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Kingdom of the Wicked #1

Kingdom of the Wicked

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Two sisters.
One brutal murder.
A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself...
And an intoxicating romance.

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.

Then Emilia 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 the series of women's murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems...

372 pages, Hardcover

First published October 27, 2020

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About the author

Kerri Maniscalco

13 books25.3k followers
I'm mostly on instagram--where I'm always ready to talk fictional crushes and nerd out over books. (Okay, okay. And I've also been known to share snippets and teasers from my upcoming novels, if you're into that sort of thing...) Please feel free to chat with me there @KerriManiscalco. I love talking with fellow readers!

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

She is the #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the STALKING JACK THE RIPPER quartet, the KINGDOM OF THE WICKED trilogy, and her forthcoming adult debut, THRONE OF THE FALLEN, set within the KINGDOM OF THE WICKED universe. Two other un-named titles will also be set within the KOTW world and will follow two different princes.

For more information, visit Kerri online:

Follow Kerri on Instagram:

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 26,166 reviews
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.8k followers
August 26, 2021

Fairyloot's October 2020 Box - My Rep Code: MELANIE5 ❤️

ARC provided by the publisher

"In the end, the monster we feared didn’t come from Hell. He came from privilege."

Oh, this review is going to be a wild ride. The range of things I feel for this book is very unreal. Listen, the atmosphere of this? The settings? The premise? I couldn’t get enough. Dare I even say close to perfect? And the plot had me so very invested in every single way. But this actual story and the plot conveniences, the characters and their lack of critical thinking, the obvious plot twists? The Lord might be testing me. The whiplash I felt while reading this was a full experience and deserves a star rating of its own, truly.

When you open this book for the first time, the prologue will transport you to a stormy night in 19th century Italy, where two little twin girls are being gifted very special necklaces while slowly learning their witch powers and history from their grandmother. There are seven demon princes but only 4 the witches should fear, but somehow their necklaces will keep them safe, even though they are instructed to never place them together.

"One will crave your blood. One will capture your heart. One will steal your soul. And one will take your life."

Then the story actually takes place ten years in the future, where Emilia and Vittoria are now eighteen-years-old, but we see how that night has shaped their lives for the last decade in so many different ways, but for sure centering on those necklaces that were entrusted to them. Both girls are trying to help their family with their restaurant, find and follow their dreams, and lead normal lives, but they soon find out that normal and safe and happy was never in the cards for them.

Again, I do not want to give much away, because I think I very much benefited from not reading the synopsis of this story. But the gates of hell are weakening, and their city and family are no longer safe. Not only do they have to worry about hiding the fact that they are witches, but now they have to worry about demon princes, witch hunters, and other creatures that go bump in the night! But Emilia is thrust in the heart of it all, with her witchcraft on full display, when she makes a deal with a demon when she is most desperate.

Together, Emilia and Wrath (be still, my BDB heart) are forced to work together to investigate brutal and mysterious murders that are happening, but they are both looking for clues for very different reasons. My favorite part of this book was truly going alongside Emilia and seeing all these different settings. From secret casinos, to her family’s kitchen, surprise palaces, spooky beaches, to the scary and dark corridors within the church, I couldn’t get enough of all the different adventures in all the different places.

"Grief carved me in half. And fury honed the pieces into a weapon."

I really loved the depiction of grief and depression in this book, too. How the weight of sadness can be unbearable, especially alone, when your world and future are taken from you right before your eyes. I also think Kerri Maniscalco did a really good job portraying not only the different stages that can be held within grief, but to also tell the reader that there is truly no wrong way to grieve. Heartbreak can be sadness and pain, but it can also be anger and revenge.

I also did really enjoy the romance and I think if you are looking to indulge in a new OTP that will remind you of 2015 then you are in luck with this one! I did enjoy Wrath a lot more than Emilia for the most part, but I feel like the plot convenience (and Emilia acting stupid) was the downfall of this book. I am not good at unraveling mysteries, but I truly unraveled this one instantly, I only wish Emilia could have a little sooner and it made the reading experience a bit annoying. Also, she gets upset at the strangest things, and wholeheartedly accepts the wildest things for no reason. I truly feel like her character was mostly used to move the book along conveniently instead of actually making her feel like a main character with depth and identity.

Also, I’m just going to say it, the grandmother in this book is one of the most infuriating characters I’ve read about all 2020. Like, regardless of prophecies, how are you going to be this mysterious with eight-year-old little girls and then really not fill them in on any blanks for the next ten years of their lives too? The grandma is really written to look like this cool and wise character who helps save the day, but I truly could not stand her or her shocked reaction when things would fall apart around her.

On top of the mysteries in this book being a bit of a letdown, I will also say that I felt like so many big events in this book kind of happened just for (hopefully) set ups for the next installment. I’m all for setting up things in early books, but it just kind of feels bad when absolutely nothing happens regarding these big chapters after the scene has ended. I feel like if this book felt more cohesive throughout, instead of just setting up for what is to come, I would have gotten so much of a higher rating from me, but I have to rate and review off the material that is given to me and it made for a bit of an infuriating reading experience.

"Man had a funny way of blaming the devil for things he didn’t like."

Overall, I couldn’t put this book down. Truly. And I would bet you a great sum of money that I will also pick up the next one, because this book ended on a very perfect cliffhanger set up that I greedily want to know everything about. This book really did give me nostalgic feels for some reason, it made me very hungry most of the time, and it made me truly never want to put it down. The writing is so easily consumable, and I really did fall in love with the setting and plot set up. I only wish it felt a little bit more like a full story and not just a set up book. I still predict that this book will do really well, and I think most people will have a very good reading experience with this with.

Trigger and Content Warnings: gore, violence, blood depiction, self-harm to get blood for spells, loss of a loved one, grief depiction, murder, death, brief mention of unwanted touching, and magical compulsion.

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Buddy read with Maëlys & Lea! ❤
Profile Image for Nellie.
133 reviews148 followers
November 9, 2021
2 stars for the interesting concept but poorly delivered narrative with a dumb main character whose only personality trait is being good at cooking.

It would’ve been more fitting had this been marketed as a creative cookbook rather than YA fantasy.

I’ll start with the world-building which was lackluster and quite lazy. We know this was set in Italy, but the time period was unclear. We never got fleshed-out descriptions of the buildings, the clothing, and the people. This was also one of those books that “tell” rather than “show”. Almost everything about the world was explained and introduced through dialogue such as Nonna’s stories and Wrath’s answers to Emilia’s questions. That would’ve been fine if I were invested enough in the story and characters to look past it, but I wasn’t. The different “Houses” weren’t developed either. If Maniscalco put as much effort into describing the world as she did for describing the food, the world-building would’ve been great and I wouldn’t have had to piece together information that I didn’t have.

As for the plot, I just needed them to shut up and stop talking about food for the entirety of the book. It was almost as repetitive as the word “mate” in the ACOTAR series. Granted that the plot did pick up when we finally met Wrath, the bulk of it was still quite the snoozefest. The whole plot just fell flat. I was expecting this to be a well-developed enemies-to-lovers story with dark, witchy vibes that would get me hooked, but all I got was half a story with dark, witchy vibes where not a lot happened. The ending resolved absolutely nothing and left me confused, but I guess that sets us up for the next book which I know for sure I will not be reading because I just don’t give a fuck. I am thrilled to announce that this book will be the first addition to my new collection of “books to read before bed so I can fall asleep in less than 30 seconds.”

