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: 2021, by Jimmy Patterson.
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Witches, Mystery, Fiction
Contains: Death, Violence, Murder, Blood/Gore, Strong Language, Sexual Content, Grief
‘Kingdom of the Wicked’ follows Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria who 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 find 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. Emilia soon 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 her series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
This book was one of my most anticipated reads last year, and with Kingdom of the Cursed being released, I thought it was about time I returned to Emilia’s world one more time in preparation. My opinion is near enough the same; I absolutely loved it.
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.