Exclusive Excerpt: Dark Secrets Hover in the Realm of the Feared by Kerri Maniscalco

Exclusive Excerpt: Dark Secrets Hover in the Realm of the Feared by Kerri Maniscalco

Kerri Maniscalco’s bestseller kingdom of the wicked The trilogy has won legions of fans around the world for its gripping central romance and complicated mythology filled with demons, witches, and other supernatural residents of the Seven Circles of Hell. But now it’s finally set to come to an end, and the stakes in the story are higher than ever.

The witch Emilia di Carlo may have accepted her feelings for the dark Prince of Hell’s Wrath, but the turmoil and intrigue in the courts of the Seven Circles and the revelation that her presumed dead twin sister is very much alive means that her story it is far from a story. Happy forever. As she delves deeper into the mystery of who her sister really is, she will come face to face with long-buried truths not only about the Wicked, but also about the nefarious beings known as the Fearsome and the curse that haunts them. unites everyone.

The exciting final installment in a wildly popular and darkly romantic trilogy, kingdom of the feared promises more explosive twists and exciting surprises than ever before, as Emilia must confront the darkest secrets of her own past and fight for a future on her own terms.

This is how the editor describes the story.

Emilia is shocked by the shocking discovery that her twin sister, Vittoria, is alive. But before facing the demons of her past, Emilia longs to claim her king, the alluring Prince of Wrath, in person. Emilia doesn’t just want her body, she wants her heart and soul, but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.

When a high-ranking member of House Greed is killed, Emilia and Wrath find themselves drawn to the rival demon court. Damning evidence points to Vittoria as the killer and she is quickly declared an enemy of the Seven Circles. Despite her betrayal, Emilia will do everything possible to solve this new mystery and find out who her sister really is.

Together, Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception as they work to stop the riots brewing between witches, demons, shapeshifters, and the most treacherous foes of all: the Fearsome.

Emilia was warned that when it came to the Wicked, nothing was as it seemed. But have the real villains been that much closer all along? When the truth is finally revealed, it could end up costing Emilia her heart.


the kingdom of the feared It officially hits stores on Tuesday 27th September, but we’re thrilled to be able to reveal an exclusive excerpt from the prologue to the latest installment in this exciting saga of demons and witches right now. (And eagle-eyed readers will probably recognize its doomed protagonist: poor, doomed Sofia Santorini.)


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The elders of the coven rarely agreed on anything, except on two matters that were considered their most important laws: the devil should never be summoned. And, under no circumstances, black mirrors were never used for peering.

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As one of the best seers on the island, Sofia Santorini believed that some rules were meant to be broken, especially when her most recent visions whispered disturbing stories in her ear. It was those insistent mutterings about her dangerous curse-related prophecy that finally convinced Sofia to steal the first spellbook: the only grimoire she described how to divine with dark magic. The fate of the coven could very well depend on her actions, sanctioned or not.

Although, at the last meeting, the council hadn’t sounded so gloomy. They didn’t need to. Sofia had sensed the change in magic the way birds sensed the change in season, listening to that innate warning to fly away, to survive. A violent storm was brewing on the horizon. She had no wings, and even if she did, Sofia refused to run away without her family.

Breaking two rules to potentially save dozens of witches seemed like the right thing to do. Any information Sofia could gather about the curse before the Wicked or the Fearsome took their revenge would only benefit her coven. Surely the elders would understand.

Placing the black mirror on the floor of the Temple of Death along with the foil-stamped spellbook, she gathered up her skirt and knelt before the objects. A chill ran through her that had nothing to do with the cold stone seeping through her thin layers of muslin. She gazed at the forbidden mirror, its tinted surface reminding her of the calm waters of a lake she had once visited to collect freshwater stones for her spells.

Except this surface didn’t have any soothing moonlight shining down on her head, blessing her way. In fact, it seemed to devour any light that dared to touch it. Any kind of demon could be lurking beneath the unknown depths, waiting to attack.

She breathed the fear away. It was time to do what she had come to do and then go home to her family. Drawing the slim dagger from her skirt pocket, she brought the tip of it to the tip of her finger and pressed until a drop of blood spurted out, red as the devil’s eyes.

Standing up, Sofia walked towards the altar in the center of the room. One did not perform magic in the temple of a goddess without first paying tribute.

On either side of the altar, fire crackled from the offering bowls he had lit earlier, tendrils of smoke curling through the air, as if beckoning him into the underworld. He swore he felt eyes on her, watching her from the shadows, waiting to see if he was bold enough to cross that forbidden boundary. Sophia’s gaze swept the quiet chamber and settled on the two human skulls she had stolen from the monastery. Dark days called for even darker deeds. She would not waver now.