Moving on to the characters. Emilia was boring, annoying, and reckless. It bothered me how she almost always managed to get away rather unscathed despite her recklessness. It also seemed as though everything clicked too quickly with the clues she found. Emilia didn’t even really have to try for anything and everything was way too easy; there was little conflict between plot points. Wrath was the only character that was at least a little bit entertaining to me, however, he was a pathetic manifestation of a sin. One would expect the Prince of Wrath and War to be wrathful or warlike, but he was neither. Instead, he was just a generic “hot, dark and broody” love interest who actually didn’t have much of a personality and was also quite the bore like Emilia. Gotta love how they match each other’s energies, I guess. As for the Wicked, they should’ve been terrifying as hell, but were all relatively weak and easily defeated. It also seemed like they were placed in random events throughout the story—especially in the beginning—just for the shock factor.

Overall, this book felt rushed and drawn out at the same time. While the idea of the book is good, the execution was not. The plot was undefined and scattered much like the characters. Although I complained about the overwhelming amount of times that food was mentioned, the food still had more personality than the actual characters. This book is the epitome of wasted potential and I can’t wait to read another book so I can purge this one out of my head.
Profile Image for Kerri.
Author 13 books25.3k followers
May 26, 2021
****** REMINDER: this series is being written as “new adult.” Book two, KINGDOM OF THE CURSED, jumps significantly in romantic content based on plot reveals and worldbuilding. *******

***AUGUST 18th UPDATE***

my publisher has a very fun announcement regarding a book trailer! details can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CECn6JRAB...

UPDATE: the working dedication is now a novel itself :)

"For my grandmother Victoria Maria Nucci Maniscalco
and my aunt Carol Nucci Belasco.

And for my great grandma Josephine—who immigrated from Sciacca, Sicily to America with my grandpa—and whose restaurant inspired much of this story.

This may be a fantasy,
but the love of family found within its pages is very real."

1/13/20 UPDATE:

The cover and first chapter are here!!!!!!!!!!!! https://www.pastemagazine.com/article...

1/8/20 UPDATE:

the cover reveal is happening on Monday! (1/13/20)

to celebrate, i shared the playlist. hope you enjoy! https://kerrimaniscalco.com/2020/01/0...

9/13/19 UPDATE:

to celebrate the harvest moon + Friday the 13th, i revealed my secret Pinterest board! check it out here:

August 2019: i've been sitting on this secret ALL YEAR and am thrilled to finally share it with you! news, details, cover reveals, and pre-order links will all be coming in the following months. i hope you're as excited as i am!!! please note: this series is being written as "new adult" and will progressively get steamier and more romance heavy as the series goes on. xoxo
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,304 reviews44k followers
April 8, 2022
I’m in pain! I’m dying to learn what’s gonna happen next! Arggggggggkkkk! Yes, if you google “drunk and angry damsel in distress”, you may see my bloody face right now! I just finished this fascinating, heart throbbing, riveting , addictive story and after reading the last words as like an addict I wanted to get more literature intake. I’m honestly craving for the next book now!

The things I fell hard for:

A witch and a demon’s sizzling, pant melting chemistry : they’re like gasoline and fire! They will be end of each other! Yes, Emilia and Wrath (the name of the sin and household he represents, we still don’t know his real name so we gotta wait for the next book) are one of the hottest couple with undeniable amazing chemistry you enjoy to read.

A serial killer theme who is targeting the witches: The killer’s one of the victims is unfortunately the twin sister Vittoria of our heroine and narrator Emilia!

The Sicilian trattoria and those mouth watering recipes Emilia’s family shares and cooks during the book: OMG! I already ate three cannolis and barely hold myself to say the catchy famous quote: “keep the gun, take the cannoli!” Emilia’s family own this special family trattoria and they cook ancient Italian meals with pouring their skillful art and magical power into them!

Creative world building: 7 deadly sins represent different households of hell and those 7 princess can travel through different realms. After Wrath, it seems like Lust is my favorite sinful prince!

Enemies to reluctant partners theme: after losing her twin sister, Emilia wants to find out the perpetrator by deciphering the dark magic spell her sister put at her diary. As soon as she realizes her sister summoned an evil, she followed the same way but as soon as hot as hell, charismatic, coolest evil Wrath appears, she finds at their bound is more intense and eternal that she’d ever imagined.

Quick summary: A serial killer targeting witches. Emilia seems like more introvert, book smart, obedient girl of the family as her adventurous, bold, brave, straightforward twin Vittoria completely opposite of her. But after her sister is murdered, she turns into vengeful, angry, hot blooded witch who stops being cautious, getting more risks including summoning a demon and letting him be her partner to find the identity of the killer who is responsible from those murders. But this means one of the seven evil princes must be behind those vicious crimes!

The cliffhanger at the end makes you jumpy because you want to know what’s gonna happen next immediately! Well, I cannot wait to read the next book! I’m already sold! This is such a great start for the series!

Special thanks to NetGalley and JIMMY PATTERSON for sharing this digital review copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
I loved it so much!!!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
August 28, 2020
oh, you guys arent even ready for how much you are gonna love this. prepare yourself for a halloween season full of witchy black magic, a brooding prince of hell, and a spooky murder mystery.

i really love seeing KMs creativity shine through in this story. with her SJTR series, theres only so much originality that can seen because its based on historical events. but with this unique magic system and the different classes of witches and demons, i think it shows a much more interesting side of KMs writing. its still just as easy to devour as ever, but i found it to be a lot more entertaining.

my only critique would be the cliff hanger. i hate when authors have to rely on them to convince a reader to pick up the next book because it creates a lack of closure, but oh well. i have at least a year until the next book comes out, so im sure i will get over by then. lol.

thanks jimmy patterson books for the ARC!!

4 stars
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
180 reviews1,241 followers
December 6, 2020
I did not see this coming.

I know a lot of readers loved and devoured it, so I apologise in advance. It's just that I waited for a long while for this book to come out but was seriously disappointed after having read it.

There were so many inconsistencies in the plot, Emilia as a character was super annoying and did illogical things most of the time, there was zero chemistry between the leads and the mythology could've been explained in a better way (her writing style is very different from her Stalking Jack The Ripper series) and I was left confused.

Profile Image for Bryce Rocks My Socks.
390 reviews615 followers
October 11, 2022
how DARE YOU make the dark prince someone who fashions an entire wardrobe for her and gets her her favourite flowers and allows her to summon him whenever she needs him and protects her at all costs and pretends he doesnt care and DEEP BREATH. hes a beautiful little demon i love him

second of all, WHO ALLOWED U TO END A BOOK LIKE THAT?!! SHOW ME THE RULES! this is entirely unacceptable. im outraged.

ok brb buying the next book
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,609 reviews10.7k followers
June 16, 2023

Emilia and her twin sister, Vittoria, belong to a family of witches secretly living among humans on the island of Sicily. Their family runs a renowned local restaurant, where both girls work.

At 18-years old, they've been raised hearing the lore of their family, and other beings of the underworld; mostly at the knee of their beloved Nonna.

