This last part of 2020 proves to be amazing reading wise as far as fantasy reads are concerned!
Oddly, this made me think of the TV show Lucifer, first season.
You have a killer to find, suspects to interrogate, clues to read and your partner is a Prince of Hell: Prince Wrath.
The main characters will take quite a long time before figuring things out while I guessed pretty early on “who did it” but their banter was entertaining. The world building and lore were done just right to have me in the story without being bored out by lengthy depictions and that unexpected pairing of a prince of Hell and a witch worked remarkably well.
In fact, I read that book in one long sitting!
Let’s backtrack now and get to the plot, characters, like, dislike etc.
The story opens on a dramatic scene, ten years ago, where Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria, will do something their grand mother advised them against and that will set supernatural events in motion. Try a hellhound owling.
That opening scene had me right into the story.
We follow sensible Emilia and her twin sister, feisty Vittoria, both witches living in Palermo, Sicilia with their family. Witches had to hide from humans for a long time and you have those using “white” magic, like Emilia’s family and the ones using “dark magic” or the Dark Arts.
One night, Vittoria does not come back home and Emilia finds her dead, her heart missing.
She swears to avenge her sister and kill her assassin who has already killed other witches.
While looking for clues about Vittoria’s whereabouts, Emilia realizes that she was summoning a demon. That’s just what Emilia intends to do to get some answers but instead of summoning a minor demon, she summoned Prince Wrath, one of the Wicked their grand-mother warned them against!
As the summary says, they’ll work together to uncover who is killing the witches.
Emilia goes from booknerd, preferring to live her adventures in books and always using white magic to adventurous young woman, dabbing in the Dark Arts to get her revenge!
« She never could have predicted the way her death would change me. There was nothing in this world or the next that would keep me from solving her murder. And I would solve it.”
I loved her character growth, how she slowly became more confident and battled demons foot to foot, under Wrath’s tutelage. Granted she didn’t see the clues under her nose before a long time but what seemed obvious to me, from my reader stance, would in fact have been more difficult for her to “see” as she was immersed in that community since birth and had other reading of people and the situation.
I also loved that she was smart and not easily tricked by a Prince of Hell. She took the time to weight each offer he made and to see through his motives as often as possible.
Wrath is a true Prince of Hell but compared with his brothers Greed, Envy and Lust, I thought he was “tame” with Emilia. Oddly, demons were very well behaved in Hell and politeness was praised. That made for an unexpected habit to have in Hell!
He was hot, he was powerful and he was sarcastic too. The banter between him and Emilia was one of the highlights of the book.
“This was your first summoning spell, wasn’t it? Of course I’m bound to un incompetent fledgling until the end of time.”
Wrath is also very guarded and has his own agenda. We still don’t know what that is at the end of the book!
The likes and dislikes
Let’s say that I don’t have many major dislikes here, except that I think Emilia could have guessed sooner the identity of the killer.
I also didn’t understand why Emilia’s grand-mother didn’t tell the truth to the girls.
Finally the last move she made at the end was not something I wanted in that story as I had other hopes but ….we’ll see.
I have plenty of likes!
I loved how the relationship between Wrath and Emilia progressed.
I loved the world building with the different Prince of Hell, white and dark magic, the prophecy.
I loved all the cooking in this book! It made me hunger for Italian food!
I loved the banter too and both characters in general.
I loved the writing that created an atmospheric read, never boring and plenty entertaining.
I just need book two already!
Have you read that book already? Or Kerri’s other books?
Thanks for reading!