The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Publication date: January 8, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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 younger 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.
Ah The Wicked King, this was a fantastic and twisted read. Holly Black is truly the Queen of Faeries and Cliffhangers. I absolutely love Holly Black’s writing and world building it’s just so magical and dark.
I really loved jumping back into this dark and twisted world of Elfhame full of cruel, cunning and wicked faeries. The Wicked King starts off a few months after the end of The Cruel Prince with Jude controlling the High King, Cardan.
The story starts off a bit slow for my liking, it’s mainly a lot of court politics for about 150 pages. It follows Jude as she deals with troubles in Elfhame, threats to the king and general court politics.
My girl Jude is still a badass, she’s cold, brutal, strong, ruthless and will betray whoever she needs to get what she wants. Then there’s Cardan who is cruel, dangerous, cunning and manipulative, oh so manipulative. The relationship between Jude and Cardan is so goo, they both vehemently hate each other so much that they are around that fine line of love and hate. You never know if Cardan is going to lash out at Jude or kiss her.
Like I mentioned above the first 150 pages were a bit slow for me, court politics really aren’t that interesting to me but the rest of the book especially the last 1/4 were amazing. So much happened, there’s action, BETRAYAL, different parts of this world, explosions, BETRAYAL, mermaids, family drama and did I mention BETRAYAL?
There were few things I didn’t enjoy besides the first 150 pages and they were Jude’s sisters. Jude’s sisters suck. Taryn is portrayed as this docile, love struck simpering fool that will make you roll your eyes and think “why are you this stupid? why are you doing this to yourself?” Then there’s Vivi who is half fae that doesn’t understand Jude and always talks down to her and doesn’t believe her, shes so carefree and careless and she rattles my bones. There are a few events surrounding the sisters in The Wicked King that will make you want to face palm yourself.
The ending of the Wicked King will have your jaw on the floor and you cursing Holly Black for having to wait a whole year for The Queen of Nothing. Highly recommend this is you liked The Cruel Prince, its fantastic, dark, cruel, twisted and will have you saying WTF multiple times throughout the second half of the book.
All Hail Queen of Faerie, Holly Black.