But these stories become all too real after Emilia discovers Vittoria, murdered and mutilated.

Overcome with grief, Emilia's saving grace seems to be her need for vengeance. Her overwhelming compulsion to find her sister's killer keeps her from wallowing in despair for too long. She has things to do.

Pairing herself with a Prince from Hell, Wrath, Emilia begins to follow clues through the shadow-ridden Sicilian streets, as more and more witches fall to the same fate as Vittoria.

In the beginning, I'll admit, I wasn't sold. It started out a little slow for me.

The first couple of chapters seemed generic. Emilia felt like many YA characters I had read before. I was skeptical.

However, I am happy to report, I had no reason to be. Once Emilia and Wrath met up, everything began to fall into place and I ended up really enjoying this.

While the format was slightly typical, as far as enemies-to-lovers tropes go, I still thought it was special; and besides, I love that trope.

I thought the evolution of their relationship was perfectly paced and the way they worked together, two thumbs up. Until the bitter end, I was with them, hook, line and sinker.

As the story unfolds, Emilia displays impressive levels of guts and determination. She's up against some super scary forces, yet never backs down.

Pushing herself to the limits, her ability to stare straight in the face of danger was admirable. By the end, she was one of my new favorite heroines.

As far as Wrath goes, we stan. Everything about him, from his snarky attitude, his knowledge of all things dark and hellish, his tattoos, his sexy outfits, I loved it all.

I also feel like we have so much more to learn about him. Fingers crossed this happens moving forward in the series.

The atmosphere is top notch, as well, and I like that Maniscalco didn't shy away from including some very dark images and scenes. The last bit of this book was absolutely wild and I cannot wait for the next one to be released!!!

Seriously, is it too early to request a copy!?

Thank you so much to the publisher, Jimmy Patterson Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I truly appreciate it!

Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
417 reviews2,317 followers
October 12, 2021
  "One day you'll call me Death. 
For now, Wrath will do."

I want a hot demon prince Wrath for myself, please and thank you.😏🖤

Nonna gave many warnings to guard thy heart from the Wicked, but the endeavor was futile....

It was stolen anyways.🥺 altho is it really any surprise that happened?

I LOVED Kerri's SJTR series , so the second I finished it and heard that she was making another series set in a world of demons, witches, and with an enemies-to-lovers trope—oh I just knew that I'd fall in love.


Emilia di Carlo leads a perfectly normal life at least, as normal as you could get being a witch and all with her twin, Vittoria , her parents, and Nonna, helping around and about at the family restaurant, Sea & Vines (omg the descriptions of the food was just mouth-watering).

Sure, they all have to hide the fact that they're witches lest they be burned to the stake by others (ha doesn't sound bad at all), but other than that, everything's as good as it can be.

Until, one night —Emilia stumbles upon a horrifying scene.
Her sister.
Heart torn out and all. *shudder*

Yeah...that obviously didn't go well with Emilia.
Heartbroken and hell-bent on revenge, she begins her journey in solving the mystery behind Vittoria's death, and will go to any length to avenge her. Even use dark magic and accidently summon one of the demon princes of Hell—Wrath.

Starting to feel like I'm mentioning him too much haha

“There are victors and victims. Decide who you want to be. Or the choice will be made for you, witch. And I doubt you’ll like it.”

I threw my head back and groaned. “It’s a game of scopa, not a battle between life and death. Are you always this dramatic?”

Ahhh this is just one of many hilarious conversations between Emilia and Wrath. Their constant bickering was one of my favourite parts wheezee honestly, just seeing Wrath made me happy.

Emilia was once the quiet and "I-avoid-trouble" kind of girl, but once the death of her twin occurs, she goes through some major character development and is forced to take risks she would've never done before. I do love how most people could probably relate to that not the death causing character development part. I myself am always afraid to take a step out of my comfort zone, for fear I'll fail/do terrible.

With Emilia, she would constantly take new risks, and even when she did fail, at least she'd eventually get back up again and continue to grow. It's a nice motivator for those who fear trying new things at least for me haha. That's what I loved most about Emilia ahhhh

And then there's Wrath. It was love at first sight meeting Wrath.🥺 You can always count me in when it comes to tall, dark, and handsome demon princes—especially the suspicious ones . So many secrets.... but you still can't help but love Wrath at least I couldn't. (ahhhh and the candle scene was just so sweet <3)

I've said this many times, but I really should never be a detective in charge of a murder scene. I'd get fired on the first day lol. I just can never guess right when it comes to who the culprit is I'm not even close. I saw that some others who read KotW say that it was pretty predictable, but I was honestly just shocked and didn't even think of suspecting a certain someone.

Ahhhh yes, I'm a very bad mystery solver.😌
Note-to-self: Don't trust my judgement on characters when it comes plots with mysteries involved.

asdfghjkl it felt like centuries waiting for Kingdom of the Wicked to come out and now I have wait another few centuries for the next book. *sobs*

My only complaint with this book would be that it felt waaaay too short. Maybe a little too fast-paced? But it's not really a big deal, it's more of "I wish it lasted longer" feeling. I want more Emilia and Wrath mostly just Wrath hehe

And after that ending omggggg I can already tell the 2nd book is going to be even better!!! Especially with where it's going to be taking place.😏

Aghhhh now to wait. My least favourite word. still haven't given up on getting my demon prince btw

  "Aevitas ligati in aeternus protego."
January 25, 2022

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A lot of YA fantasy these days reads like it was churned out of the same word salad factory, if you know what I mean. Like, there's a vibe, and if you cobbled together a handful of quotes from a dozen or so of these authors, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you which is from where because the whole lot of them feel so samey.

That is why it is such an exceptional treat when you find something that actually cracks, if not breaks, the mold.

I was a little leery about reading the KINGDOM OF THE WICKED because I didn't really care for this author's other series, Stalking Jack the Ripper. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't good, and I had no plans to revisit the author again. But then I started hearing whispers-- that this new series of hers was a villain romance, that it featured a ruthless heroine, that it actually had stakes-- and I was like BYE MONEY.

Now that I've read the book, I can 100% assure you that the rumors are true. This is such a good book. It's about two sisters, who are witches and twins, who are part of a prophecy about these legendary demon princes who each embody one of the seven deadly sins. Neither of them take it seriously, but one day, they cross the streams-- I mean, the amulets-- and something bad happens because of it. And Emilia, the slightly more practical of the two, ends down a labyrinth of secrets and lies and magic, as she looks to avenge a terrible wrong done against her family, with the reluctant assistant of Prince Wrath, one of the demon princes of hell.

Emilia was such a great heroine. She was every bit as ruthless as I was promised and her relationship with Wrath gave me the kind of enemies-to-lovers fix I've been craving since I finished Holly Black's Folk of the Air trilogy. The magic system in this book is interesting and we're immersed in it gradually rather than being info-dumped in. And the descriptions of food in this book? OH MY GOD. Don't read this on an empty stomach, is what I'm saying, or you'll be guzzling pasta, cannoli, and wine. The only reason this doesn't get a higher rating is because the pacing felt just a tad uneven and as others have complained, Emilia's inner monologues ran on too long sometimes. But apart from that this was truly excellent and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

4 to 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Maëlys.
296 reviews276 followers
November 28, 2022
☆ 3 / 5 ☆

Kingdom of the Cursed (Book 2) : 3 / 5
Kingdom of the Feared (Book 3) : 2 / 5

“There are victors and victims. Decide who you want to be. Or the choice will be made for you, witch. And I doubt you’ll like it.”

