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ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  FANTASY,  FICTION,  HISTORICAL FICTION,  NETGALLEY,  YA

BOOK REVIEW : KINGDOM OF THE WICKED (KINGDOM OF THE WICKED #1) BY KERRI MANISCALCO

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TITLE : Kingdom Of The Wicked (Kingdom Of The Wicked #1)

AUTHOR : Kerri Maniscalco

GENRE : YA, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal

FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐( 4 Stars)

DATE OF PUBLISHING :  October 22nd 2020

BOOK TRAILER

Trailer From Kerri Maniscalco’s website

FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Kingdom Of The Wicked is the first book in the series by the same name. I have never read a Kerri Maniscalco book before and have only heard fantastic things about the Stalking Jack The Ripper Series. That series has been on my TBR for some time now, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get around to it sometime soon. When I requested this ARC, I had no idea I’ll get approved. I did shriek a little bit in excitement when I got accepted. So you see, I am pumped for this series big time. The cover is gorgeous and gives me the perfect October vibes, and on top of that, the synopsis just hooked me. To say I am intrigued would be an understatement.

Emilia and Vittoria are twins who come from a family of witches who live in Sicily. They have been living in secret among humans for fear of persecution. Their grandmother has taught them all the witchy ways. They grew up with the stories of Seven Princes Of Hell and to stay away from black magic. But, Vittoria and Emilia were intrigued despite all the dire warnings. Emilia goes in search of her feisty twin, who was missing for the family dinner at their restaurant. Vittoria was found murdered, with her heart ripped out, blood pooling around her, in the catacombs under the monastery, in a suspicious display of black magic. She discovers a man in the room whom she believes to be the killer. Filled with grief, Emilia vows to exact revenge on the killer who took her sister’s life and desecrated her body. Emilia finds out secrets kept by her twin and realizes that things are different than they seem to be. She meets one of the Princes from Hell, and the two of them should set aside their differences to figure out the killer.

I loved the setting of the book and how the Sicilian culture of food was a big part of the story. I craved Italian food after reading the book. Also, the references to the different foods made me want to visit Italy so badly. The writing was good, and I loved the simplicity of it while also being very engaging and entertaining. The pacing was equally perfect, with the story hooking us from the beginning till the end. There was so much happening, and I loved all of it. I was intrigued by the fascinating history that unfolded as the story moved along, and the atmospheric setting set the tone right for the series. This is a perfect read for October, with the right amount of spookiness and witchiness to keep you engaged.

The characters were intriguing. I found Emilia to evolve during the time of the search for the killer. She becomes bolder and more assertive as the story progresses. I loved how she was a bookish, nerdy introvert. She chose to be living and experiencing her life through books than engage with life actively. I could relate to that. But now, being taken out of her comfort zone, she has to do things that she never did before. How she always chose to live her life was safe, now it’s filled with risks and danger chasing her.

Prince Wrath happens to be the quintessential broody hero on the outside. He has a lot of secrets that he guards very close to his heart. I am intrigued by his past and his story. I wished we got more of him in the book. He isn’t fully unveiled to us, and that was a bit of a disappointment for me. I know it’s the first book, and we are purposefully left with his mysterious past and all of that. But I wanted to know more about him and his demons because there happens to be quite a few in his life. I loved Wrath & Emilia’s banter and chemistry, and I also wish we had more time with the two of them. I just wanted more of their interactions, and that’s when I know I am hooked to the story.

The world and magic were fun to explore. I love how the author took a hated and feared character and flipped it on its head. The villains get to say their story, and it was fascinating to see it unfold. The history of the rift between the witches and the devil is also slowly revealed. I liked how the author crafted an imaginative and entertaining story with death, mystery, and secrets taking center stage.

Overall, I had a fun time reading and exploring the Kingdom Of The Wicked. It was a strong start to a new series. I find it promising and can’t wait for what will happen in the next book. I hope we get the second book soon because I am bursting at the seams with curiosity and excitement. I gave the book 4 stars. My only complaint is I wanted more, and the book just ended before I was ready for it. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in romantic fantasies with dark characters, witches, and mystery, you should check this out. It’s fun, entertaining, and captivating. It’s also easily readable and will be excellent for readers who love romances, with hate-love trope and likes lighter fantasies.

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 at is seems… 

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