Ok I absolutely LOVED THIS??? I, of course, had been seeing this all over but didn’t really think about it until my blogger friends said they were doing a buddy read of the second book. So I took out the first book and thought I wouldn’t be able to listen to the second book over the weekend…. And then on Friday there comes in the loan for the second book!!! So I like binge listened to the first book and was able to start the second book immediately after! And then I think I got a burnout from reading too much and had to pause for like a week 😄
I tried to keep this spoiler-free so I hope I managed to do so!
Disclaimer: I loaned this book out of the library with the intention of reading and reviewing it honestly. The featured image is my own. The summary is taken from Goodreads. All opinions expressed are my own.
Title: Kingdom of the Wicked
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Audiobook Narrator: Marisa Calin
Series: #1 in Kingdom of the Wicked (#2)
Year Published: 2020
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Cover Art/Designer: Liam Donnelly
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy ~ Romance ~ Historical FictionS
Let’s put this book under ‘historical fiction books DB actually likes’ – right there by The Gilded Wolves. I absolutely loved this book. I’m not really keen on most historical fictions as a lot of the time the writing tends to be a bit wooden at times. But this definitely wasn’t the case with this one! I loved it from the first chapter, took me nearly no time to get into the story and start loving the characters.
Every time I heard the word ‘Nonna’ or any mention of Italian food I smiled so widely because it reminded me of my Nonna. The one who would take off her slipper and throw it at me (and nearly always hit me) if I were annoying her or being naughty – which, you know, was barely ever because I was such a good girl 😆. The one who would come and shuffle and kill cockroaches for us and who wasn’t afraid of spiders (versus me, who won’t go to the bathroom if there’s a spider in there).
I grew hungry every time there was a mention of food – I actually got up the one time and just made bruschetta because they kept mentioning it and it made me nostalgic. It was amazing and just like I remembered! And then I had it like twice more in the week.
I listened to the audio and definitely recommend it! The production value is stellar and made me feel as if I was right beside the characters. I read at 1.5x speed but I did slow it down to listen to it at normal speed (for about a minute and switched back). It sounded glorious either way, so I can for sure say that even if you listen to it slowed down it’ll still be really good! I just can’t do that anymore – audiobooks at 1x speed sound like they’re slowed down!
The characters were superb. Although we do get to spend more time with Emilia and would like her more, I liked the bit we got with Vittoria (her twin). They felt like sisters (which is something I always enjoying seeing) and I liked the easy way we got to know the sisters and the di Carlo family.
I feel like I haven’t read a book with witches in it for a while! Magic-users and magic systems, yes. But witches – not lately! This definitely did not disappoint as I absolutely loved that and while there isn’t so much as a magic system. I did thoroughly enjoy the witches and their magic + the Princes of Hell and their magic. Utterly fantastic and I was so excited to see that more in detail in the sequel.
As I said, I really loved Emilia, I grew quickly fond of her and her personality. She was a really strong character and didn’t feel like she was only considered strong because she bantered with the love interest (as it can happen at times). Rooting for her and wanting her to find out what happened was easy because I immediately connected with her.
And Wrath? Oh my goodness, did that man instantly capture my attention. Super witty, he likes food!! He cares for Emilia and wants to help her. Highly recommend if you’re still unsure about reading this, look at the fanart for the books. It’s sure to change the mind.
The book is less than 400 pages so while it is a shorter book than others, the plot and pacing make it feel like it should be longer. The audiobook is like over 12 hours long, so maybe that’s why I thought it was over 400 pages long?
Read this if: you like food in your stories, like enemies-to-lovers books, or you like witty characters. Maybe you’re a fan of witches? Just read this!