Come into the Sin Corridor with us and discover which house is your ultimate destiny… Welcome to our discussion on Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco! You’ll remember that one of our first posts talked about Kingdom of the Wicked, book one of this beautifully haunting and sexy series by the author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Ashli was on board for the whole thing, while Erin was busy questioning the time period. There is a lot to discuss about Emelia and Wrath’s adventures in this volume of their tale so let’s get to it!
“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...
Two sinful princes.
Infinite deception with a side of revenge… Welcome to Hell.”
Ashli: Wow. Just wow. Kerri seriously went there with Kingdom of the Cursed. Warning to all readers… There will be spoilers because this book can not be discussed without sharing quotes and key plot points. Kingdom of the Cursed starts us right from the end of Kingdom of the Wicked as Emelia enters the Seven Circles for the first time. She’s got Wrath beside her to guide her through the Sin Corridor towards his personal circle. I think we should start with the idea that Hell is basically freaking winter… aka my favourite season which does not deter me one bit from wanting to go there right this very moment to claim my own Prince.
Erin: It’s so interesting the way she decided to go. Maybe she wanted something more unique than the usual “fiery pits of Hell” notion. It took some getting used to because I automatically had dark blacks and reds as my vision for Hell. But I loved all the ice and winter vibes. The Sin Corridor was also interesting… so you’re in Hell, but it’s like you have to prove the intensity of your sins / affiliation to which sin you have strongest within you and that will determine which House you align best with. It’s almost like an initiation, and they want to welcome their own into the proper House. Like a Hell version of the Sorting Hat 😆
A: I don’t know if anyone remembers me saying how I am not a huge fan of a lot of sex in books. Even if you don’t, I am going to update that statement right now. Unless it is Kerri Maniscalco giving me the sexy, I am not a huge fan of the sex scenes in books. I was blushing so hard during a good chunk of this one, but couldn’t tear my eyes away from the scenes. Wrath and Emelia have such great chemistry and Kerri wrote it so well. There’s a lovely mix of sass and sexy which drew me straight in along with the constant threats of violence during sex.
I placed my lips to his ear. “Are you sensing the knife I’m now considering stabbing you with, your highness?” … “I am even more interested in where this may lead, my lady. You forget what sin I rule over. I am rather fond of a bit of knife-play.”
Be still my dark, twisted, demon loving heart. Later on, Gluttony even refers to her as “violent little vixen”... those are the exact words I want to hear to describe me thank you very much.
E: I don’t think we even made it to chapter 2 before she was laying down the steam. And you all know I’m here for it. But god damn was that intense. If you’re assuming book 2 will be like book 1… you’re in for a wild ride (pun intended). Kingdom of the Wicked is lukewarm compared to this sensual masterpiece.
A: While I feel that many people would possibly complain about the fact that we didn’t get a lot of “action” scenes in this book plot wise, I personally loved it. I felt like I was just living alongside Emelia and experiencing the Seven Circles with her. It was such a good introduction to the world below along with an intimate exposure to Envy and the rest of the brothers. Being House Sloth, I really did want more of him but I have a feeling that I’ll learn more in the third book as Kerri teases out the main plot.
E: This book was definitely character driven and I think it really helped understand everyone better. I enjoy these types of novels so I didn’t mind it at all. I don’t feel like this fell into book two syndrome— you know where the book feels like an awkward pause that you slog through in order to get to the good stuff in book three. Kingdom of the Cursed was a great second book that I don’t feel was too long or stalling to keep you interested enough to buy book three.
A: So Kerri teased on an Instagram post that we were going to get to meet Wrath’s pets in this book. I’m actually disappointed that we didn’t get to meet them as intimately as I was hoping. My guess is that the hell hounds are Wrath’s pets since he kept calling them puppies when referring to them. I wanted to see him actually interacting with them and maybe snuggling them and also receive even more of a description than we did get. It’s the only disappointment that I have with this book! Gimme more animals Kerri!!!
E: We need to talk about chapter 17. This is the only spot where the book made me cringe . This chapter made me a little nauseous and detracted from the romance. It was a huge power trip of Wrath to control her like that and take away her ability to consent. It was labeled as “training” but it was so abusive and off putting. I put those feelings aside and continued the book, believing she was going to “need” this training for the assault that was coming in the form of the other Princes. But once you finish the novel you realize how completely unnecessary this chapter was. At no point did other Princes try to steal into her mind and make her lose control of herself, or try to make her succumb to their sins. If we could have this chapter removed, then I’d give the book a full five stars .
A: I will respectfully disagree on that chapter. I liked that Wrath put her through that because his brothers wouldn’t be respectful one bit of her. While it was abusive for sure, there was good intention behind it as a way to force her to see why she needs to put up her guards. Emelia is such a strong headed woman that I think she actually needed that reality check in order to respect what she is up against with the Princes of Sin. While it didn’t come through in this book per say, book three could be a completely different story and that training would literally save her life and soul.
E: Let me just drop a few of my favourite quotes down here because I can’t help myself, the lust and anticipation was just too good in this book .
“Tell me,” he whispered, his voice sliding like silk over my flushed skin. “What?” My own voice came out breathless. “I am your favorite sin.
“One thing I can promise,” his voice was deep and sensual in the dark, “is you won’t ever doubt it’s real when I touch you”
“Being this close to him was like playing with fire and I’d already felt his burn, but I didn’t want to move. I liked his arm on my body, the weight and feel and scent of him. I wanted him to claim me, almost as much as I wanted him to be mine”.
I mean… Get me into a cold shower because that shit is hot as ... well you know where 😉
A: If we are dropping our favourite quotes, let me drop mine in here as well. This one comes fairly early on in the book, but it cements Emelia and I’s relationship super quick.
“I choose a violent, bloody shade of red and painted my lips the color of murder instead.”
Every single time Emelia shows her dark side, she cements her position in the House of Wrath and in my heart. Yes, I am House of Sloth technically, but House of Wrath isn’t far behind. Just like with the Sorting Hat, we are all a mixture of sins and houses. What you put forth to the world is your dominant sin while your inner sins are bubbling waiting to be exposed at the right times.
Leave us a comment here or on our Instagram page with your top sins! We’d love to see the true nature of our readers as we are all so unique!
Until next time, stay cozy!