The third and final installment of Kerri Maniscalco’s Kingdom of the Wicked trilogy, Kingdom of the Feared, is finally out in the world. The book picks up almost immediately after the events of book 2, Kingdom of the Cursed. Emilia has made a shocking discovery about her twin Vittoria, who has been accused of committing a murder in House Greed. The accusation sets Emilia on the case to clear Vittoria’s name, all while Emilia continues to learn more about her murky past. Together, Emilia and Wrath set out to find the truth and stop the unrest brewing before it’s too late.
Something I’ve loved seeing throughout this series is the agency that Emilia has. It’s nothing unique to this book specifically, but it’s certainly become more steadfast since readers first met her. This book contains bigger reveals involving Emilia, and as such, Maniscalco gives her greater opportunities to truly own her power – in more ways than one. Despite being in the dark for many things, Emilia refuses to be the damsel in distress. She’s persistent and uses that to her advantage. As the story has moved forward, Emilia has grown, too. She maintains her fierce loyalty to those she loves, chases after her own pleasure, and embraces her anger in all its might.
With Vittoria becoming a more integral part to the story with this book, her and Emilia’s relationship gained more spotlight. Maniscalco has established the depth of Emilia’s grief earlier in the series. Her world was shaken with the revelation that Vittoria lived, but I found it interesting that her grief didn’t immediately disappear, especially as she learned the circumstances that kept Vittoria alive. Rather, it seemed as though Emilia grieved the sister she used to know, struggling to rectify this version of Vittoria with the one she grew up with. Maniscalco brings a riveting complexity to their relationship, redefining their sisterhood while maintaining its foundation.
Similarly, all of the relationships Emilia has – in whatever form they take – provide their own intrigue. With the biggest reveals contained within this book, both she and readers realize not everything is so cut and dried, largely when it comes to Emilia’s family, as is demonstrated later in the book. Maniscalco builds upon pre-existing relationships but also offers glimpses into ones that weren’t previously explored. It’s a tangled web that eventually sorts itself out, showcasing the interconnectedness of the world.
Overall, Kingdom of the Feared is a solid addition to Maniscalco’s trilogy. She seamlessly crosses over into New Adult territory and dives headfirst into the steamy romance of it. Series long threads are wrapped up in a satisfying way, bringing surprising twists that usher in each resolution. The world of the story continues to expand, keeping everything fresh yet familiar for readers. Maniscalco writes with an urgency that pushes the action while also taking time to breathe in the slower moments. The book is a fiery, thrilling, and gripping conclusion to the series.
Kingdom of the Feared is available now online and in stores.