Book Review: The Wicked King

December 20, 2018

(Now would be a good time to let you know that if you haven’t yet read The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, you’re about to be spoiled for it if you read any further. It’s also an excellent time for me to encourage you to go and grab a copy from your bookstore or library and read it immediately so that you can also go on to read The Wicked King afterwards.)

It’s a very complicated thing when you want to share your thoughts on a sequel, as you want to walk that fine line between gushing solely about this particular book and talking about the series on the whole. In the case of The Wicked King, it’s actually imperative for me to mention that this series just even more interesting with the addition of this novel. On its own, admittedly, The Wicked King is a novel that I absolutely loved. But within the context of the entire Folk of the Air series, well, it’s irreplaceable.

The Wicked King picks up shortly after that intense ending where Jude manages to squirrel Oak - her younger brother who is actually heir to Faerie - away to safety and get Cardan bound to her as he holds the throne for the interim. Jude must navigate the shifting alliances and complex politics of the court, manage Cardan and ferret out any traitors left who would have her life and the lives of all the folks she cares about… all while still being a mortal in the perilous Faerie realm.

I’ll leave my summary of this story at that, though trust me when I tell you that there is a whole lot more going on in this sequel. It’s finding out these details with every turn of the page, whether it pertains to learning more about the world, these characters or the events transpiring within this portion of the story that make the reading experience so worth it. Holly Black has the ability to write fully immersive tales, and I was completely hooked on this one from beginning to end. I loved being reunited with Jude and seeing how our ‘mere mortal’ is faring after all that she’s done and what she has to do; I also enjoyed seeing the other characters (but mostly Cardan and the Court of Shadows and Vivi) and seeing how they’ve been affected by the events that turned the world of Elfhame on its head. Plus, I was totally sucked into this tale of court intrigue, political maneuverings, spies and secrets, wondering where this story was going to go and finding myself surprised at the turns it took. It was really engrossing (I read it in a day!), and it just further developed the story that began in The Cruel Prince into something even more intense and unputdownable. 

I loved The Wicked King just as much as I loved The Cruel Prince. This series has so many things I love in spades - morally gray characters, complicated relationships, immersive world-building, and court intrigue and political power plays. I would highly recommend checking it out for yourself, if you haven’t already. (And when you’re all caught up, you can join me in my deep levels of anticipation for the final book - The Exiled Queen.)


The Wicked King by Holly Black | Series: The Folk of the Air #2 | Previous Book in Series: The Cruel Prince | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: January 8, 2019 | Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thank you!)

3 comments

  1. Did I just stumble into your review knowing fully well I'd be spoiled even a little bit?! ABSOLUTELY. I am just perpetually curious and apparently this is my only brand of rebellion? Against myself? (Also, I'm reading A LOT today and catching up on reviews so I'm guessing I will forget some details and spoilers by the time I read the series which is why I'm Absolutely Okay with spoilers.)

    ANYWAYS. Sorry I'm rambling??? Great review as always. I'm HERE FOR THE MORALLY GRAY. Gimme all the morally gray.

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  2. I can't wait to re-read this book- I agree that's irreplaceable! I wish we could get our hands on book three somehow!

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  3. Eeee! I am SO glad you loved this second book so very much love :D I have not read The Cruel Prince yet, ack, but I own it, and I have this pre-ordered, so I'm pretty excited to read them both soon, haha :D Wishing I will love them as much as you did. <3 You make this book seems awesome.

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