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 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 . . .
I immediately knew I would love this book from the cover and the synopsis and I wasn’t wrong. It’s a such a delight to read, I was transfixed from the onset and I couldn’t put it down. A dark and twisty fantasy, with mystery and romance, which I devoured over a period of a few days. The story is well paced, there is always something happening and the writing flows well and is easy to follow.
The world and setting is sublime, the author obviously has an affinity for Italian culture and this comes across in the writing. Set in 19th Century Italy the author creates an authentic and atmospheric tale. The scenery is beautifully described, as is the heart-warming family relationships in the hub of the Sicilian tattoria and the mouth-watering Italian cuisine. I immediately wanted to make all the food described and I am now completely hooked on a ‘caprese-bruschetta’.
The characters are all rich and described in wonderful detail and I felt so connected to them. I particularly adored the dark and brooding Wrath, oh my goodness I loved his character so much and he completely stole my heart. He is gorgeous, mysterious and secretive, we shouldn’t really trust him but we just can’t help it. Emilia’s character is also well portrayed and she is a likeable and feisty female lead. I loved the dynamics and interactions between Wrath and Emilia, the attraction is quite obviously there but they try to pretend it’s not. The chemistry and banter between them positively sizzled and I enjoyed the enemies to ‘joining forces’ trope, which is a slight twist on the usual enemies to lovers. The demon princes are all intriguing as is the concept of the seven deadly sins, namely the seven princes of hell and their respective houses in the underworld – the houses of Wrath, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Pride, Envy and Greed.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m definitely going to try to re-read it before book two is published. Action packed from the start it grabs the reader’s attention and pulls you into a compelling fantasy story with a murder mystery plot. A mesmerising tale with a unique magic system, witches and demon princes, which makes excellent reading for this time of year, who could ask for more? It ended on a perfect cliffhanger and I immediately want to reach for the next book.
Publisher: Hodder and Staughton
Publication Date: 27 October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you so much to the publisher for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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