Wrath and Vengeance || Kingdom of the Cursed

Initial Thoughts

Alright, hear me out. HEAR ME OUT. I set about this book having been edged to insanity in the first book (which I thought had some older YA vibes), so I was hoping something would happen in this one. But DAMN I was NOT expecting the continual escalation and WRATH HAS FOREVER RUINED ME FOR THE YEAR AND IT IS ONLY JANUARY HELP.

That said, do I even know wtf the plot was? Do I even care right now? No. Because there’s only Wrath and Emilia banter and I will eat it up like the starving demon prince of war and fury eating up his favorite c-word. I MEAN CANNOLI, YA NASTIES.

SPOILER ALERT: Kingdom of the Cursed is the second book in the trilogy, so expect some spoilers of the first book. Also, apologies for this review on the offhand you actually start reading it. I mean to ramble in randomness. Can’t help it with this book and my current state of mind!


by Kerri Maniscalco
Hodder & Stoughton, October 2021
NA fantasy, romance
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies

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…

There is no end in the fanart, and I’m not even sorry about it.

Honestly, this print of Gabriella Bujdoso? Chef’s kiss kiss kisses!

I don’t even know why I’m doing a full review of this book. I hadn’t planned on it at all, considering I have had the same thing to say about this book’s plot as I had in Kingdom of the Wicked. Which is to say, plot? WHAT PLOT?

I’m sure there was something that was happening, like Emilia still obsessing over trying to solve her sister’s murder, which for some reason has been unsolved since the last book. I think there was also something about Emilia going on a weird research/scavenger hunt of finding herself and her place in the middle of all these games played by the Wicked. And by games, I mostly mean Wrath, because the other Princes of Hell? WHAT OTHER PRINCES OF HELL?!

Alright, I’m being unreasonable. Of course we see all the Princes of Hell, and I was actually fairly curious how Pride was going to compare to all the other princes. Mostly to Wrath. Honestly, I think Gluttony was just my favorite overall. Nothing sinful about excess when you’re an immortal and sinning your way into your own kingdom, amiright?

But Wrath. Let’s talk about Wrath.

“You look like a beautiful cataclysm.”

Kingdom of the Cursed – Kerri Maniscalco

SIR. Say that AGAIN. This man has me on a chokehold, and I’m not even sure why. Is he any different from any of the other TDH grumps in the fiction I’ve been reading lately? Not particularly. Unless you count all those glowing snake and flower tattoos all over his marvelous physique. Unless you count the fact that he’s such a big LIAR.

“I have been called many things, but I am no liar.”

My guy. You don’t get to SAY THAT when your words at the very beginning were to tell Emilia you wouldn’t take care of her. And then proceed to carry her ass at the edge of the Sin Corridor, help her thaw out from hypothermia, and then MUMBLE “I lied” under your breath in the hopes of Emilia not hearing you.

Freaking chokehold, this man.

Some days I hated him for it, but there was a larger part of me that was grateful for his unwillingness to tolerate my fire burning out. He’d poke and prod and taunt me until I wanted nothing more than to wrap my hands around his neck and squeeze. And it was far better to be angry rather than turn into a ghost of my former self from sadness and grief.

And of course, how can I say no to this guy? Emilia, you got some serious control–OR DO YOU?! (As usual, artwork done by the amazing Salome Totladze).

Now Emilia and Wrath. Together they are the team of ALL TEAMS. I love this ship, actually. And sometimes Emilia has her derp moments, where she wants to constantly dismiss all of Wrath’s actions. But ma’am, THE TENSION AND CHEMISTRY is ridiculous between these two. Most of the time I read, I was just screaming “JUST GET THIS OVER WITH ALREADY AND SMASH YOU TWO.” But also me: “How are we only 25 pages in, you’re in the middle of a treacherous section of hell, and you’re BOTH horny af?!”

Also, this sequel gave me ALL the smut I was looking for in KotW. Does that make me absolute trash? Yes. I own this now. To be fair, though, I didn’t think I would get this much, considering the trilogy IS marketed as a YA…because remember when YA used to have characters trying not to use modern expletives, so instead they end up making up their own curse words? Remember those days? Because hot damn, I was NOT expecting Emilia of all people to be letting it all out.

And I mean, she let it all out.

I don’t blame her. If I was Emilia in every number of scenes that had Wrath in it, I’d drop everything too and call him SIR. That lagoon scene? PHEW. The feast at Gluttony’s palace? Hot DAMN was quaking in my boots.

“Rage makes for messy battle strategies. If you cannot control your fury, you risk getting hurt.”

“Fine. I’m calmer. Though not for long if you keep poking at me.”

“That creates quite the mental imagery.”

“You’re wholly inappropriate.”


Seriously, though, the banter is ridiculous and I will willingly read the next book because that confession/finally moving that plot along/ending scene better be elaborated first thing in Kingdom of the Feared or I RIOT.

Or reread this book again. I won’t mind.

4 out of 5 cookies! As I said. Do I really care so much about the plot? Not particularly. Change my mind, Kerri. Also don’t. I really don’t want to think too much. I just want more Wrath and Emilia. Mmkthanks.

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