REVIEW: ‘Kingdom of the Wicked’ by Kerri Maniscalco is a spellbinding love story


Kerri Maniscalco takes readers on a dark, spooky adventure full of vengeance in her new series.

There is no stronger bond than the one shared between twin witches, Emilia and Vittoria. After finding her sister’s dead body, Emilia will stop at nothing to find her murderer.

From the Blurb:

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… 

Emilia and Vittoria have grown up in a loving home that taught them how to be good, safe witches. Their grandmother told them enough scary stories about Hell and all of the Wicked demons that live there. The twins were taught that dark magic had no place in the mortal world and they were forbidden to ever use it. And they never did — at least, Emilia didn’t.

When I say that this book is a love story, I’m not talking about the delicious romance but instead, I’m referring to the love shared between Emilia and Vittoria. The two girls couldn’t be more different. Emilia is the quiet twin who loves to read whereas Vittoria would rather be living out exciting adventures instead of only reading about them. Even with their differences, their love for one another was clear to see. They have protected one another their entire lives.

Being the first book of this series there is a lot of information shared quickly. When Vittoria is found dead, the story begins to shift into something darker and readers have to hang on tight as Emilia herself begins to explore all of the Wicked demons that reside in Hell. It feels like a lot is thrown at the reader, but Kerri Maniscalco does such a fantastic job of explaining everything perfectly.

Emilia’s world has flipped upside down. She is left questioning everything she once believed. Is dark magic really so bad to use? Her vengeance leads her on a dark path and straight to one of the Princes of Hell, Wrath.

Wrath is the opposite of everything Emilia was told about the Princes of Hell. He almost feels trustworthy as he continues to save her and aide her in her quest to find her sister’s murderer. Wrath expresses emotions she never knew Princes of Hell could feel. But is it just a trap?

I can not express in enough words how much I love Wrath. I think I enjoyed not knowing if I could trust him throughout the book just as Emilia does. And the romance is the icing on the cake of this series. I knew Kerri Maniscalco could write intoxicating romances, but this one is perfection.

Personally, I don’t read many spooky stories but I’m so glad I decided to read Kingdom of the Wicked. Kerri Maniscalco is exceptional at building dark, interesting worlds with flawed characters that readers still want to root for. For the beginning of a new series, she easily explained the workings behind Emilia’s magic and a bit of the workings inside of Hell. It was just so fun to read!

There is a lot that happens in the final act of the book and many twists. We see how Emilia’s grief shapes her into a completely different character. Although she’s a witch with unbelievable powers, the way she chooses to mourn her sister felt relatable and it was easy for me to love her.

Overall, Kingdom of the Wicked was fantastic. There’s magic, action, delicious food, and a gripping romance. Everything I love in a good story! If you’re a fan of fantasy stories then this new series from Kerri Maniscalco is definitely for you.

A spooky and dark story.

"And she is the reader who browses the shelf and looks for new worlds but finds herself." - I'm a writer who enjoys telling you all about the things I love, which includes a lot of books!

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