Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Book review of Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco.

Premise

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…

My review – spoiler free

This was my first ever time reading a Kerri Maniscalco book and I was not disappointed at all! I ended up giving it a 4.25 stars, and here is my review.

You almost immediately fall in love with the magic system in Kingdom of the Wicked. It’s not the type where they have a wand and can just do basically anything without any consequences. No, in order to do a spell, a witch has to gather certain objects or things, and doing a hard spell can have consequences, just like doing a ‘forbidden’ spell. It was very refreshing to read that type of magic, it just feels more realistic in a way.

The whole demon realm/world is also super intriguing. We don’t get to know a lot about it in this book, but I’m certain we’ll learn a lot more in the next one. The demons’ magic also worked a bit in the same way as the witches’ magic, so it also had consequences and they also needed certain things in order to do magic. And that was once again nice to see, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ had the same restrictions.

The way this book is written, however, leaves you with some conflicted feelings. On the one hand it was a very well written book, that reads quickly & easily, but still didn’t have an oversimplified writing style. The balance was just right. But on the other hand, I feel like the book could have used one more round of edits (I read an arc, so maybe it had), especially the action scenes. Often times in the midst of a ‘fighting’ or action scene it was described as ‘I did this, and then this, and then this happened, and then I saw this and that made me feel this.’ Which reads a bit amateuristic, especially because you know Maniscalco can write proper action scenes, she proves it with half of the action scenes in this book.

Another ‘issue’ isthat you don’t really feel for the characters. This book deals with a lot of grief and emotional scenes. And even though the way Emilia feels about all of it is written so beautifully, with the exact pretty words, it doesn’t make you feel anything. Or at least, it didn’t make me feel anything. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why that is, but it is a pitty nontheless.

Going in to this book I was bit afraid, because it has the enemies to lovers trope. And if there is one trope I absolutely can’t stand, it’s that one. I even prefer love triangles over enemies to lovers. And just like almost every other enemies to lovers I read, I didn’t believe this one either. When the two enemies/lovers where in the middle of yet another fight, that read the same as any other fight they had, I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. Especially when then all of the sudden the main character had the urge to kiss the other character, where did that come from? Why do you want to kiss him? Why do you care so deeply about him all of the sudden? It came completely out of nowhere and thus was totally unbelievable.

The pacing of the book was just right throughout the entire thing. Except for the second to last chapter. That one was way too action pact. Too many things were happening in a short period of time, which made it all feel very rushed. Luckily the last chapter saved the day. That chapter was just pure perfection. I don’t think the ending will be for everyone, but I loved it. It didn’t have a cliffhanger, but was still quite an open ending. And now I can’t wait to read the sequel!

Whilst reading this book, I was reminded a lot of my reading expierence with Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, and that is one of my favourite books. So I definitely think that if you liked that one, you’ll also like this one!

Een gedachte over “Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco”

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