In all honesty this book doesn’t have much going for it but it was still a lot of fun to get through. Was it riddled with inconsistencies and plot convenience? Most definitely, but it was also a true page-turner and very easily consumable.

I also enjoyed the author’s first book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I think it���s because Kerri Maniscalco’s writing has a certain quality to it that makes it easy to be immersed in a story and want to keep reading it despite its flaws.

Kingdom of the Wicked is set in 19th century Palermo where Emilia, a witch, and her family lives and runs a pretty popular restaurant. They live a pretty normal life while hiding their powers from humans until she discovers the horribly mutilated body of her twin sister, Vittoria. Emilia only finds vengeance in her heart and is ready to do anything to find her sister’s murderer. She ends up allying herself with Wrath, one of the Princes of Hell, despite her grandmother’s warnings and discovers that there might be more to her twin’s death than she initially thought.

Emilia ends up being pretty reckless in her decisions and honestly I don’t think she stopped to think for a second about anything. In and of itself this could’ve been fine but the author is trying to portray her character as smart and competent and she is never actually shown being either of those things. The one aspect that actually made me like her a little more was her relationship with her sister. You can tell they were really close and loved each other a whole lot. Emilia’s determination to solve her murder and put anything else aside is very believable and scenes of her processing her grief a little more outwardly definitely made me feel for her. Aside from that I just didn’t really care for her as a character, I found nothing appealing or anything that really stood out to me as more than a one dimensional character placeholder.

“You might hate it. Or love it. But temptation will surge through those magical veins of yours, obliterating all common sense. You’ll want me to save you from the endless torment by giving you everything you love to loathe. And when I do, you’ll thirst for more.”

And this is also why I wasn’t invested in the romance of this book. I just can’t see why Wrath would take a romantic interest in her and there was truly no chemistry between the two of them. I actually enjoyed Wrath’s character and found him intriguing but a lot of his motivations concerning Emilia and the things he did for her just didn’t really make sense to me. The dialogue between the two of them felt really forced while it was aiming for “we despise each other” banter. I feel like if the romance had been more believable to me I would’ve looked past a lot of other things and this book could’ve been an easy 3 star read.

I really enjoyed the setting for the most part especially when it came to the family’s restaurant and all the food descriptions made me feel more immersed, and hungry! This is supposed to be 19th century Italy but it’s all written pretty loosely when it comes to placing the story in a historical context and some elements felt more earlier 20th century to me. It didn’t bother me too much but this feels definitely more like a generic setting rather than an accurate one. I also really enjoyed the city being so lively at night and the descriptions of that, and the recurring trips to the monastery.

And now, for the plot itself. It was very predictable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was all just very convenient. A lot of information was withheld by characters with no solid motivation to do so, or in accordance with their personalities, but just for the sake of creating mystery in the book. This mostly came up with the grandmother and it just made me dislike her as a character and every scene with her was very frustrating.

There were also a lot of inconsistencies with what Emilia thought was going on and coming back on things she’d said before or being repetitive processing information that had already been put into the book previously. It felt messy and it led a lot of her reasoning to not make sense at all.

“The devil demanded retribution. A blood sacrifice for power stolen.”

A lot of things concerning the magic in this book were also pretty inconsistent and unclear. There were a lot of things she could just do just because it was what was needed in the moment for the scene to move forward, the rules applying to demons seemed to shift whenever it fit the narrative best, and overall I don’t think the magic system was well established. I did however enjoy the powers of the Princes of Hell and how their influence worked on people. I would’ve liked to delve into those ways more than this book did because at the end of the day these demons who are supposed to be very powerful didn’t feel all that threatening.

Their powers felt very diminished when compared to minor demons being able to bypass the rules they were subjected to and witches truly having more power than they do. Emilia would very easily “trick” these demons (probably to show how smart of a character she is but it only undermined how powerful these demons supposedly were) or do things that they couldn’t. A teenage witch who is honestly lacking in her skills could easily cast a sleeping spell but a Prince of Hell.. couldn’t? It just felt very nonsensical to me and lessened the threat of any possible confrontation.

I would also like to note that a scene pushed forward with Lust’s power where Emilia expressed her discomfort with the feeling of hands grabbing her was handled very dubiously.

“In the end, the monster we feared didn’t come from Hell. He came from privilege.”

The writing itself is pretty easy to read and makes it so the reading experience itself was enjoyable. I do feel though like there were some passages or quotes that sounded good on paper but did not make sense in context. There’s not much point in saying that demonic forces aren’t at work and privilege is the source of evil when this story fully revolves around demons, their world and their schemes, and there is absolutely no commentary whatsoever about any sort of privilege in this whole book. It would’ve been interesting to overlap that with the work of these literal personifications of sin but it’s not really the case here. There were allusions to witch hunts and the killing of innocent women because of that, but it never actually delved into what persecution and oppression truly means. The main character is never shown as being stifled in any sort of way and these remarks just feel off and like a half-hearted attempt at white feminism 101.

The ending of the book was pretty much what I had expected it to be so I didn’t feel either let down or shocked, and I think it gives a definite opening for the sequel. Overall I was far from miserable reading this book but there were truly so many things piling up and taking away from a story that had potential.


Buddy read with Melanie
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
796 reviews2,867 followers
September 16, 2022
“Never forget: forging a bond made from love is as dangerous as those made though hate.”

september 2022
I re-read this because I finally got book 2, and I need to finish that one before the third book comes out.
I'm so glad I did, because I didn't remember this book being so amazing and it only got better with this re-read.
I was able to appreciate Emilia's character even more, this time around, and I had the chance to properly dissect her trauma and emotions. It was a cathartic journey.
I also noticed some of my favorite books/series feature a main character who has a sister or a twin. I wonder what that might mean.

Diving into Kingdom of the Cursed asap because I'm already missing Emilia and Prince Wrath.


january 2022


Hear me out: the hype on this, was 100% justified.
I might be a bit biased because a) this book takes place in Italy, b) it's an enemies-to-lovers kind of novel, and c) the main character and her family own a restaurant and treat cooking the same way I do: with infinite love and passion.
But these are only small tips of the gigantic, complex and well-written iceberg that is this book.
Kerri Maniscalco earned my respect with her Stalking Jack the Ripper series, which, fair, I didn't finish (I actually only read the first book but I definitely plan on catching up with the sequels), but when you've read as many YA novels as I did in my humbly long reader life, you gain some rights in deciding when an author is worthy of their fame, and Maniscalco certainly is.

In Kingdom of the Wicked, twins Emilia and Vittoria Di Carlo come from a notorious and long-lived dynasty of Italian witches, or streghe. Their family own a famous and renowed restaurant and their Nonna keep them and their powers safe from humans who don't know they live among them. When Vittoria goes missing and is later found brutally murdered, Emilia summons Wrath, one of the demonic Wicked, and goes against everything her Nonna always warned her about to find whoever killed her sister and make them pay.

