Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

Spoiler Free

26032887“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.” 

Published: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 322 (Hardcover)

Series: The Folk of the Air #2

5 Stars

Something is really wrong with me, to want what I hate, to want someone who despises me, even if he wants me, too. 

 

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.

Line

Hi friends! Long time no talk! On my website, at least! I’ve been active on my Instagram and Twitter, per usual, I just haven’t had time to write and edit a full post. That being said, I wanted to kick off my return with a review for one of my post anticipated releases of the year, The Wicked King!

When I read and reviewed The Cruel Prince last year I had some mixed feelings only because I really liked it, but I wasn’t obsessed with it the way I wanted to be. I was excited for the sequel, but I wasn’t sure exactly how I would feel about it. Well, I can confidently say that this was a million times better than the first and I am officially obsessed the way everyone else in the book world is.

I think my main compliant with the first, that I realize now after reading the second, was that it didn’t have the same focus on political intrigue. I love that the second focuses the whole book on Jude in the sphere of the court, and that’s what I really wanted. That being said, Jude is a total bad ass. She’s morally questionable, not afraid to kill, and always has something up her sleeve. I love her. We see characters like this a lot more with male leads, especially in fantasy novels, and so Jude is a character I love reading about.

Cardan, the wicked bastard, was just as evil and sexy as the first book, really cementing my love for anti-heroes and bad guys. No matter how many times he humiliates or works against Jude I can’t help but want them together. It’s torture. Taryn was just as I remember, in the best and worst ways. Basically, all the character just get worse and worse and yet I still love them and can’t wait to go back. I think it’s a testament to Holly Black’s writing that she crafts these totally unlikable characters and yet we love them just the same.

Another plus point for the sequel is the pacing. In the first I thought it dragged a little here and there, but this one was so difficult for me to put down that I was flipping pages long into the night. It was one thing directly after another; another betrayal, another kiss, another murder, another fight, another something that kept me absolutely riveted from beginning to end. The plot was marvelous, especially when you consider all the things we learned in the first book it felt almost impossible for the author to top herself in the second, but she manages and delivers it. While there was a lot going on, a lot of little things playing both behind the scenes and at the forefront of the story, it all works really well together.

I don’t think I really need to talk about Ms. Black’s writing style and the fact that she’s basically a literary goddess, but hot damn can this woman write a book. She carves out a world that is both enchantingly beautiful and hauntingly malicious. She describes everything is such great detail that you feel like you’re there and could touch the dresses and the food and the stone of the castles.

Honestly, this book was everything I wanted and more for this series and this one, more than the previous, lived up to the hype. I can’t wait till the third, I don’t know how I’m going to live till then.

Happy reading

Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM

 

The Folk of the Air

 

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