Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:
Kingdom of the Wicked Series
Synopsis for Kingdom of the Wicked (from Goodreads):
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 that 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…
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Author to Watch
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Witches, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: October 27, 2020 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook
**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
Ever since I finished the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series, I’ve been awaiting Kerri Maniscalco’s next series. And while I am normally not one to enjoy stories about witches, I loved her previous series so much that I knew it was worth the try.
What I Liked:
You couldn’t ask for a better setting than historical Italy! I’ve been to Italy before so it wasn’t hard to picture the setting in the book but it’s so easy to be transported there as you read the book. There is just something so eerie about the setting with the cobble stone streets and alleys. Add to that the clash between religion and supernatural magic and its a lush setting for a book like this.
–The Sinister Edge–
I got a lot of Caraval vibes when I read the synopsis thanks to the sister dynamic. But this book differs in many ways from that series. This one has a more sinister vibe to it; much darker thanks to the additions of witches, demons and magic. A much different foundation and approach that gives it a unique edge.
–Banter Between Wrath & Emilia–
Kerri Maniscalco knows how to write grant banter between her lead characters. I loved every scene these two shared and couldn’t wait for the next one!
What I Didn’t Like:
–Some Aspects are Predictable–
There were certain plot points that I thought were pretty easy to see coming but I had so much fun reading the journey to get there that I didn’t really care so much.
My Audiobook Experience:
I had read all of the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series as an audiobook so it was an obvious choice for this one. It’s a great production and it even has sound effects! I think it really added to the whole atmosphere and transported me right into Emilia’s world.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I can see that things are building for the rest of the series so I am super excited to see where this goes next!
–January 28, 2022– Book #2: Kingdom of the Cursed
This book definitely has a different feel from the first one. I found the suspense comes more from the sexual tension that is brimming between Emelia and Wrath…and trust me, I’m not complaining! Their hate to lust you vibes are great and filled with plenty of chemistry.
I found the middle of the book got a little stale for me. We kinda kept rehashing the same things over and over without any huge developments. But the last quarter picks the plot pack up and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one.
My Rating: 4/5
Kingdom of the Wicked 4/5 | Kingdom of the Cursed 4/5 | Book 3 TBP
Perfect for fans of Caraval and/or Stalking Jack the Ripper! This story is fast-paced in a rich setting that will immediately suck you in. I highly recommend the audiobook version!
Read if You Like: slower stories, world-building, alternate dimensions
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance
- Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Caraval Series #1)
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper Series #1)
- Rook by Sharon Cameron
- Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman