Title: Kingdom of the Cursed
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Pub. Date: October 5, 2021
Pub: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: YA/NA Historical Fiction Fantasy Romance
From #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stalking Jack the Ripper Kerri Maniscalco comes the sizzling, sweepingly romantic sequel to Kingdom of the Wicked!
Two sinful princes.
Infinite deception with a side of revenge…Welcome to Hell.
After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.
She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria…even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.
The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world…or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?
Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves…
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible and I have 2 pressing thoughts/opinions. ONE this audiobook production was a fucking masterpiece. TWO WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS WASN’T A DUOLOGY BECAUSE I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT IT WAS AND NOW, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.
You can also check out my spoiler free review for Kingdom of the Wicked. You should also check out Sammy’s review for Kingdom of the Wicked over on We Write at Dawn and yell at her to go read Kingdom of the Cursed because I need someone to talk to.
But now, back to the review.
Let me tell you how enraged I was to be left on the cliffhanger that is the end of this damn book. I don’t know if I’m just dumb, unobservant, or what – but I could have sworn this new Maniscalco series was as duology. Was it originally planned to be one, and then expanded? Because I had no clue and that ended was like a punch in the face.
Like, I spent the whole damn book waiting and waiting and waiting only for it to cut like that?!?!
I legit ripped my AirPod from my ear and threw it on the table because what the hell. Then I promptly freaked out and lost my shit to a coworker because let’s be real, I struggled to process that ending.
You’re probably concerned that I didn’t like the book. And while, yes, it took me a bit to get back invested, overall, I did really enjoy it. It was a bit slow at times, but I loved that Maniscalco bumped it up to a NA status and didn’t shy away from a bit of spice. Is this book spicy? Sure, it’s sprinkled in there. But I think it’s more seductive than actually spicy. Like, if you’re going in for heavy spice, or a lot of sex on the page, you’re going to be disappointed. Is there heat, and temptations, seduction and exquisite touches on bare flesh? Fuck yes.
It’s been a little less than a week since I finished the book and I’m still upset. I really don’t know where I got this idea that it was only going to be two books. I waited the whole damn book for that thing (that sound childish, but trying to avoid spoilers here) to happen, only for it to just cut off.
Y’all. Ugh. I just need the next book.
I loved being in Hell. I loved the different sins, and Emilia in general. I loved that this was more mature and a bit darker. It was honestly a lot better than the first. And I only say that, because I think the fact that book 1 was strictly YA and not very sinful or seductive kind of hurt it. The tone and vibe of this series has always felt more mature, and I think Maniscalco hit the nail on the head with this second installment.
Now, I’m just going to sit here, dying and screaming internally while I wait for the third book – that I didn’t know would exist. Seriously? Did I miss the announcement or what? Legit my shock over the reveals and the ending, and the fact that I didn’t know there was another book are blanketing all other thoughts about this book. I’m oscillating from omfg it was amazing to what the fuck, it ended like that to HOW DID I MISS THAT IT’S NOT A DUOLOGY.
Any other critical thought is eclipsed. Just know that this was good, a bit of slow start but I was hooked the entire time and completely absorbed. I’m a sucker for Wrath, but are we surprised? I cannot wait to see what happens next for Emilia and Wrath and I’m so damn fucking excited. A year can’t pass quickly enough.