Hello Gemmies! I have an exciting book review to share with you today. Please note: I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco is the first book in the Kingdom Of The Wicked series. This is a fabulous new YA historical fantasy novel. It's no secret that I adore Kerri Maniscalco and her Stalking Jack The Ripper series. Well folks....she has done it again! I enjoyed Kingdom of the Wicked so much! Kerri Maniscalco's creativity really shines through in this book. The world building is lush, detailed, and complex. It felt very dimensional with all the different houses, names, places, creatures, events, and food. Oh the food! Trigger warning this book contains full on food porn! If you aren't hungry when you start reading, you will be by the time you are done! I enjoyed the overall aesthetic, writing style, and the imagery depicted throughout Kingdom of the Wicked. The representation of the seven deadly sins as houses of hell was extremely imaginative. The setting is atmospheric and the people in this version of Sicily are full of so much history and legends that I can see this series going on for a very long time. I loved all of the different creatures and their power structures. I hope we get to see more werewolves and vampires in future books.
Kingdom of The Wicked is also a well written character driven story. The story unfolds from our main protagonist Emilia's point of view. Emilia is dealing with the grief of loosing her twin sister while coming to terms with her growing power. Emilia was likable and relatable, although I do wish she would have thought things through a little bit more before she reacted. Now lets talk about Wrath.....mega hot tortured Demon. And the chemistry between Emilia and Wrath... full on blazing fire hot. I have to take a minute to mention Emilia's family's Trattotia. The restaurant is almost its own character and acts as a wonderful backdrop for precious family moments as well as lots of delicious food and drinks.
Kingdom of the Wicked is full of action and feels appropriately paced. I like that there was a mystery mixed in with all of the fantasy and paranormal action. It added an extra level of depth to the story. Kingdom of the Wicked also contains everything I love about fantasy... enemies to reluctant friends, murder, magic, demonic creatures, yummy food, morally grey characters, and a lush detailed world. I am looking forward to reading more stories set in this universe. I have one major complaint....Kerri Maniscalco how dare you leave me with a cliff hanger?!?!??!?! OMG I need book two immediately and book one isn't even out yet! What am I going to do now?
If you are a fan of witches, black magic, frenemies, mystery, food, vengeance, prophecies, and creatures of all kinds, then go read this book. Published by Jimmy Patterson Books, Kingdom of the Wicked is available for pre- order from all major booksellers. I give Kingdom of the Wicked 4 out of 5 gems. I cannot wait to read more stories in this series. Happy Reading!