Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Narrator: Marisa Calin
Audiobook Length: 14 hours 14 minutes
Two sinful princes.
Infinite deception with a side of revenge . . . Welcome to Hell.
After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.
She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria . . . even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.
The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world . . or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?
Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves . . .
[Kingdom of the Wicked (#1) Review]
Before I get into the actual review for this novel, I will start with the audiobook for this series, so far, is epic from the sound effects to the production value. Kingdom of the Cursed picks up right where its predecessor, Kingdom of the Wicked, ends and sets up the final novel, Kingdom of the Feared, perfectly. Even though the third novel is set to be published this year, it is going to be a very difficult wait after the cliffhanger ending in this story. One change from the first novel is that this installment ventures more into the New Adult genre compared to upper young adult, although it still follows along with the same level of more adult content as some other young adult series. While this was not a factor for my reading experience, it is something to explore if the genre level matters to you as a reader.
In this story, Emilia has ventured to Hell, which is divided into seven circles that are each ruled by one of the Wicked Princes. As this is the mid-book in the series, it was more character-driven where the reader further looks at Vittoria’s death, the world-building, and the characters themselves. The relationship between Wrath and Emilia is explored further and I loved watching their relationship grow. Not only do the two characters grow individually, especially Emilia, but also they grow a lot as a potential couple with amazing chemistry. One chapter that demonstrates Wrath is still an actual demon prince and not as sweet as he initially appears, which may or may not sit right with some readers as it definitely contradicted some characters’ traits. (It is difficult to review in detail without spoiling it.) For me, it seemed out of place as it was one major event in the story that is surrounded by other scenes where the opposite happens for the characters.
While a few mysteries are addressed in this installment, there are still many that need to be solved. Some of the twists and turns were predictable, but I loved that they were still enjoyable and fit the story. Some of the plot twists were surprises as they opened the door for more mysteries that need to be addressed. Emilia’s reactions to some of these twists were, at times, more surprising than the events themselves. In some of these moments, Emilia did not have a larger reaction, as expected, yet would react more in more minor situations. To me, they did not align based on my understanding of her character. Overall, there is not a lot of progression for the plot as there is a larger focus on the romance; however, it was still a very entertaining story and I cannot wait to read the final novel!