The Wicked King by Holly Black

*Spoilers for The Cruel Prince*

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.

The Wicked King, the highly anticipated sequel to The Cruel Prince.  I wasn’t the biggest fan of first book, but I can see where the hype comes from. People have been freaking out over The Wicked King everywhere, saying how amazing it is. And I couldn’t wait to see for myself.

I see where the hype comes from. The Wicked King was good and I can see the genius in it. But I didn’t love it, its not a book I want hold above all the other books.

There is so much going on, all the time, but I didn’t feel the tension. It just felt like things were going past, but I didn’t feel anything from them. I couldn’t connect with Jude’s emotions, which I think leads to me not connecting to her.

It took me awhile to get into this and I honestly think that the first bit was kind of boring. It did pick up though and I did end up enjoying it.

My biggest qualm with The Cruel Prince, and now with The Wicked King, is the mortal world. I went into the first book not expecting so many modern touches and things I recognize. I thought I was going into a full high fantasy book. It’s a personal irritation with books that are high fantasy, but also have mortal worlds separate from them.

I understand the need for it, but I personally feel like it holds Faerieland back. I feel like it could be fleshed out more if it was in it’s own universe. It just seems like a hodgepodge of revels and bargains and magic.

This also holds me back from connecting with Jude. She has so many things to worry about and so many things to control. I simply cannot understand why she wants to stay in faerie, when she can easily escape into the mortal world. I don’t understand her thirst for power, even if she was raised in this world. I just… I can never understand that part of Jude, so I can only see the story from far away, instead of truly feeling it. If that makes any sense haha.

Even if faeries are too stressful for me, I can appreciate all the scheming that goes on. It’s crazy how many secrets are kept and it’s never ending. You constantly have to been on guard and when one thing ends, another begins. I definitely felt the tension there!

This series is so different from anything I’ve ever read or even heard about, which I think is why it is so loved. Thinking about it sitting on a shelf, I can definitely see it standing out from the rest. It should be very interesting to see how this series ends and I am very intrigued. The wait for The Queen of Nothing begins.


The Wicked King comes out January 8th, 2019. You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order in the meantime!

Thank you for reading!

4 thoughts on “The Wicked King by Holly Black

  1. I didn’t read your whole review because I haven’t read The Cruel Prince yet, but I want to read that book SO BADLY. I only hear about how great these books are!! Glad you enjoyed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m jealous that you have already read this! I personally really loved the cruel prince, but I get why you didn’t like the mortal world part of the story!


    Liked by 1 person

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