I'm not really a witch novel person, if I have to be honest. Aside a few exceptions (the Worldwalker Trilogy by Josephine Angelini, for example), they're usually my latest pick in the fantasy world, but I'm glad I gave this book a chance, because it was one of the most entertaining rides I've had in a long time.
I flew through it and fell completely in love with the main character and her male counterpart. I loved the setting, the writing (all that talking about food and spices and cannoli made my heart melt and my tummy rumble), and the way the author handled the whole enemies-to-lovers situation without making it cringe-worthy.
On this note, there is a fine as wine hint of romance, but it doesn't take over the entire plot that revolves around the murder of young lady witches and the search of whatever hellish creature is haunting the Sicilian streets.
As I already mentioned, one of the things I appreciated the most about this book, is Emilia. I really liked how KM potraited her because she's brave, mature, comfortable with her sexuality, funny but still acts her age and has some of the flaws that are typically tied to young adults.
Wrath is just as perfect, but I feel like I'm biased by saying this, as well, because...well, he's everything I usually adore in a male character all wrapped up in a smoking hot and sexy ribbon.
Plotwise speaking, I've got almost nothing negative to say, which is kind of unusual for me. Maybe some parts were a little rushed and confusing, but that could have been my fault for reading with too much ardor and itching to know what was going to happen.
I enjoyed it, really really much, from start to finish, and I totally plan on reading the sequels as soon as I get my hands on it.

Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
379 reviews1,003 followers
March 6, 2021
I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This was absolutely wonderful!!! It also made me bloody hungry,, due to all the food references … which is NOT conducive to preventing midnight snacking FYI, but my growling stomach and I still loved it. ;)

I personally enjoyed this A LOT more than Stalking Jack the Ripper. Wrath made for a much more compelling love interest than the adorable Thomas Cresswell and I found Emilia to be a better protagonist than Audrey Rose. She was a lot less preachy than Audrey, but no less naïve, in my opinion. I think that it made more sense here though because she and Wrath came from two different worlds. It’s not like you’d expect a human witch to know the ways of the princes of Hell. It also entertained me by how surprised she was to find out that a tonne of other supernatural creatures also walked among them (the “all the stories are true” quote from the Shadowhunter universe kept popping into my head lol).

Moving onto Wrath, I’ve always had a thing for the dark and mysterious bad boys, which made Wrath an instant favourite. The minute he arrived on the page, I was enthralled. His interactions with Emilia reminded me a lot of Jude and Cardan in the sense that a girl who various supernatural creatures view as weak, ends up controlling the actions of their supernatural love interest. Plus, the enemies-to-lovers banter was FABULOUS. Their interactions with one another was the best part of the book, in all honesty. And how could I not mention his fashionista tendencies? And his sweet tooth? As I’ve heard people say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so GOOD THING Emilia’s family owns a restaurant, haha. :P

*I think that Kerri Maniscalco shines a lot more in her writing when it comes to fantasy, rather than lacklustre mysteries.*

I only have one complaint really about this book and that’s the mystery aspect. AGAIN, I found the culprit SO OBVIOUS that the big reveal was rather disappointing. Now, it may be me because I was raised on Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew, but I feel like Maniscalco has a tendency to point bright, neon signs towards the killer when her books begin nearing the end, while I think that her stories would benefit from a subtler approach. I prefer to be surprised by a final twist, rather than having the answer spoon-fed to me.

Unlike Stalking Jack the Ripper, I do think that I’ll continue on with this series because I’m very invested in this story and these characters and I can’t WAIT to see what happens next!!!
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,624 followers
December 2, 2020

"Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go."

I was honestly mildly worried that I wouldn't like this book and that Kerri Maniscalco would break her streak of amazing books but she absolutely did not. This was definitely a new favorite and possibly one of my favorites by her.

So, what's this book about?
Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

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.

Then Emilia 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 the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

From page one, I was absolutely hooked. Everything about this book's beginning was perfect. From the setting to the magic and murder within the first chapters, there was no way I could put it down.

My favorite part about this book was the romance and Wrath which I felt there wasn't enough of. Firstly, I love anti-hero/villain love interests and also because squeeeeeeee hot demon prince!!! *SWOON*

The dynamic between Amelia and Wrath was absolutely the best and I can't wait to see where it goes.

I loved the story and the exploration of the princes of hell and magic. As a religious person, it was super fun to read. Sure, most of the people at my old church would faint if they knew what the book was about but who cares.

I was able to add an extra layer of enjoyment by just reading this from cynical Christian point of view. I had so many random thoughts throughout the book that only I would think. The one that came up most often was "these demons wouldn't scare me/they wouldn't be able to trick me" even though they likely would because I'm stupid.

Overall, I adored this book. It was atmospheric. It was romantic and swoonworthy. It was an absolute page turner. I cannot recommend it enough.

- - - - - -



- - - - - -



confession time: i didn't read the synopsis in my excitement but i just read it and holy sh*t








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Profile Image for SK.
310 reviews2,738 followers
August 31, 2022
Yes I was able to read it while being sick. Don't judge me, there's not much to do in isolation 🙈 But that's how good the book was.

This book has been hyped so much, it was hard not to feel intimidated by it. The plot is definitely something that keeps the reader hooked and wanting for more. I mean c'mon a murder mystery aspect in a fantasy? Love the idea. The execution felt a bit weak tho. Cause it was 80% talks and 20% action overall. I would've preferred had there been a bit of balance to it, but it's something I'm willing to look past cause the plot kept me interested.

I liked Emilia and Wrath. Their banter is so fun to read. The book definitely has a YA feel to it, so there's much on for me to comment on the romance aspect, but the chemistry is there. I'm hopeful the next book will have more to it in that area.

The world building is a bit weak but considering how much the author spent the time building on to the concept of it, I'm looking forward to the next book with high hopes. The writing is quite immersive, so one will enjoy that. The supporting characters are also quite interesting, especially Greed, Pride and Envy. Nonna? Not so much 😅

Looking forward to the next one.

My official review ends here. Now this is something I rarely address, but I feel like I should in this one. Please feel free to skip past it, or read if it seems interesting (totally up to you).

A Christian Perspective

As this is a work of pure fiction, I'm considering it as it is. My own beliefs are not causing any sort of hindrance in my rating. While I've read a lot of fantasy, and I do cause it's one of my favourite genres- I do not agree with everything I read. It is meant to be taken as a work of fiction, aka not real.

So this one, had a lot of building on Hell, and fallen angels- aka demons, summoning demons, witchcraft and the whole concept of selling one's soul. Obviously, as a Christian I do not agree with any events in the book that happened. But it can bring one bit of peace knowing that it's not non fiction.

Coming to Antonio's character- any man who tries to do good (work of God) by using evil, especially through the means of fallen angels aka demons.. isn't doing the right thing. I just had to say that, because people do create false ways of judgements in their heads even if they believe they're doing the right things.

Selling one's soul? Emilia points out that it should not be easy. But reality is, that it is easy cause when the moment of temptation comes, when the moment you want everything you desire is right in front of your eyes; the devil will try everything in its power to get you to sell your soul. I hope if a time like that arises in your life, you're able to resist, flee and rebuke.

