Alright, so I have two books that I just ordered that have come in that are screaming at me to read them. One is the sequel to The Lost Queen and the other is The Rage of Dragons. Hopefully, if I read the two of them, I’ll be able to kick myself back into reading as a hobby again. Fingers crossed!
Anyway! Here is this book review!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Synopsis From The Book
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…
Fantasy | YA – A |Character Death, Attempted Murder, Depression, Mental Assault, Manipulation | Revenge, Change, Loss and Grief, Falling to/for Evil
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
I’ve been waiting to read this book for a while and then it was picked for book club and my motivation all dropped away. IDK I just haven’t wanted to read. However I know that I will like this book when I read it. Honestly I’m tired of my rut and want to start reading regularly again.
Anyway! I’m going to try to build myself up as I read this. I hope that it goes well.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
That was a dark and fun swoon worthy book. It is like some of the other dark romance novels that I’ve read and I love it. I really do think that if I had to pick a genre of YA that is a big yes for me, it would probably be this genre. The one that fits this, Sorcery of Thorns, The Beautiful, Cruel Prince, and The Shadows Between Us. Not only do I have fun with them, but I really like the characters in them. Yeah, so I had a lot of fun with this. Despite a head ache and the dread that rose from deep within (that is causing my book rut rn) this was a load of fun.
The novel begins with Emilia and her sister Vittoria saying a spell under the guidance of their grandmother. The two girls hold the horn shaped amulets that they’ve been told to always wear, and speak the spell carefully. They are told never to let the two amulets touch and one day when they were eight Emilia held both for a small moment. They never took them off ever again.
Ten years later, Emilia is 18. She and Vittoria are living their lives, helping their family with the restaurant. Vittoria often sneaks out to see a boy and Emilia helps out at the monastery seeing the boy she loves who swore himself to the church. Emilia leaves a few things behind at the monastery after her sister pulls a prank on her and scares her a bit. They return home and Vittoria tells Emilia that she’s going to marry the devil, Emilia does not believe her. On the night of the full moon when the monastery is empty, Emilia goes to get the things she left behind and finds her sister dead with her heart ripped out and a man standing over her body. After the funeral, Emilia tries to figure out what happened, and summons Wrath one of the seven princes of hell. She recognizes that he was the one standing over the body and tries to kill him. He tells her that he did not kill her sister but he wants to find out who did. The witches who are the potential prides from Pride (the devil himself) are all being killed. Wrath has been bonded to Emilia with a protection spell, that is eternal, and tells her to become a part of his house. She refuses.
Emilia finds her sister’s diary has been locked with protective magic. She runs into another prince of hell: Envy, who almost kills her but can not thanks to the bond she shares with Wrath. She tries to give the diary to her friend Claudia to break the spell, but takes it back after meeting Envy. She finds another clue and ends up meeting Greed, who gives her the way to unlock the diary. She uses her blood and learns that the amulets that she and her sister held were the Horns of Hades which can release Pride from his curse, placed by the First Witch. When she tries to talk to her grandmother about this, her grandmother is almost killed. They save her life, and her amulet is stolen. Emilia returns to Wrath and asks him how to hunt a snake that his protecting her sister’s amulet. She steals it but is wounded and Wrath has to save her life with a rebirth spell.
The two investigate the monastery and Antonio (The boy Emilia used to love) tells her family. Her mother freaks out at her. Emilia and Wrath go to his messengers and find the name of the next witch for Pride’s wife, only to learn that she died. It was Claudia’s cousin. It is revealed that Wrath and Emilia are betrothed (thanks to the way that Emilia summoned Wrath the first time). Emilia tells Claudia to protect their houses, and goes with Wrath to the beach where she is trapped by Lust. Lust compels Emilia to the point of breaking her down (Wrath sends him back to hell) and for two weeks she does nothing at Wrath’s human home. He cares for her up until the two weeks where he throws her into a healing bath, to help heal the mental wounds. Wrath teaches her a few more things and then tells her not to leave the house. She does so anyway and finds Claudia who had a bad scrying session and went too deep and started speaking in riddles. Antonio takes Claudia back to Emilia’s house and Emilia meets a vampire who makes her go back to her house where Envy has taken those she loves hostage. He demands the two amulets and tells her that Wrath is using her.
She confirms that Wrath is using her, which hurts her and she goes to confront Envy without the two amulets. Her grandmother wakes up and then banish envy. Emilia is able to find her amulet and Wrath finds her and tells her to flee, but not before Envy arrives again and guts Wrath. Emilia tries to stop him from dying but he is sent back to hell and she is not sure. In her fury she connects the two amulets and scares Envy away (who vows they are now enemies). Emilia returns to the monastery where everything is connected and finds the grimoire of the First Witch. Antonio is there and he admits to working for an Angel of Death as well as having killed all the witch girls. Emilia over powers him and then summons Pride. He offers her the deal to be his consort. She agrees and then saves Antonio. She meets with Pride’s ambassador at the cave where she first summoned Wrath, to find Wrath there. He gives her the contract. She makes the deal on two conditions: 1 no prince demon can harm a witch or human and 2, she gets to deal with Antonio. Wrath then takes them to hell.
What I Liked:
Emilia; For as much as she made silly choices, I’m really excited to see how her character develops from this point on.
Wrath; I won’t lie. Wrath is what made me read this book. Goodness. Everyone at book club loved Wrath. I think that’s because he was great Bad Boy energy. I really want to see how he gets developed in the upcoming books. He was very elusive in this book and I have high hopes.
Magic and Streghe; I really liked the Streghe in this book and their magic. I do wish I understood the magic more, but as long as Emilia understood I’m good.
Malvagi; OOOH I need more about the demons. They are all terrible. Every single one of them was terrible and I need all of their stories. I hate Lust but I need to know more. Thanks.
Wrath x Emilia; I did like this relationship for what its worth. I think this has more to do with the banter than anything else. It was tempting and I really liked it.
Dark Aspects; I liked the amount of murder. I don’t like having demons in my story and not having consequences. There were deaths, a lot of them.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Not sure. So many of my questions weren’t answered and I need answers.
Emilia with Everyone Else; I really would have liked to have more time with Claudia and Vittoria. I feel like I never really got to know them, only a little bit, before her relationships with them were completely changed. I would have liked a bit more set up in this regard.
“They are midnight creatures, born of darkness and moonlight. And they seek only to destroy. Guard your hears; if given the chances they’ll rip them from your chests and guzzle your blood as it steams in the night.” – pg6
“Memories, like hearts, can be stolen.” – pg45
“A good book was its own brand of magic, one I could safely indulge in without fear of getting caught by those who hunted us. I loved escaping from reality, especially during times of trouble. Stories made everything possible.” – pg48
“One day you might beg me to kiss you. You might hate it. Or love it. But temptation will surge through those magical veins of yours, obliterating all common sense. You’ll want me to save you from the endless torment by giving you everything you love to loathe. And when I do, you’ll thirst for more.” – pg86
no audio files, sorry