Also by this author: Kingdom of the Wicked, Kingdom of the Cursed (Kingdom of the Wicked, #2)
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked #3
Also in this series: Kingdom of the Cursed (Kingdom of the Wicked, #2)
on September 27, 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 464 •Format: Hardcover •Source: Purchased
Emilia is reeling from the shocking discovery that her twin sister, Vittoria, is alive. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. Emilia doesn’t simply 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, Emilia and Wrath are drawn to the rival demon court. Damning evidence points to Vittoria as the murderer and she’s quickly declared an enemy of the Seven Circles. Despite her betrayal, Emilia will do anything to solve this new mystery and find out who her sister really is.
Together Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception as they work to 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? When the truth is finally revealed, it just might end up costing Emilia her heart.
Kingdom of the Cursed was one of my top (if not the top) books of 2021, so I definitely had high hopes coming into the final book (I think?) in the series. I even reread KotC to make sure I remembered everything when diving into Kingdom of the Feared, including reading some deep dives on potential theories on Reddit, lol. When my pre-order came in, I promptly retied to my library and read the first half in one sitting, then slowly savored the remaining half over a period of weeks because I did not want it to end. While it wasn’t a perfect novel, it was indulgent, captivating and definitely one of my faves of 2022!
KotF immediately had my heart because it explored so much more of the underworld, including the other demon houses, which I was SO intrigued by. As I mentioned in my review for KotC, Maniscalco has thoughtfully crafted her underworld lore and often there are more to the sins that it seems (for example, Sloth is the academic and loves to lose himself in books all day, rather than being a lazy slob). I adored getting to explore the different demon courts and see how they differed from each other and where they might be overlap, and reading the descriptions of how each prince looked and acted. Honestly, I am going to need spin-off novels for each of them, but I feel like it’s pretty clearly set up for at least getting a spin-off for Pride!
Of course, at its core this series is a paranormal romance, reminiscent in some ways of the iconic (though perhaps not aging well today) YA series of the past, such as Twilight, Hush Hush, and Lux. However, there’s also a HUGE dash of ACOTAR inspiration here, that I would be remiss to mention. From the structure of the world (courts = houses) to Wrath’s appearance/personality (wings, tattoos, turning out to be a respectful king) to Emilia being super powerful and navigating a relationship with her sister…there are even more, smaller similarities I could mention but don’t want to speak on spoilers. Even the fact that the series was initially marketed as YA and books two and three are very clearly not…there’s definitely a pattern going on here (and side note, this book is DEFINITELY NOT YA. This is why NA needs to be a thing!). But do I really care? Not really, because since ACOTAR is my fave series it makes sense that I’ve enjoyed this one so much. Wrath and Emilia’s relationship doesn’t get “boring” in this book just because the enemies to lovers plotline has finished, which is refreshing, and it has that wish fulfillment element where all readers can probably see themselves a little bit in Emilia and put themselves in her shoes while reading (like we all did with Bella when we read Twilight, let’s be real, lol).
Romance aside, I actually thought there were some really interesting plot revelations and threads pulled from book one that made everything tie together nicely. We learn more about Emilia’s true nature and past, get to see more of Vittoria (and how complicated their relationship becomes) and get introduced to more residents of the underworld in more detail (vampires, werewolves, etc). I know I already mentioned earlier in my review that I can see a spin-off happening, and I do really hope that happens because there’s so much world building that was done in this installment specifically that it seems like a shame to not explore it futher.
Overall: KotF is a firmly NA novel that delivers on many beloved paranormal romance tropes in a creative, fresh setting.