Kingdom of the Feared
- Author: Kerri Maniscalco
- Genre: YA Fantasy
- Publication Date: September 27, 2022
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Series: Kingdom of the Wicked #3
Thank you to YA Books Central and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can find my YA Books Central review here.
CONTENT WARNING: blood, violence, murder, gore, profanity, graphic sex scenes, grief
Two curses. One prophecy. And a love more powerful than fate…All hail the king and queen of Hell.
Emilia is reeling from a shocking discovery about her sister, Vittoria. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. She doesn’t just desire his body; she wants his heart and soul—but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.
When a high-ranking member of House Greed is assassinated, damning evidence somehow points to Vittoria as the murderer. Now Emilia will do anything to get to the bottom of these accusations against the sister she thought she knew.
Together, Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception to solve the murder and stop the unrest that’s brewing between witches, demons, shape-shifters, and the most treacherous foes of all: the Feared. Emilia was warned that, when it came to the Wicked, nothing was as it seemed. But have the true villains been much closer all along?
New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco delivers sizzling romance, sexy secrets, and unexpected twists in this unforgettable conclusion to the Kingdom of the Wicked series.
I’ve really been looking forward to this book, and was hoping that all of my questions would finally be answered. And my dreams were answered when a copy of this book sailed into my lap. I was so excited for it, and couldn’t wait to start reading. So why did it take me so long? I had to reread the first two so that I was fully prepared and could remember everything that came before. Don’t blame me, there was just so much that went down in the first two books, and it’s been a while since I read them last!
Maniscalco’s writing shines in this one. I was quickly drawn into the lavish world of Hell, with the unique stylings of each of the houses and the over-the-top outfits that Emilia got to wear in each of the scenes. Everything is described so vividly that it was incredibly easy to visualize while reading, almost as if watching a movie in my head.
In this book, we also get to see a different side of Wrath, and even the other princes. As Emilia gets drawn further into their world and accepts her role and place in their circle, she starts to see them as individuals rather than her enemies. Instead of looking for simply how they are plotting, she sees the people behind the masks, and how they interact with each other. While they are princes of Hell, they’re also brothers, and do act accordingly at times.
“As much as they fought and tried to outmaneuver one another now, there still seemed to be some familial affection. Some loyalty. Maybe one day those wounds could heal, too.”
Emilia also shows immense growth in this story. She struggles with the concept of her own humanity versus what she needs to do, and how to reconcile these two very different sides of herself. As her power grows, it seems to pull her away from her human side, and that makes her extremely uncomfortable. It changes who she is fundamentally, and she realizes a lot of harsh truths about herself, her upbringing, and who she has been. She has to redefine who she wants to be going forward, and makes difficult choices, but her biggest growth came when she realizes this about herself:
“Fear would hold me back. But faith in myself would set me free.”
There’s a LOT going on in this book. Emilia is uncovering multiple mysteries throughout the story, trying her best to undo a pair of curses, discover the truth about what has been going on with her sister, and nurture a growing romance with her love—Prince Wrath. I loved the fast pace and the many twists and turns. I was constantly being surprised, and there’s so much action in the story. It felt like so much was unpredictable and while there were a couple of plot twists that I did predict, there were so many more that I never even guessed at. And despite the many plot threads that ran throughout the story, Maniscalco successfully wrapped everything up beautifully by the end of the story.
Overall, this was an incredible book and series, and I loved the way that Emilia and Wrath’s rocky road turned into a healthy relationship with boundaries and respect and consent, on a firm foundation. There’s even some humor utilized throughout the book, which offset the heavy tone and battle scenes interspersed in the story. My only issue is the fact that this is marketed as a YA book when the sex scenes would be more suitable for an adult audience. The characters are all adults, and there are graphic scenes that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see in a more erotic type of romance novel, which could definitely be a concern for some YA readers to be exposed to. However, aside from that, this book is a perfect ending to this wild ride through Hell.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 12
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