Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Kerri Maniscalco: Kingdom of the Wicked

Kerri Manscalco a tale of two sister, one whom is murdered and the other who will stop at nothing to find the murderer:

Emilia and Vittoria are witches who secretly live among the regular folk, doing all that they can so hide in order to avoid persecution. Emilia and Vittoria may be twins but they are far from same personalities and risks they are willing to take. One night Vittoria fails to show up for dinner and Emilia goes looking for her, and soon finds her body desecrated. Emilia makes a vow to find who killed her sister and to do all she can to stop them. Emilia does not realize that there is more at stake here than she thought, Vittoria was not a random murder. Murdered young witches have been showing up all over Sicily forces Emilia to venture into Magic she never though she would use.

I have tried a book by Maniscalco before (Stalking Jack the Ripper) but I didn't get that far into the book before I realized that it was not for me. However, I had heard so many amazing things about this book (plus look at the cover of this book) that I decided to give it a try. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this book at first as I believed there was going to be too much of a focus on a romance aspect and while there is, I felt like it did not take away much from the story of Emilia trying to figure out who murdered her sister and why. There is for sure sexual tension between Wrath and Amelia but it does not overshadow everything else going on in the story.
This book had a little bit of everything I expect in the paranormal genre; witches, demons, curses, religion, religious fanatics, soul selling, deals with the devil, over bearing grandma and murders, quite a few murders in fact. This also made the book bit darker than I was expecting it to be, from the murders to the powers of the demons, and what Emilia ends up doing with her powers, there are quite a few dark scenes. I like that Maniscalco made the book darker as I think that it fits the plot of the book and how everything plays out.

I really liked the Witch aspects in the book. I feel that Maniscalco did research into Wiccan and weaved it into the story. She does not give the witches just these magical powers, but powers that are based with herb, bones, earth etc, it all has a very nature based feel to it, whether they are practicing white or dark magic or cooking in the restaurant kitchen. This does not meant that they do not have power, it just takes more than a flick of a finger or wiggle of a nose to achieve things. I like this authentic feel that Maniscalco gives to this book with the research she has clearly put in.

One thing I'm not 100% sure is when this book is taking place in time, it could be now, with the restaurant business that the family owns, having Emilia as the head chef and the food ideas/combinations that she comes up with. But there seems to be quite a few restrictions on girls/women at time that do not jive with current times. Plus no ones seems to mention modern technology at all, not even in passing, so I think it might be more Victorian times, which would also go along with the clothes that Emilia wears, I'm just not 100% sure

Really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. If you are looking for a dark witch read that has murder, mystery and quite a bit of mayhem, then pick this one up.

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