Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised. I did not detest this author’s debut series – Stalking Jack the Ripper – although I am not a big fan of Historical Fiction and overly cheeky, immature and game-playing love interests. This is why I am a little surprised by how much I did not mind the love interest in this one. He is a bad boy, definitely over-confident and quite manipulative. But as bad and wrong as he may be, there is quite a mature side of him that is shown throughout the story, which made me like him more than Stalking Jack the Ripper’s love interest.

I also enjoyed the storyline more, though that comes as no surprise, since I have always been a fan of fantasy, witches and mystery. Those elements combined feel like Heaven to me, even in this hellish world Emilia inhabits. Things are particularly bad when her sister is murdered and she cannot quiet down her need for revenge. Emilia will stop at nothing to find her sister’s murderer and rip his heart out like he/she/it did her sister’s.

I have to say that I see a lot of dark-sounding premises out there in the YA Fantasy world. You know, the princess charged to murder the prince but ends up falling in love with him and such. Although there is some sort of romance in this one, Emilia is quite deadly, that you can believe. Of course, she has her human side, but she is very overcome by grief and other dark emotions that blind her from too many feelings of compassion, understanding and empathy towards others, especially since there are various suspects on her list of heart-rippers.

One weakness that this book possesses is its development and overall presentation of the world-building. I understand the connection and hard history between witches and devils, but the rest of the creatures featured, such as werewolves, vampires and other hellish things, were a little harder to wrap my head around. Were werewolves and vampires really necessary? What do they actually bring? Is it worth including them if their history is not going to be unfolded correctly? Perhaps more information about them will be given in the sequel but I would not hold my breath. Otherwise, I had fun following Emilia’s descent into darkness and I’m sure the sequel will prove to be just as thrilling and BAD hehehehe.

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for a review.

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