In short, as a Christian, this book is not easy to read. I took it as a work of fiction, if there are any Christians who want to read it- I suggest doing so only if their conscience allows it.
Profile Image for Kevin (Irish Reader).
274 reviews3,932 followers
February 28, 2021
I need the sequel and I need it now!

I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did! I also listened to the audiobook and would highly recommend, as it has creepy music playing and really adds to the atmosphere. I loved the romance. I loved the murder mystery storyline. I loved the supernatural elements. Also loved the ending and the twist/reveal that happened, I was so shocked! Overall, I don’t really have any negatives to this book and I cannot wait for the sequel due to that cliffhanger!!!
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
January 1, 2021
2.5 Stars

I tried so hard to finish this in 2020, but I had the last 70 pages to finish on the first day of 2021. And I was pretty disappointed in my first read. I was so excited to pick this up and see a witch meet a prince of hell and fall in love. Instead, I got a very jumbled story of a girl who conveniently found a lot of things and had a very unsatisfying relationship with a prince of hell.

As I was reading this, I was getting annoyed with how convenient everything just happened to Emilia. She would just "follow the magic" and uncover all fo these big secrets or just find things she had been looking for. This happened multiple times and I just wasn't a fan. She never had to think through and try to uncover things- they just fell in her lap. Other aspects of magic were very info-dumpy as Emilia was discovering EVERYTHING about her magic that had been kept from her. I wanted these moments to be much more organic and fleshed out instead of her just sitting down with various characters and having them just explain things to her. There also wasn't really a lot of explanation for why all of these secrets were kept from her and why everything was so taboo if it was so dangerous for the witches and it was up to them to really save everything.

I did enjoy how Emilia met the various princes of hell and experienced their different powers. That was actually really cool and I liked how clever their magic was and how it matched each of the deadly sins. The romance between Emilia and Wrath was just okay, but I really didn't feel any depth to it. I felt like we were supposed to believe they were actually on the verge of falling in love, but I only saw an attraction and that was really it.

There were also too many moments where Emilia was offered something, but she thought too long or just constantly denied it, so it was just forgotten. Why does she keep getting offered these things for her to say no or not answer quick enough? That got annoying. I thought the ultimate villain was pretty obvious, but we were also left not knowing some pretty important things, which also made me annoyed. I still feel like we don't really know any of our main characters and none of them were fleshed out enough. We only got the basics of Wrath and Emilia and I don't feel like they're actual, full characters.

I'm definitely in the minority for this book, but it just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Huda.
194 reviews204 followers
April 13, 2023
2.5/5 ⭐
0/5 🔥
Um...ya'll lied. Ya'll staright up lied!!!!
I was bored out of my mind reading this book. I. Was. Bored. While. Reading. A. FANTASY. BOOK.😤

This book had the potential so much potential!! But the whole story was executed poorly imo

The first half of the story was so hard to get through. Hell the whole book was so hard to get through. But those last few chapters- actually 10 chps were laughable. What in the world happened? It was as if the whole thing was dumped in the last part of the book. Would've liked it more if things happened a bit earlier.

The ending was so so rushed it felt as if my mind was running at the same speed Emilia's heart beat was.

I didn't felt the relationship between Emilia and Wrath, there was less banter. I didn't felt any sort of chemistry between them😭

The writing Nope. Sorry just no. I had to read so many things so many times to actually know what was going on. And most of the time... I was just zoned out.

The plot ; A murder mystery, fantasy, with demons and witches, secrets and betrayal.... sounds super perfect right?
Well spoiler alert it was NOT!!!

The plot was all over the place. Most of the time reading this book I couldn't even grasp what I was reading, the background and all the stuff confused me too much! Once she was here and in the next paragraph she was there?

First she's taking to wrath
Second she's running
Wrath's gone; donno where he is
She almost gets eaten.
Wrath eventually comes back to 'save her by killing the thing'

This was almost all the 'action' that happens in this book... (I dare you to convince me otherwise)😐

There was more telling than the actual happening. And that was such a let down.

The characters
Emilia's character was what? Idk!? There was nothing to her charcter, she made me smack her SO MANY TIMES. She was one of those who couldn't make up their minds that if they are a badass character or no.

Wrath i don't get the hype about this man. He wasn't even there the whole time. He'd be there but then he'd go on for days ghosting us Emilia. His presence in this book felt more like a side charcter, rather than the love interest.

Overall this was pretty boring if I wasn't reading this with my bestie i would've dnf'ed it.
I envy everyone of you who enjoyed this book.
Unfortunately I won't be continuing this, if I did I'd go into a fantasy slump. And i don't want that😭

shouldn't have chosen this to start my fantasy era.
My fantasy era has officially started 😈
Profile Image for Lucie V..
1,012 reviews2,055 followers
November 2, 2022
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you JIMMY Patterson Books). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

✅ Wrath
✅ Intrigue
✅ Demons / Princes of Hell
✅🆗 Pace
✅🆗 Main character
🆗 World-building
❗️❗️ Kind of cliffhanger
❗️❗️ Trigger warnings: death, self-harm, grief, manipulation (via magic)

3.5 stars

“Magic is a living, breathing entity; it thrives on the energy you give it. Like all forces of nature, it is neither good nor bad—it simply becomes based on the user’s intent. Feed it love and it blossoms and grows. Nourish it with hate and it will deliver hate back to you tenfold.”

When twin witches Emilia and Vittoria were 8 years old, their grandmother made them promise to always keep their magical amulet on to protect them from the Wicked. Chapter one then starts 10 years later, and we see how Emilia and Vittoria are working at their family’s restaurant and trying to live a normal life while keeping the fact that they are witches a secret. When witches start to get murdered in gruesome ways, and when Emilia stumbles upon her twin’s body, she starts to realize that she did not know everything about her sister and that Vittoria was involved with demons and probably even one of the Wicked. Emilia is consumed by the idea of revenge and will even go as far as to work hand in hand with Wrath to find her sister’s murderer, but the more she tries to investigate, the more dangerous it becomes. Emilia now needs to find a way to protect her family from the Wicked, find a way to make sure that the gates of Hell remain closed, and deal with the Wicked who are very interested in her and her magical amulet.

The world-building is very minimalist. We know that Emilia’s family lives on an island in Italy and that they own a restaurant. We know that Emilia’s grandmother is a witch and so are the twins and that they need to be careful so the Wicked don’t come for them because of an old blood debt between the devil and the witches. There are 7 Princes from Hell, but only 4 the witches should fear. We had the information that we needed to understand and appreciate the story, but nothing more. The prologue was so promising, it was mysterious and immersive, but the rest of the book fell a little short in terms of world-building… I have to say though that the descriptions were great! From the cheerful family kitchen to the secret gambling den, Emilia visited many different places, and I loved how the descriptions allowed us to feel the warmth or spookiness of the places she visited.

I also like how the author described Emilia’s grief in a tangible and realistic way. We could see the weight Emilia was carrying, but also the intensity it gave her every decision and action, and even sometimes how it made her unreasonable and reckless. I think it’s a very realistic way to show how someone dealing with a murdered twin sister could deal with her grief: with an equal amount of anger and sadness.

