Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco Book Review


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Content Warning: Gore, Violence, Self-harm, Grief, Death


Kingdom of the Wicked is an urban fantasy murder mystery. Of which I am pleasantly surprised. I did not know what to expect from a James Patterson-sponsored book. I grew up on his Daniel X and Maximum Ride books and they were clean. Not much gore, not really any cussing, and certainly nothing more than a kiss. But Kingdom of the Wicked opened my eyes to new authors that I avoided before because I was weary of the character’s ages, plot, etc.


  • World-building
  • Solid characters
  • Plot


  • No map
  • Time period not clear
  • Little to no setting descriptions



I’ve never actually read a murder mystery, much less a fantasy murder mystery, but let me tell you I dig this! The plot progressed naturally with realistic and reasonable explanations for it all; from Emilia moving out of her home and her parents thinking she needed space, to some witches losing their minds in dark magic. The atmosphere and premise are phenomenal! Who doesn’t enjoy a spooky murder mystery with demons, witches, and good cooking?

I’m not good with picking out plot twists, so the one here caught me off guard and I was all for it. Not to mention the perfect cliffhanger at the end! It was a solid way to set up the next book (which luckily I had on hand otherwise I would have lost my mind!).



Boy, is Emilia smart and logical. I love it! She’s a strong female protagonist that is confident in her abilities and trusts her instincts. There are not many characters like her and it’s so refreshing to see. I love her drive, her determination, and seeing her thought process throughout the book. She doesn’t trust Wraith as far as she can throw him, but she understands that if she wants to save her sister, he’s the only one who can help.

I enjoyed her passion for cooking, which is not something I like myself. The way she described dishes and plans throughout seemed realistic because if it’s something you love you’ll always be thinking about it (like a passion for painting and wanting to paint a sunset while out).


What a dick. I love him. He’s kind of the stereotypical bad boy with a soft side. I mean, did you read the scene where he left Emilia her favorite flowers, or is pretty protective of her regardless of the spell? I swooned so hard. But he definitely lives up to his namesake. There was so much gore involved with him and I wouldn’t expect anything less than an entitled, violent prince of hell.

Side Characters

I could have throttled Nonna through most of the book.  You can’t be so secretive about the girl’s necklaces and witchcraft history and not expect them to explore the concepts. Just tell them! I believe she had good intentions on protecting the girls, but she did not go about it the right way.


The only issue I had was deciphering the time period by the surroundings. There wasn’t much detail on if there were cars, what the buildings were like, etc. I definitely could have used more setting descriptions. With it, this would have been the absolute perfect book (though I still gave it 5 stars because I loved it).


I highly recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the world, the magic, the secrets.I instantly picked up the second book after this one! I couldn’t wait to get back into the world. This book is so well written and captivating. I’ve never really read a mystery/fantasy book, but I loved it. The detail in the characters, their antics, and their thought process, all felt so natural. The book took its time and laid everything out perfectly. Even the cliffhanger at the end was well deserved and thought out! 

What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Facebook Page  |  Goodreads TBR  |  Spicy Rating Scale. | Kerri Maniscalco’s Website

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