Book series: Kingdom of the Wicked
Kingdom of the Wicked - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Kingdom of the Cursed - ⭐️⭐️
Author: Kerry Maniscalco
In the “Kingdom of the Wicked” series we are presented with a rivalry among humans, witches and demons. There’s this air of the Inquisition period. Witches aren’t human, but they keep themselves a secret to avoid execution on the hands of religious humans. We also have Hell and its Seven Circles, each ruled by the Wicked, the Princes of Hell, each corresponding to the seven deadly sins: Pride, Greed, Wrath, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, and Sloth. Each group seems to have a purpose on its own, and how they interact among them will determine the future of all.
The story focuses on the di Carlo family. They are a powerful Italian streghe family—witches—power that has been hidden, secrets well kept, even to their own family members, especially to twins Emilia and Vittoria. Their grandmother has told them numerous almost fantastical stories about the dangers of their world. However, without much argument, they believe them as fairy tales, even when they methodically perform their protection rituals and so. Although you could say, they could have been more cautious, if only they had taken the stories seriously.
One day, tragedy knocks their door, and Vittoria is murdered. Emilia sets herself on the quest to discover her twin’s murderer. Nonetheless, she will soon find herself in more trouble than she can chew. In her pursuit for answers, she summons none other than Prince Wrath. Captivating, handsome and dangerous, this Prince will set an alliance with Emilia, but will that be all between them? Along the way, she will be tempted by the Princes sins and influence. She will be forced to make hard choices. She will found herself in the middle of family secrets, curses, lies, intense emotions, and complicated scenarios.
The storyline is messy and all over the place.
Even though the plot sounds promising, the delivery result wasn’t so. There isn’t a logical order for how things happen. The storyline is messy and all over the place. The arguments to justify the actions and decisions are floppy, weak. You find yourself accumulating puzzle pieces that you’re not sure they relate to each other. And there are so many pieces that you’re afraid one of them will end as an open loop because the author might forget to solve it. Moreover, there are no really small wins, it feels the story is going nowhere. There’s not enough information you can hold on to, to make sense of all the mystery. The clues are insufficient to build tension and keep you hanging and waiting for what’s to come.
The second book was just filling. Nothing really happens. It goes around and around the plot. Then, you have the ending. It left me clueless. There’s no logical reason in my mind for the things that happened. Emilia has been avoiding a particular decision. Suddenly, at the end, I don’t understand how she came to the conclusion, that the decision she was avoiding is what she needs to deal with her new problems. She didn’t even meditate it, probably because she really didn’t want to look closely to it. So, how after you avoid something so much, you jump right into it without further ado? And how does piece A lead to B?
Another thing that bothered me, and this has to do with my first critique about the logic of events, is how you expected certain things to happen, but they didn’t for a while. Let me give you an example. Emilia has a promising clue about Vittoria’s murderer. You would expect that she follows it through right away. It’s the only thing she’s got so far. What happens instead? It seems she forgot about it until a few days later when she thought of asking. This situation repeats itself throughout the story. When she summons Wrath, she has three days to interrogate him. Instead, she does whatever else, and finally, on the third day when the summoning spell is about to expire, she goes see him. Does that make sense to you?
Finally, Emilia, our protagonist, has a weird curve as a character. She has certain personality and after Vittoria’s passing, she turns into someone so different. You understand dramatic changes can cause someone to alter her perspectives and actions. However, her evolution as a character is too rash, and I’m not sure it goes along her personality or what she could have discover of herself as a person.
I can’t say this is a story I really enjoyed, but I’m curious to see how it will end. Let’s tune for “Kingdom of the Feared,” to be released later this year on September 27.
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