Last year I picked up Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper, and then crazily bought the rest of the series and proceeded to binge read them. Before that moment I had had no idea what I had been missing out on, so when news came that she was writing another series I knew I had to jump on it, and here we are!
The beginning of a new series by Kerri Maniscalco, Kingdom of the Wicked follows Emilia as she finds her twin sister Vittoria murdered. Haunted by the sight of her sister’s body, and the person who had fled the scene she begins to investigate, but as she looks into the murder it also brings her closer to a Demon world that her family has worked so hard to keep the two girls far from. Now Emilia will have to work one of the very princes of Hell that she was always taught to fear.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
This was a combination of all the things I really enjoyed of Maniscalco’s writing in Stalking Jack the Ripper, all tied up in a new story and characters. Whereas I’ve had a harder time with some books this year (even if they are really good) this book immediately picked up, throwing us into the danger the twins Emilia and Vittoria face, and setting a tone for the reader. Even knowing that the two are being hunted in some way or the synopsis itself warning Vittoria dies it still didn’t quite prepare me for the moment Emilia stumbles upon her sister’s dead body, or the events that followed. I was invested at that point, and totally backing Emilia even as she runs after someone who just supposedly committed murder. From that point on the story continued to keep me invested and interested in what was happening, whether the pace was fast or slowed down to catch details, and I can’t say enough how good a feeling that was.
Helping pull me in were the descriptions in this book, from the world of witches in Italy to the Italian food that had me getting hungry after already eating I felt like I was there and wanted to be honestly. The food in particular may have been just me knowing what they are and not hearing Italian food often described in books. It is my favorite category of food, and I make no apologies for salivating over a good cannoli or pancetta. They may be simple foods, but omg they always hit the spot, and the way the food was described it definitely felt like the author also had a real love and connection to the food. Going past the food descriptions though, the family home/restaurant, and the monastery are about the scope of this world as most of the story is focused in her small island town, though with the direction the book took I think the world will definitely open up as we head into book 2.
The last, but not least on parts I liked about this book were the characters. Emilia of course is well fleshed out, and given a huge opportunity for character growth just in the setup of the plot alone, but we are also given key glimpses into other characters like her Nonna, Vittoria, Wrath, and other characters as they come into her investigation. I would like to see more of the other princes as well as we get into the sequel, but as far as an introduction to the world and cast of characters this was pretty thorough, and addictive overall. I can’t believe I’m back to waiting a year again to get more Maniscalco writing.
Have you read Kingdom of the Wicked or are planning to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!