The first 40% of this book is a little slow, but still a good read,and the intrigue develops more after that, so it becomes more interesting and addictive… And Wrath is there too so that helps. 😉

Emilia is a good main character, she is stubborn and strong, but also makes mistakes and bad decisions. She is likable, but nothing more honestly. What really bothered me was her lack of critical thinking at times. I swear I wanted to shake some sense into her. She got pissed at silly things and had ouout-of-proportioneactions (in my opinion), and other things she just accepted in stride, without even a raised eyebrow. I struggled to feel connected to her, and honestly w,hile she is brave and strong, she is also dumb at times. There were “plot twists” that we could see coming from miles away, but of course ,Emilia never saw them coming.

Another character that reaaaaaally annoyed me was Emilia’s grandmother. She is supposed to be this wise older witch, but she wouldn’t share any relevant information with Emilia and Vittoria. She just told them to always wear their necklaces with no real explanation besides old tales about The Wicked, and then she was shocked when shit started to hit the fan and things got out of control. I think Emilia and Vittoria were old enough at 18 to know at least some of the information their grandmother was keeping from them.

“I crave power more than money, or blood, or lust. And there’s no greater power than choice. I’d lie for it. Steal, cheat, maim, and murder. If I could, I’d sell my soul again for it, witch.”

Wrath is an interesting character, and I liked him much more than Emilia. He has this dark, mysterious, and dangerous aura (that is really attractive even if it shouldn’t be because he’s a bad bad guy), but he is kind of nice at the same time (meaning that he is not actively trying to kill everyone around him). He showed mercy and even kindness, but at the same time, he can be cold and ruthless, so that makes him even more interesting. His “human” traits such as a sweet tooth and an aversion to cheap and unflattering clothes made him even better! I also like the fact that I am still not 100% sure what was real and what was just part of his plan/mission.

“What, exactly, should I call you? Your highness? Oh, Feared and Mighty Seven? General Commander of Hell? Or Prince Wrath?”
A muscle in his jaw strained as he held my gaze. “One day you’ll call me Death. For now, Wrath will do.”

“Does the sight of my bare skin get under yours? Did you have sinful thoughts about me last night?” He gave me a lazy grin. “That’s usually my brother’s specialty, but fear not, we’ve all got bedroom talents.”
“Care to roll around the dirt with me?”
Anger poured off me. “You wish.”
“I don’t.” I swore the temperature dropped to match the iciness of his tone.

I like how Wrath and Emilia were (almost) always at each other’s throats. I was hoping for a romantic interest to develop between them because that’s how cool Wrath is, but at the same time, I was not sure if and how it would happen because Emilia is so strong-minded and especially stubborn when it comes to the Wicked, and Wrath is a mighty and pretentious Prince of Hell. Also, I am not sure what will happen to them with that ending, but I am eager to find out in the next book!

Overall, this was not a bad book, but Emilia’s reactions annoyed me more than once, and most of what happened felt like a big setup for the next book. Sure we figured out who killed the witches, but there are still so many unanswered questions, it felt like a very long prologue for the real adventure that will start in the sequel. The pace was still great, and overall it was hard to put this book down so I will read the next one, and with the ending of this first book, the second one promises to be more intense I think.

Fanarts by Nia (Witchlingsart)

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Profile Image for Gillian.
144 reviews205 followers
September 27, 2022
“I swear on my life, I will make whoever did this pay, Vittoria.”

This was a dark and enchanting fantasy about love, loss and revenge. Emilia and her sister Vittoria are witches living among humans. Emilia’s family owns a restaurant and she loves cooking and creating her own recipes. When Emilia finds her sister brutally murdered she seeks out revenge no matter the cost.

This book was so good. It took me a little while to get into the story, but by the middle I was completely swept up by the compelling story. There are so many complex and compelling characters. I really liked Emilia, but her inner dialogue was a little long. I really like how strong, brave and stubborn Emilia is. I’m in love with Wrath, he’s so charming, smart and devilishly handsome. I loved the banter between Emilia and Wrath. There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. The descriptions of food made me so hungry. The ending was so shocking!
Profile Image for Laura Thalassa.
Author 37 books17.5k followers
September 13, 2021
AHHHHHH!!! Alright new author whose backlist I need to pillage, you have a new fan(atic). I flew through this book over the weekend, and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. I'm counting down to the sequel's release!
Profile Image for Ayman.
211 reviews84.9k followers
January 23, 2021
i’ve never been more hooked on a book than this book. I wish it could be longer but it is only the first book in an ongoing series. I love these characters I love the magic system. I love the world building although there definitely could’ve been more but I’m not mad. I’m so invested in these characters and the plot and I have so many theories. That ending got me fucked up but like in a good way. I’m only taking off one star because this could’ve used Hella more diversity
Profile Image for Avery (Taylor's version).
216 reviews444 followers
March 1, 2023
“You always have the power of choice, even when those choices seem limited. Never forget that.”

I had a feeling going into this that I would either love it or hate it. I was thinking I would love it since I was already in love with Wrath based off of fanart and things I'd heard, and I did end up quite enjoying it!

I've read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by this author and I loved it, and I feel like those books are similar yet not at all. They both have this same dark and creepy vibe and the whole murder mystery thing, but they're also just so different. (Also highly recommend that series, it's so good)

The Plot

The ambiance of the setting would be a perfect Halloween/October read. Too bad it's not October, but whatever.

The plot was actually pretty captivating. It was good from almost right off the bat, but as usual, I was a little confused, probably because I was skimming a little (I can't help it). I was mainly waiting the whole time for Wrath to come in, who was the highlight of this whole book.

I was decently interested in all the witch stuff, as well as learning more about the princes of Hell, who were all....something. Let's just say, the only one I currently like is Wrath.

I was also very surprised at some plot twists, though I honestly shouldn't have been, since I should've been suspecting everyone. I just hadn't expected this person.

Yeah so this plot description was really bad, because honestly I cannot think right now. You might be wondering "oh Avery, if your brain is all fried at the moment, why are you writing a review?" to which my answer is, I don't know 😁

“A good book was its own brand of magic, one I could safely indulge in without fear of getting caught by those who hunted. I loved escaping from reality, especially during times of trouble. Stories made everything possible.”

So true 😭

The Characters

Emilia was a decent enough main character. But, she was incredibly stupid at times and insanely reckless. I'm not a very revenge-bent person myself, so I could honestly never guess why Emilia did all the stuff she did for her sister. That sounds bad, but I couldn't. I can understand the first wave of grief, because that part is the worst, but I would never go around murdering people for murdering my sister. I don't even have a sister. So maybe that's just me, but that's how I feel.

Other than that, I did like Emilia. She is very fearless, which I must admire. Though, she did trust Wrath way too easily. What did she expect, he's a literal demon prince from Hell.

Wrath was amazing, as I expected. I shouldn't feel this way towards a demon but here we are. I couldn't even hate him in this after he did what he did, because I'd already predicted it. But seriously, he was never really the villain to me, even though he should be. But oh well. He was funny, sarcastic, evil (kinda), and what more could you ask for? It's a very toxic trait I have to fall in love with a freaking demon, but that is fine, I've come to terms with it. I cannot wait to read more about him in the next two books.

I hated Antonio from the beginning (mainly because Emilia was interested in him and I just want her to end up with Wrath. I'm aware that's really stupid) so I'm very smug about that.

