled to be released on October 26th of 2021.
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…
Wow, I’m suffering from a severe book hangover. This is the first book I’ve read by Maniscalco, and I must admit, I was completely obsessed with it by the end. The lore is captivating, the romance is enemies to lovers, and the ending… I’m not ready to talk about it yet. I’m still recovering, and the thought of having to wait nine months for the next one hurts my soul.
“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.”
Anyways, I have a love/hate relationship with Kingdom of the Wicked. It was pretty slow for the first 150 pages, but I didn’t want to DNF because the plot had a lot of potential.
The main protagonist, Emelia, discovers her twin brutally murdered and goes on a quest for vengeance with the help of Wrath, a prince of hell. I wish the author made us care more about Vittoria, her twin, before she died — and that we got to see Emelia grieve more deeply. I thought that was a little brushed over. Especially because when Emelia encounters one of the seven princes of Hell, Lust, I found the emotions she felt after dealing with his cruelty were more accurately depicted — and would have liked to see that in the beginning.
“He was death and rage and fire and anyone stupid enough to forget that would be consumed by his inferno.”
I gave the writing style a three out of five stars for a couple of reasons. Especially in the beginning, the author does a lot of “telling”, rather than showing the audience through dialogue or description. I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of first person (although, that would never stop me from reading a book) — and I spent a lot of time resenting the narration. It almost felt like it should have been written in third person. However, the writing style did improve as the book progressed, it just took a little bit to get there. As for the plot, I gave it four out of five because some scenarios didn’t seem realistic to me and I still have a lot of questions. It’s difficult to rate the plot of the first book of a series because I think it will be strengthened as the story continues, but as of right now, it’s earned a solid four stars.
Overall, I’m very happy I pushed through the slow parts of this book because I am eagerly awaiting the second!
“A good book was its own brand of magic, one I could safely indulge in without fear of getting caught by those who hunted. I loved escaping from reality, especially during times of trouble. Stories made everything possible.”— Emelia (Kerri Maniscalco)
About the Author:
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
As a child, her grandmother was chronically ill, and taught the importance of always being able to escape on an adventure between the pages of a book, regardless of any physical limitations.
Maniscalco credits her grandmother with fostering her imagination—a stream wasn’t just a stream, it was a babbling brook. And if she looked closely enough, her grandmother promised she might see fairies dancing around the ring of flowers in the backyard.
Her father, a retired chiropractor, had anatomy books and sculptures in his office, which introduced her to her interest in forensics when she was a teen. She was fascinated with his stories of college, where he studied cadavers as part of his degree. It would later spark the idea for her medical-minded heroine, Audrey Rose.
Her mother is another source of inspiration, showing, by example, the many definitions of a strong, capable woman.
Other Books by Kerri Maniscalco:
Stalking Jack the Ripper Collection
- Stalking Jack the Ripper (1)
- Hunting Prince Dracula (2)
- Escaping from Houdini (3)
- Capturing the Devil (4)
- Becoming the Dark Prince (Novella)