ARC Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Manisculco

*ARC courtesy of Netgalley*

Publication Date: October 27th 2020

Series: Kingdom of the Wicked #1

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. Read More.

My Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Finding the motivation to study for my end of term exams is hard enough. It’s next to impossible when you’re 30% through a book that keeps getting better and better with every new chapter. It was torture.

Kingdom of the Wicked is a historical fantasy set in Italy where young witches are being murdered. When Emilia’s twin sister is murdered, she teams up with a Prince of Hell to find the killer and seek vengeance.

I loved Emilia as a main character. She was really likeable and easy to root for. Also, she was pretty level-headed and rational which, let’s be honest, can be rare in YA literature.

Also Nonna, Emilia’s grandmother was an absolute legend. I feel like this story could be used as a cautionary tale as to why you should always listen to your grandparents. (Although my grandma did once make me eat cereal with sour milk because she didn’t believe me when I said it tastes funny, until I made my grandad eat some, so maybe a few expectations apply).

Cooking and food plays a big role in this novel as Emilia has a passion for cooking and her family actually owns a restaurant. I suggest eating before/while reading because these descriptions will make you hungry.

I cannot speak to how accurate the Italian setting or culture was depicted because I am not Italian nor have I ever been to Italy (tries not to cry cause I should have gone in March, but pandemic) but I did find the descriptions in this book to be very immersive and it did work well as the backdrop for the story.

Probably my favourite thing about this book was the relationship between Emilia and Wrath, the Prince of Hell she teams up with. The chemistry and tension between them was everything and their threateningly flirty back and forth has me very excited to read more about them in the second book.

I didn’t realise until I was a couple of chapters in that this book is from the author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper, a very hyped and popular series that I’ve been avoiding because of it’s popularity but after reading this I’m definitely interested in checking that out.

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