From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series... 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 at is seems...
Kingdom of the WickedFeatured
Emilia has cemented herself as one of my favorite female characters. She is strong and resilient. Fighting a force she doesn’t quite understand, Emilia wants one thing: revenge. She wants to find her sister’s murderer and do to them what they did to her. She wants them to suffer, and so begins Emilia’s path to the dark side of witchcraft. My heart broke for her over and over again as her world turned topsy-turvy. Everything she thought she knew, all the lessons her Nonna taught, turned out to be half-truths and lies. Emilia is left to her own devices, chasing shadows and cavorting with demon princes. All of this occurs while a murderer is on the loose targeting witches. When Emilia inadvertently binds herself to Wrath, one of the Princes of Hell, her world implodes.
Wrath is a bit of a mixed character. Having finished the book, I’m still not sure how to feel about him. I wanted to love him, but I struggled with his motives and if he could be trusted. Anger rules him which makes him the perfect partner for Emilia as she seeks her revenge. It’s clear he’s keeping secrets from Emilia, the question is what?
The plot follows Emilia and Wrath as they hunt for who is killing the witches. This takes Emilia on an adventure through the dark side of her city. She learns that demons are real, they are not contained to Hell, and her magic won’t keep her safe. The pacing here is not even. At times, when the author is building the mythology and introducing characters, it moves slowly. At others, when action is happening (which is quite often), I couldn’t read quickly enough. This was a bit distracting for me, and one of the reasons I rated it lower despite loving the story itself.
My other reason for rating it lower is the blurb promises “an intoxicating romance.” Where? It’s missing! Don’t get me wrong. There is a hint of romance, and you understand pretty quickly who the love interest is. However there is very little in the way of romance, especially when I’m promised one.
Despite the uneven pacing and lack of romance, I really enjoyed Kingdom of the Wicked. I’m hoping that since the characters are fully introduced now the pacing will flow with the next novels. I’m also hoping for more of that intoxicating romance. The thrill of mystery and the fantastic world-building will please any fantasy fan!