The Wicked King by Holly Black
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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
When Holly Black released The Cruel Prince last year I was incredibly excited about it. I thought it brought us into a very cruel and manipulative world filled with magic, where one human girl has to figure out how to mark her place. By the end of that book, we see how Jude has grown to be able to stand on her own as an equal to these very old and very powerful creatures. It also left us on a really big cliffhanger and I wasn’t sure if Black was going to jump ahead in the sequel or if we were going to pick up where she left off. The Wicked King has been on my TBR list for so long and I was thrilled when it was released so I could finally find out what happens next.
So Many Lies and Liars!
One of my favorite things about this series is that you never actually know what any character is thinking or planning. There are so many schemes in the works, from Jude and Cardan’s personal goals, to LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE’S SECRET PLANS. I honestly think the one innocent character is Oak, and that’s only because he’s a child being raised away from all the manipulations of the Faerie Court. These schemes and lies are brilliant though because they allow Black to bring us through the intense maze that this is series. You never really know when characters are going to betray each other, and that adds such a great element of suspense.
Carden and Jude Become Excellent Schemers
The Cruel Prince was proof of how excellent Jude is at coming up with very intricate plans that no one is able to anticipate. This time, we get to see both Jude and Cardan live through the aftermath of her decision and become significantly stronger schemers and planners. I was very much on the fence about both these characters in The Cruel Prince, but I felt like they have really come to life in The Wicked King and we’re really seeing both of them become strong independent characters, as opposed to it only being Jude’s story. Oddly enough, I’m still a huge fan of Cardan and I’m really interested to see how he develops further. It’s clear, especially in this book, that he has so many different sides to him and I don’t think we’ve really discovered who he truly is yet. He had a really traumatic childhood that sometimes it seems like he’s embracing and other times it seems like he’s fighting against. I’m really excited to see where their relationship goes by the end of the series.
Where will the story bring us next?
I LOVE where this book leaves us; talk about an excellent cliffhanger. This is the second time that Holly Black has given us such a strong ending and has left me with so many questions about what’s gonna happen in the next book. I’m really, really excited to find out where this story is going to go now that Jude is in a place she never expected to be, and it seems like all of her plans are now being forced to dramatically change. I’m trying so hard not to give spoilers, but I honestly never saw this coming, and I love that Black can do that. I find a lot of novels tend to have very predictable endings, but once again I’m so surprised by a cliffhanger and cannot wait for the next book to come out.
Overall, I was really happy with how this story has continued. I feel like these characters are becoming stronger, we’re given the opportunity to see more of this magical and cruel world, and once again we are left wondering where is the story going to go next. I’m really interested to see what will happen to Jude and Cardan in the next book. We are left off with them again being adversaries, and I’m excited to find out if they will ever redeem themselves to each other or if they are destined to work against each other. If you love the first book I would highly recommend reading The Wicked King; it is a great sequel and a great continuation of this series.
FINAL RATING: 4/5
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Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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2020 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 20 books toward her goal of 85 books.
2019 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 5 books toward her goal of 90 books.
2018 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has completed her goal of reading 80 books in 2018!
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