Saturday 28 November 2020

KINGDOM OF THE WICKED by Kerri Maniscalco


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 . . .

I've had my eye on this book for a while and as soon as I started reading, I was hooked.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are witches hiding what they really are from humans to avoid persecution. They're close and have been warned about the Wicked since they were little.

One twin loves to cook in her family's restaurant. The other loves to keep secrets. When Emilia finds her sister's mutilated body, she vows to get revenge on the killer. Even if it means teaming up with the demon Wrath, and everything that entails...

This book turned out to be well written, mysterious and contains some very intriguing worldbuiding. It also deals with the demonic, which happens to be one of my favourite subgenres.

The location and setting is lovely, lush and the descriptions so vivid I felt like I was transported to Italy. Every meal Emilia mentions is done in a way that is guaranteed to make the reader hungry. And the sense of strong family ties seem tight at first, but are soon revealed to be full of secrets that hurt the twins in the worst way possible.

I liked Emilia because she's stubborn and determined to find out what happened to her sister. I liked Wrath because he's mysterious and cheeky enough to entice any summoner. But I didn't like them together. Unfortunately, I didn't buy the romance between them, so I couldn't invest in their connection as a couple.

There are a lot of things I enjoyed about this book, but I also had some issues with the events leading to the end, and how Emilia conveniently stumbles into some of the more important answers.

Kingdom of the Wicked is an addictive story that captivated me from the start and most of the way through. This world of witches and demons is interesting and fully developed, but led to a disappointing conclusion.

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy! 

Kingdom of the Wicked, November 2020, ISBN 9781529350456, Hodder & Stoughton

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