Kingdom of the Cursed, the second book in The Kingdom of the Wicked series by Kerri Maniscalco, is my first five-star read of the new year. I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series for a variety of reasons, so I had no doubts that I would also enjoy the sequel. Still, I was not expecting to love it as much as I did, and I am perfectly okay with that.
There is a lot to like about both books. For one thing, the mystery Emilia tries to solve is intriguing as we still do not know much about motive or perpetrator. Then, Emilia herself is so fierce. Not only is she more than capable of handling anything that comes her way, but she also does not swallow her feelings as so many heroines tend to do. Instead, she feels every emotion with every fiber of her being. This emotional intensity enhances your understanding of her character and drives much of the plot.
Lastly, there is Emilia and Wrath. Holy. Hell. Seriously, if there were a devil who looked and acted like Wrath, I would be the first to sign away my soul. Their interactions are so steamy and yet perfect; I couldn’t get enough. I especially love the fact that Ms. Maniscalco lets us see that there are so many layers to Wrath’s character, layers we have yet to peel away to allow us to understand his motivations. Every piece of information we learn about him does nothing but illustrate how little we know, and it is thrilling that we still have so much more to learn.
Between anticipating further Emilia and Wrath interactions, new information, and a mystery yet to solve, the final book in the series is now at the top of my list of anticipated books for 2022. It is fitting that Kingdom of the Cursed will probably be my favorite book for January. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Ms. Maniscalco makes sinning look so damn delicious and delightful.