Title: The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Folk of the Air, book two
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Holly Black and I haven’t had the best relationship until fairly recently. I tried reading her first series of fairy novels, and for some reason, I just didn’t like them. But I read The Darkest Part of the Forest and was totally hooked. The Cruel Prince was one of my favorite books of last year, so as soon as I found out about a sequel, I put it on hold at my local library, and I’m anxious to say that The Wicked King was even better. Full of political intrigue, deadly secrets, shocking twists, I was captivated until the final page, and over a week later, I’m still reeling! I can’t wait for the last book in what might be Holly Black’s best series yet!
The Wicked King picks up where The Cruel Prince left off, with Jude and Cardan dealing with the aftermath of the events from the first book. Cardan is now King of Elfhame, thanks to Jude’s scheming, and she is his seneschal, the Court’s highest advisor. She has the power and position she so craves, even if it means using the most hated enemy as her puppet. Her little brother, Oak, is safe in the human world with her other sister, Vivian. But in Faerie, no one can be trusted and everyone has something to hide. When Jude is betrayed by someone closest to her, she must hold even tighter to her newfound power, even as the whole of Faerie and her own family plot against her…
I really, really enjoyed this book; it’s easily one of my favorites of 2019. I usually get anxious about sequels, because I’m worried it won’t live up to the hype of the first book. But that wasn’t the case here. Though obviously, it took a while to remember everything that happened, considering it had been a year or so since I read The Cruel Prince. The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately drawn back into Faerie, and spellbound by Jude’s vicious, cutting voice. I was blown away by the political intrigue of the novel; that took up a huge part of it and I really liked it. And the twists! The turns! The shocking secrets! The killer sexual tension between Jude and Cardan! One of my favorite tropes is enemies to lovers, and I loved the tension between them. I also loved the other characters: Jude’s family, The Bomb, The Roach, Ghost. But more than anything, that ending! Oh, my goodness, how am I supposed to wait until 2020 for answers?! You’re killing me, Holly! I will definitely be on the lookout for the third book in the trilogy! The bottom line: Lush, descriptive, and powerful, I loved The Wicked King even more than The Cruel Prince! Next on deck: Black Wings Beating by Alex London!