The Wicked King by Holly Black (The Folk of the Air #2)
“Kiss me again,” he says, drunk and foolish. “Kiss me until I am sick of it.”
Full of betrayal, intrigue and suspense, The Wicked King is a great sequel to The Cruel Prince
It was to be expected that I would find The Wicked King as good (or even better) than the first book. Holly Black does it again. In the exciting sequel to The Cruel Prince, we delve deeper into the dark world of Elfhame and get to know Jude and Cardan better. The Wicked King is full of action, drama and betrayal. I recommend that you read my review on The Cruel Prince first.
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.
After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.
The cover of The Wicked King is beautiful. I received the Dutch limited edition of The Wicked King. It came with silver sprayed edges and fan art in the book. This edition is beautiful, but there are some things that are different from the first book. The title on the back is printed in a font larger than that of The Cruel Prince. There is also nothing at all on the naked spine of the book. Whereas the edition of The Cruel Prince does have the title on the naked back. I keep my dustjackets around the books, so I don’t mind it that much. It’s something that I noticed right away and can be annoying for some.
This series just gets better and better. The storyline of The Cruel Prince continues in The Wicked King, but with more drama and even more plot twists. The first book ended with a heavy cliffhanger that made me really want to start on The Wicked King. This book was very intense. Plot turn after plot turn and betrayal after betrayal. Be prepared for a lot of betrayal in this book because nothing is what it seems and no one is who they say they are is.
I really like Jude as a character. She’s such a stubborn girl, but has a good heart. She trusts people too quickly, which can sometimes have disastrous consequences. Throughout The Wicked King, Jude does all kinds of things and my response was either “Jude WHY” or “YES Jude, that’s how you do it”. She is obsessed with power and does everything she can to maintain the power she has.
Cardan is such a complex, but fun character. In The Wicked King, Holly Black gives the reader a closer look in his childhood. We get to know him in a different way, a way that makes us feel sorry for him. I want to hate him for what he did to Jude … But I love him.
The dynamic between Jude and Cardan in this book was delightful. The tension between them was cut. In The Wicked King, they must work together. Sometimes that works and sometimes not at all. They have to learn to trust each other, which is not as easy as it seems.
Unsurprisingly, the world structure was phenomenal again. I will never understand how Holly Black does it, but I am very happy that she is sharing her talent with the world. When I read The Cruel Prince or The Wicked King, I am really in Elfhame. I can picture every place like this. That makes reading even more fun.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, 100%. Fav read of the year.
Death, murder, manipulating people with magic, bullying
Representation in this book
Lesbian side character
January 8th, 2019
About the author
Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library.
What was your favorite read of the year? Let me know in the comments!