This review is spoiler free.
“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.”
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked
Published: 2020, by Hodder & Stoughton.
Format: eBook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Witches, Mystery, Fiction
Contains: Death, Violence, Murder, Blood/Gore, Strong Language, Sexual Content, Grief
I received a copy of this book from Hodder & Stoughton through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
‘Kingdom of the Wicked’ follows Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria, witches who live secretly among humans in order to avoid 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, then sets off to seek vengeance at any cost – even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
This book has been my most anticipated read of the year, being a huge fan of Kerri Maniscalco’s works and admiring her skills as a writer. So, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to love this book, I just didn’t expect to love it quite this much.
Emilia made for an absolutely brilliant protagonist. She’s brave, self-assured and slightly stubborn at times. She’s someone who takes no nonsense, not even from demons from Hell, and is desperate to avenge her twin sister, no matter what that would cost her. She’s an incredibly admirable protagonist, and it was a joy to read her journey from start to finish.
Wrath was another character who was deeply enjoyable to read about, exploring his relationship with Emilia with the use of luscious description and bouncing dialogue. They interacted beautifully together, spitting bile at one another until their relationship softened more and I loved every moment I read about them.
Although, Vittoria wasn’t mentioned much within the novel, her character meeting an unfortunate end quite early on, there was still a lot of character modelling involved in Maniscalco’s writing. This was a brilliant technique, making you feel for the characters after her death and caring about them; I was truly devastated, Emilia and Vittoria’s relationship being wonderful to witness up until that point.
The writing itself is wonderfully written, with lengthy descriptions and entertaining dialogue. The setting was explored beautifully through interactions between the characters, with explanations dotted around for those experiencing language barriers. That’s not to say that this book holds your hand however, being subtly done to not draw you away from the story itself.
Overall, I adored this book. Maniscalco truly has a talent for writing and that shines through in this novel. It was an absolute joy to read and I will be returning to it again and again.