Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Title: Kingdom of the Wicked
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked #1
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Hardback, 448 pages
Goodreads / Amazon / Waterstones


Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria 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 discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…


POV: 1st person, Emilia’s only

Summary in Emojis: 🧙😈🔮💬🗡️

‣ Trigger and Content Warnings: violence, gore, blood depiction, self-harm to get blood for spells, loss of a loved one, murder, death and a brief mention of unwanted touching

My Thoughts

I actually didn’t want my first review to be of this book because my feelings towards it which are just…ambivalent really. It was okay, but I wanted so badly to love it that I just ended up disappointed.

The actual plot is brilliant, I was sucked in right from the beginning with the prologue which was very atmospheric and chilling. I also really appreciated the way grief was portrayed, it was always very believable and heartfelt. Emilia’s drive to avenge her sister and uncover her murderer was poignant and very sad. Even with what little time we got to spend with Vittoria you never questioned their sisterly bond, how close they were with one another. In fact, their sisterly love was one of my favourite aspects on the book.

My problem came whenever Emilia tried to get answers for her sister’s death, everything just seemed too easy. There were too many contrivances, too many coincidences that led to Emilia getting the answers she needed that had me genuinely rolling my eyes at certain points. It’s mentioned a lot that Wrath is keeping her in the dark but whenever she asks him a question he just spills everything! All the deep secrets about demons and Hell, he just blithely informs her of all of it. I know this was to lay world building, and to help inform about the hierarchies and other Demons, but surely there could have been another way to do it?

On the other hand to Wrath you have the grandmother who was utterly infuriating at the fact that she would not tell Emilia anything. She kept her granddaughters in the dark all their lives, just telling them to beware but never giving any substance to it-of course they were going to treat it as just grandmother being a bit eccentric!

I did love the fact that Emilia was a witch with powers of her own–but I also didn’t really understand how exactly they worked? I’m hoping the second book is going to expound on that a bit more.

Now, for the part I really enjoyed–the romance. If you’re a fan of the old-style paranormal romance in YA you are going to find a lot to love here. Wrath is absolutely delicious, all dark and broody and Emilia is just spunky enough to keep him on his toes.

The plot moves at a fast pace, and it is an extremely easy, quick read. You’ll find yourself bingeing it and finishing it all at once without even realising.

With the cliff-hanger you get I’m almost guaranteed to get the second book–I just hope I can love it like I wanted to with this one.

Happy Reading,

Lea xx


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