Kingdom of the Wicked

They’re just stories Nonna, Emilia said quietly

Kerri Maniscalco, Kingdom of the Wicked

What better way to do #spooktober than with a world where legends are true. Travel with me to Italy and let’s solve a magical murder. With nothing but magical objects and books, would you spot the killer in time?

Thank you to Jimmy Patterson books for gifting me a complimentary copy of this book Via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Follow Emilia di Carlo as she hunts for a murderer in the streets of Palermo, Italy. In a world where witches are real, she shouldn’t be shocked when other legends are as well. Facing her fears and a prophecy she didn’t know about, Emilia takes on hell to save the world and her loved ones from the foretold doom. But on her road of vengeance, she must make tough choices and whether or not to trust her heart is the most difficult of all.

Maniscalco did not disappoint. As with her previous novels the world building is phenomenal. Her attention to detail when it comes to the setting blew my mind in her first book and it blew my mind in this one. She has a talent for bringing a story world to life. I literally smelled the scents and heard the noises, this story is so immensely lifelike. Which for a fantasy book, is definitely not always a given.

As far as characters go, I both loved and hated them. I loved the headstrong Emilia, relentless in her passion for food and answers, the mystical Nonna that is very clearly hiding secrets. I loved the characteristics and portrayals of the prince of hell…I would have preferred them to not be demons, but that is just my personal preference. I mean what was wrong with cranky vampires or werewolves. I do however like that there is something other than the shadow hunters available on this topic.

“At the very end of the next corridor I halted outside a room with its door ajar. Whatever had been calling me led inside; I felt it. A slight tug in my centre, a summoning I had no hope of fighting. I didn’t know what sort of magic was at play, but clearly sensed it. “

Kerri Maniscalco, Kingdom of the Wicked

Let’s talk story line. If you have ever read any of her books before, you know Maniscalco is a master mystery writer. I loved the suspense and the atmosphere so much, that I am willing to forgive her for all the obvious foreshadowing. I will chalk it up to me trying to unravel her mystery before she reveals the dramatic ending. She fooled me with Stalking Jack the Ripper and again with Hunting Prince Dracula and absolutely with Escaping Houdini. She nearly fooled me in Capturing the Devil as well, but she didn’t fool me this time. In my opinion, it was quite obvious from the start. But she did put in a valiant effort to try and confuse you. I’m hoping for the sequel we will get more plot twist and drama. All the characters are so well written for more drama, so I would love to see this extraordinary battle or majorly dramatic plot twist that are crucial to a great fantasy series.

Maniscalco’s writing is as always phenomenal. With all her attention to detail, I did not find it affecting the pace as I did with some of the previous works. She has found the sweet spot and I’m loving it. Her incorporation of the Italian words and phrases added a level of authenticity to this world that very few others have.

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

Kerri Maniscalco, Kingdom of the Wicked

If you loved the world of Shadowhunters and Sorcery of Thorns, even the likes of the Serpent and the Dove, you will thoroughly enjoy this novel.


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…

About the Author

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 final installment, CAPTURING THE DEVIL, will be released on 9/10/19. KINGDOM OF THE WICKED, the first in a new YA fantasy series, is slated for fall 2020.

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