[A quick note: This is an incredibly hyped book, so I was extremely excited to read it. Moreover, the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS! The premise sucked me in immediately. Also, how pretty are these purple edges? I did them myself to match the cover and I’m super happy with how it turned out.]
“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.”—Kerri Maniscalco
A handsome evil prince, a murder mystery, and tons of angst will keep you on your toes as you read this one. It’s a real page turner. Throw in family dynamic and good Italian food and you’ve got the makings for a great read! However, I did have a few qualms. The beginning didn’t connect with me, and the ending frustrated me in a bad way. But for the most part, I really enjoyed this one.
When Emilia’s twin sister dies, she’s desperate to discover the killer. Desperate enough to summon a demon prince and risk his assistance. Wrath has selfish plans of his own. These plans come to a head when Emilia allows herself to fall for him, leaving her with a sense of betrayal.
This story is set in Sicily, in an alternative reality where witches and demons exist. I wasn’t able to tell exactly what time period it was (perhaps not the best world building?) but I’m certain it was pre-technology even though there were some modern hints. When witches begin turning up dead, including Emilia’s sister, she takes matters into her own hands. There’s plenty of magic as she uses her strengths to help her navigate the trials of working with a demon prince like Wrath. Most of the backdrop jumps between the streets of her home town and the restaurant her family owns. There are plenty of descriptions of food, which left me craving Italian! Yum!
I also enjoyed learning about each of the princes and the underworld they came from. As Emilia is trying to solve her sister’s murder, she discovers some deep history behind a curse that the princes are trying to break. Each sin has its own prince, like greed, sloth, pride, etc. I found that unique and creative. Wrath is the prince Emilia aligns herself to, and his emotions tend to align most with hers. But each prince has the ability to elicit a person’s emotions based on their strength. For example, there is a scene where Emilia meets Lust and he elicits extreme lust within her.
The banter and relationship between Emilia and Wrath was what I enjoyed most. While the world building didn’t particularly wow me, it was the banter that kept me hooked. There were plenty of angsty moments between these two. And yet, some of it felt pretty typical of YA romantic interests. I was hoping for a bit more depth and growth between these two.
My biggest qualm was the ending and the beginning. The first 20% didn’t really hook me. It felt slow and didn’t elicit my emotions. I would have preferred the story to start after the death that triggered the events, since the death didn’t make me feel much. But it was the ending that really irked me. I’m struggling to put my finger on it, but it just annoyed me. It did achieve the desired effect of making me want to jump straight into the next book. Thank goodness I didn’t have to wait a full year for that!
Overall, a fun read. It just didn’t quite live up to the hype like I was hoping. But I’d still definitely recommend it. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟒/𝟓⭐️