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Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

“There are seven demon princes, but only four di Carlos should fear: Wrath, Greed, Envy, and Pride. One will crave your blood. One will capture your heart. One will steal your soul. And one will take your life.“ - Nonna

Kingdom of the Wicked, Kerri Maniscalco


Synopsis (No Spoilers Here):


In Sicily in the late 1800s, Emilia and her twin sister, Vittoria, are witches living secretly among humans. They help run the family restaurant, Sea & Vine, and constantly warned of the danger associated with practicing dark magic. Emilia and Vittoria are skeptical of the warnings and tales their Nonna spins about the war between the First Witch and the Demon Princes. One day, Emilia discovers her sister, gruesomely murdered, and begins to question everything that she thought she new about her twin. Emilia vows to hunt down whoever (or whatever) killed her sister, and seek vengeance. She soon meets Wrath, who claims he will help her solve the mystery of her sister's death. But as more is revealed and discovered, Emilia will have to decide whether she can trust a demon prince she has been alerted against her whole life.


Some additional (non-spoiler) notes:

This is marketed as a Young Adult fantasy/mystery book. I've heard rumor that the second book (Kingdom of the Cursed) is more New Adult, and contains more steam and spice than the first.


This was the November pick for the bookclub I'm in (shoutout Read Between the Wines!), and a good read. It was a little slow going for a while. The main character is given very little information about herself, and her family is not forthcoming in sharing information that would help solve her sister's murder. But about halfway in the book, it really hit a nice stride, and I quickly finished and ordered the second book!


Music to Read to:


Bookclub Snacks (with recipe links):

Espresso


Bookclub talking points included below, which are a little spoiler-y, so don't look yet if you haven't read it!

I got my Firstleaf box the other day and immediately knew that this chenin blanc would pair well with Kingdom of the Wicked! I imagine that the tattoo in the book looks something like this.

Bookclub Discussion Topics


  1. Why did Emilia's family choose to keep her in the dark over her legacy? Who is she really?

  2. Where/who is the First Witch?

  3. What is the significance of the changing tattoo?

  4. How did Emilia react to each of the four demon princes? And how do you think you would be effected?

  5. Why did Emilia so quickly jump into practicing dark magic, after being warned against it her whole life?

  6. In this world, what is the difference between the dark and light magic?

  7. What dish are you ordering from the Sea & Vine?

  8. In the quote outlined above, match up which demon you think fulfilled which part of the prophesy

Wrath

One will crave your blood.

Greed

One will capture your heart.

Envy

One will steal your soul.

Pride

One will take your life.


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