A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will learn some tenets of Catholicism, as well as the seven deadly sins. Sicilian cooking and cuisine is also heavily featured.
The book encourages honesty in family relationships, courage to do difficult things and uncover ugly truths, curiosity about the supernatural, and perseverance against serious odds.
Positive Role Models
Emilia is intelligent, loving, and brave. She sometimes makes impulsive decisions and allows herself to be put in harm's way, but she ultimately acts to help those she loves, as well as the overall community. Wrath is a demon, but he's also willing to act against his own interests to help Emilia.
Violence & Scariness
Character deaths are described in detail. Some of the women's bodies are found with graphic and bloody injuries. Lots of peril as Emilia goes on her mission to track killers. Vampires suck blood, demon princes cause all sorts of violent mayhem, and battles are fought with and without magic, with and without weapons.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Attraction, desire, and lust are discussed. Two characters have a lot of romantic chemistry and share many longing looks and even kiss. Characters speculate about a woman's sexual history. Partygoers dance nearly naked.
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Occasional but not frequent: "damn," "hell," "bitch," "evil witch," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Partygoers act drunk or drugged -- on whatever their "greed of choice is."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that that Kingdom of the Wicked is best-selling author Kerri Maniscalco's first historical thriller after the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. The author focuses on Sicilian twin sisters Emilia and Vittoria, who are secretly streghe, witches with magical powers. The most mature content concerns the violence (mostly against women) depicted in the story, as well as the relatively high body count. But there's also occasional language, some passionate kissing, and discussion of sexual experience. Partygoers are compelled by the Wicked and feel drugged or in ecstasy. This book will appeal to readers who want more paranormal thrillers and romance.
Is It Any Good?
Part paranormal romance, part page-turning thriller, this series-opener by Kerri Maniscalco is entertaining, fast-paced, and intricately plotted. Readers will be invested in the world building, the obvious slow-burn romance full of witty banter, longing looks, and sizzling chemistry between Emilia and Wrath. He's a seemingly ageless prince of darkness with anger issues, and she's a disciplined, hardworking witch on a mission. The opposites-attract romance practically writes itself. Maniscalco doesn't make the romance the center of the story, however -- that belongs to Emilia's quest to solve the mysteries of Vittoria's death and punish her killers, even if it means sacrificing her safety and that of her family.
Not everything in the book is heavy and hellish. There are many references to Sicilian food, since the twins' family owns a beloved local restaurant. The traditional Italian dishes are described in delectable detail, and readers will want to find the nearest authentic ristorante (or at the very least, cookbook) to try some of the meals Emilia mentions. There's also something immersive about being swept away in a supernatural story that takes place in another country, another century, another world. Be warned, there are plot twists and a cliffhanger that might confound, but will eventually just make readers count the days until the next installment.
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