Also, if Nonna had just told Emilia about like anything, so much stuff could've been resolved in an easier way and a lot of things wouldn't have happened. Blame it all on Nonna.

“One day you'll call me Death.
For now, Wrath will do.”

The Romance

I already know that the next two books are veering to the NA side so I think that's either going to be amazing or horrible. All I honestly care about is Emilia and Wrath finally get together, which they kind of did in this one (it was just a kiss) but that was a disaster. Their tension was A M A Z I N G and some scenes had me giggling so much (which is the best thing a book can do to me because it means that the book had an impact) and I cannot wait until I can read when they ACTUALLY get together. I'm sure it's going to be interesting.

“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.”

So overall, this was a great first read of 2023! This review was not good but just know, in my opinion, the book is! I'd highly recommend reading it around the time of autumn, because it definitely brings out the creepy vibes.

4 stars

“Your heart will conquer darkness. Trust in that.”

MY PREDICTION WAS CORRECT. I'd guessed this would be a four star and look at where we are.

MY FIRST READ OF 2023 WAS A SUCCESS. Thank goodness it wasn't terrible or else that would've been a terrible start to the year. it was actually pretty good.

Profile Image for Carol Vickers.
268 reviews315 followers
March 28, 2023
OUTLIER ALERT!!! I am so disappointed because it had so much potential. This is the first book I have EVER DNF'd so that tells you how distraught I was reading the book. I know many people loved the series so please do not base your decision to read this book solely on my review. The story was about Hell, summoning demons, witches, and selling your soul. In good conscience, I could not continue reading this book because I found it disturbing and it does not align with my beliefs. That being said, I realize this is a work of fiction. Honestly, it is just not for me and sadly I do not recommend the book.⭐️
Profile Image for selin.
11 reviews30 followers
September 10, 2023
i couldn’t be more grateful for my habit that doesn’t allows me to start a series that is not finished bc i don’t know how could i’ve wait for second book to be released after that ending.

this book had so much potential of being a five star read but there is something that bugs me a lot and which is, the writing. fantasy books are hardest genre to get in at the beginning in my opinion, and this one had so many layers of magic, realms, princes, demons etc. and it was all over the place, most of the times i couldn’t understand what the hell was happening 🤡

this is my only adverse opinion, other than that this book was INCREDIBLE. murder mystery, dark magic, different realms, seven deadly sins, hell princes, satan, demons, witches, enemies to lovers, morally grey characters, the tension/banter.. like what else can i ask for???

as i mentioned if the writing would be a little bit better it had a very good plot and world building; churches, caves, monasteries were some places that was mentioned in the book a lot. also the way author describes the meals.. oh. my. god. i was 🤏🏼 this close to drop the book and prepare a meal for myself bc of that descriptions 💀

after this part there are small spoilers!!

as for the characters, wrath.. GOD BLESS THIS MAN 🧎🏽‍♀️ (is it weird for me to say it since he is a prince of hell 💀?) that man is an intelligent dark prince that represents a sin (as handsome as sin too 🤭) who is obsessed with the way he dresses, prepares an entire wardrobe for emilia (aaron warner dupe?), looks after her for literally throughout the whole book, doesn’t leaves her side for two weeks when she was sick, prepares a bath for her with her favourite flowers, willingly allows her to summon him from hell whenever she needs and pretends like doesn’t care about her but follows her everywhere… what else do i need to sayyy 👹

i liked emilia a lot too, the way she drops everything to get revenge for her sister and tries to protect her family was all i needed to read to like her tbh. also in order to not put anyone in danger, she tries to do all these things alone, which seems a feature that strong characters can pull imo. but wrath will forever be my favourite 🤭

also i like the concept of seven deadly sins are being the princes a lot, it really matches with a book that contains dark magic and witches. also i’ve read some reviews and most of you predicted the killer before, well.. i did not🧍🏻‍♀️so i liked the ending too :) AND THE ENDING SENTENCE- it was so good 😫 if you’re curious it was this;

“I hoped the kingdom of wicked was ready for a vengeful queen.”

WELL QUEEN I AM READY!?? i’m so excited for second book 🤭🤭
Profile Image for Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks).
305 reviews14.5k followers
October 26, 2021
who let me read this when I have to wait until October for the sequel?

This book was exactly what I was hoping it would be. I never wanted to put it down!! I loved the writing (which is no surprise considering my love of Kerri Maniscalco), I loved the depiction of grief and our main character's journey, and I loved the magic and this world. And Wrath? I'm obsessed.

Book 2 can't come out soon enough.

Expect a full review soon!
Profile Image for aly ☆彡 (hiatus).
346 reviews1,170 followers
October 7, 2022
First chapter in, I thought this book will be promising — it had a strong start and you'll just know that you won't be able to put them down. I see lots of resemblances of this book with Stalking Jack the Ripper. Focusing on finding a serial killer as well as the deaths of the victims that were almost in the same fate; with their hearts being ripped apart, leaving us with doubts and assumptions about who the possible killer would be. However, I think the appeal kind of shifted after the first half of the book.

I like Emilia and I find her character relatable. While Vittoria is more of a free-spirited character, who's bold and brazen, Emilia is timid, cautious, and all about safe space. Well, that doesn't last long after Vittoria was murdered and you can see Emilia is taking more dauntless and rash decisions, driven by her vengeance and love for her twins to find the killer to seek justice. I could see how others do find her annoying. She continues to put herself in situations where her life is in danger despite not knowing how to express herself correctly but I think keeping in mind that this book is YA has helped me through as you wouldn't expect these people to always have things in order.

Then we have Wrath who is personified well of him as one of the sins, but I think what I find unfulfilling is the absence of what is essential for their characters. Like Wrath may have his trick up his sleeve but I wish he would appear eviler. He was supposed to be one of the Princes of Hell. You can see Envy or Greed to be wicked, fulfilling the rendition that Emilia's Nonna warned about but with Wrath, he seems more humane and tender. Not to say, both of them were supposed to be supernaturals, witches, and demons, but the furnish of their powers was not well embodied. Most actions of them only revolve around daggers and amulets. I want some actions and more spells or magics. I was disappointed with that part.

And as mentioned, after the first half of the book, I kind of lost track (especially towards the end of the book) because the plot seems to be everywhere and is confusing. Many easter eggs did not well expound and were left hanging. I'm not sure if readers were supposed to decode that or if the truths will come out later in the second book, but it just made me more clueless.

In Stalking Jack the Ripper, it was easy to narrow down the possible killer with all the clues and tricks which made readers all excited and overwrought to find out the real killer at the end. But this book seems to be all over the place with little details to help readers, simultaneously killing the fun and anticipation. Not to say, it was getting a bit tad predictable and the offshoot is just foiled.

On the bright side, I enjoyed Wrath and Emilia's chemistry. It is a slow burn yet the author didn't hold the two characters back like Audrey and Thomas in her other first book which I find myself immensely relishing their banter and dynamic. The ending kinda expunges my solace on the couple too ergo, helps to make readers anticipate where the story will unfold in the next book.

The cliffhanger truly left me dumbfounded and looking forward to the release of the second book which hopefully will offer a new dimension and a deeper delve into the magic as well as the character's backstory.

You won't be let down if you enjoy dark, twisting books about witches and demons. Despite the shortcoming, I do find this enjoyable.

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