Holding her pricked finger over the first of the two offering bowls, she watched the drops of blood sizzle and then vaporize as they met the flames. Sofia moved quickly to the other side of the altar and repeated her gesture with the second bowl.

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Satisfied that she had paid enough for the goddess to grant her protection, she turned and retrieved the skulls, ignoring the bloody imprint it left on the bone. Kneeling once more, the skulls positioned at the north and south points of the mirror, she opened the spellbook and began to sing.

For a few tense heartbeats, the mirror remained unchanged. Then smoke began to swirl within its surface. Slowly at first, then picking up speed like the hellish winds he had heard blowing through some demonic circles, confusing the poor souls unlucky enough to find themselves there.

“Goddess, protect me.”

Sofia leaned closer to the mirror, eager to learn all she could about her enemies. Any information could prove valuable, especially since all memories of her were slowly being consumed by the curse with each passing full moon. As she looked into the mirror, she opened a window to the underworld, which gave Sofia her first glimpse of the demon realm.

“Show me how to break our curse.”

The mirror pulsed as if the magic recognized her request and agreed to grant her wish. Instead of smoke, strange images began to flicker on the darkened glass, and Sofia quickly realized that she was being shown a story through a series of still images. She let out a silent sigh. Until now, despite the forbidden magic she had used, it was similar to her usual visions of her.

The magic caused the images to come out of the mirror and swirl around him as if he were there at the moment they occurred. She saw a dark throne room, a raging demon.

Fragments of the familiar appeared, but the magic must not have been working properly. Certain images didn’t line up with her story or what Sofia knew of the prophecy. She watched as a witch, who must have been the First Witch, cursed that demon. Her revenge and her hatred were so powerful that she Sofia could practically feel it through the illusion.

Then he saw a strange well with crystals: memory stones, thousands of them. The scene abruptly changed again, this time to a small cabin with a view of the sea. A young witch he knew well held a memory stone in one hand and a dagger in the other. The First Witch had been there as well, giving the witch the stone that would take away everything she wanted to forget. The images faded, needing more magic to feed them.

“Expect!” Sofia yelled.

Desperate to learn more, she grabbed the skull that rested on the southern tip and whispered a spell that shattered it, scattering bone fragments across the dark surface, hoping the mirror would use them to fuel more images.

And he did. Except, once again, they weren’t exactly what she expected. Sophia saw her island, then glimpses of other cities and unknown times bleeding and taking over. The images had to be wrong.

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However… if they weren’t, then everything the elders of the coven had told them had been a lie. Including where they were from.

It was so absurd; there was no way it could be true. Determined to crack the mystery, she reached for the last skull. This one had rubies in its eyes, a further gift to the goddess who ruled the dead. Sofia shattered the skull and was immediately thrown into another time, one where the same young witch from before seemed to be… a rough hand fell on Sophia’s shoulder, snapping her out of her vision.

Heart pounding, Sofia blinked until the Temple of Death came back into focus. Afraid of what, or who, had plucked her from the vision of her, she grabbed her dagger and stood up, her attention focused on the person who had interrupted her. Her robed figure pushed back the hood of her cloak, revealing a familiar and stern face.

Sofia’s shoulders sagged forward as she lowered the blade. For a terrifying moment, she thought that she had summoned an enemy. “Thank the goddess that you are. I have learned something incredible about our curse and our city. I know who the daughter of the First Witch is, at least I think so. You will never believe this discovery.”

Sofia was too full of dark magic, too shocked by the truth she had learned, to notice the dangerous gleam entering the other witch’s eyes. “You neither”.

“I don’t understand-“

With a flick of her wrist and a harsh curse, the witch cast a spell that knocked Sofia back. Her skull slammed into the altar, causing her to see a brilliant flash of stars that left her momentarily dazed. Before she could muster her wits and cast her own protection spell, Sofia’s mind shattered like the mirror that the other witch trampled, destroying the truth that she still played on the dark surface of her.

Sophia opened her mouth to scream but found herself unable to do more than speak in tongues. Soon all she could see were those strange images her mirror had shown her.

If she had been about to ask for help again, Sofia couldn’t remember why.

She watched, not really seeing, as the other witch retrieved the first spellbook and made her way slowly through the temple, never once glancing at her friend. Meanwhile, Sofia repeated in a low voice a phrase, a song, a blessing, a plea.

Or maybe it was the key to unlocking everything. . . “Both above and below.”



The Kingdom of the Feareed is available Tuesday, September 27 in Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.






Lacy Baugher Milas is the book editor for Paste magazine, but she loves learning about all kinds of pop culture. You can find her on Twitter @LacyMB.

Source : www.pastemagazine.com

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