Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe—witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin… desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked Princes of Hell that she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems… (Goodreads, 2020).
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this one. I really wanted to love it, but didn’t. HOWEVER, the ending has me intrigued and I’m going to continue with the series.
I’m going to start by discussing what I liked first. I enjoyed the setting immensely. I’ve never been to Palermo, but Kerri Maniscalco’s description really made me want to visit. The author was also fantastic at making the setting feel at times incredibly peaceful and at other times incredibly sinister. I also really enjoyed learning about Italian folk magic and traditions, because I’ve always liked the idea of magic being real and have long been fascinated by Wicca and the magical traditions of different cultures.
Finally, I really enjoyed the characters of Nonna Maria and Wrath. Nonna Maria is so dramatic, but underneath all the drama there lies a woman with a core of steel, who will do anything to protect her family. I particularly loved the scene where she confronts one of the Wicked. In my head I remember saying, “Go Nonna Maria!”. It was just so impressive to see this little old lady take on a prince of Hell. And then there is Wrath. He is such an enigma to me. I can’t figure out his feelings for Emilia and what his end goals are. Part of why I want to continue with the story is, because it becomes clear that Wrath is neither as good nor as evil as Emilia thinks at different times in the story so I’m curious to see where his story goes.
Now on to what I didn’t enjoy about this story. First of all, I was not a fan of Emilia. I understand that she was grieving a terrible loss and grief can make people do strange things, but I often found myself wanting to shake her. I mean who summons a demon without proper preparation?! And who wanders around alone and unprotected when gruesome murders are occurring?!
Another aspect of the story that I didn’t enjoy was how characters would suddenly spout information and there is no explanation as to how they learned about it. I also wish that our introduction to the different supernatural creatures of this world was a bit more spaced out. It felt like we were bombarded with a new species practically every chapter towards the last portion of the story.
I’m sad to give this book a 3 out of 5, because I had such high hopes for it. However, I’m hoping that the sequel is an improvement as the ending definitely peaked my interest and it looks like Emilia will be in the prime position to learn what Wrath’s true agenda really is.
Quotes that I Enjoyed:
One day you’ll call me Death. For now Wrath will do.”Wrath
There are victors and victims. Decide who you want to be or the choice will be made for you Witch and I doubt you’ll like it.”Wrath