Review: The Wicked King

By Holly Black

Book: The Wicked King by Holly Black
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication year: 2019

My rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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.

No surprise here, I loved The Wicked King. What is surprising is that I loved it no more and no less than The Cruel Prince. Most people prefer one or the other, but I loved them equally. It would be impossible to choose my favorite between the two because this series as a whole has all my love! I’m dying for The Queen of Nothing in January.

My overall thoughts about the writing style, world building ,and characters are basically the same as with The Cruel Prince. I still love the vivid world Holly Black paints and her overall writing is so easy to immerse yourself in. I still love Jude and her killer ambition. She still takes A LOT of shit in this book, but she’s tough and cunning and makes it through it all. Especially with the help of her new ally, Cardan!! Who I love even more in this book, even after THAT ending 😬 (but I have a theory about that…)
But yes, Cardan is great. I really love the things he does in this book, not only for himself, but for others.
While I still love Jude and Cardan, I still hate Taryn and her jerk husband Locke. Family over everything is definitely not Taryn’s motto.
Lastly, Madoc is still Madoc. Not a father, but not, not a father either..? He’s an in between character and I really can’t wait to see where his loyalties finally lie in the last book!
This second installment in the Folk of The Air series was lush and dangerous, with even more twists and turns. I am patiently waiting for the final book, why oh why is January so far away?

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