Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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Picking up a few months after The Cruel Prince left off, Jude Duarte is adjusting to her new life and role in the place. Ever since she betrayed Cardan Greenbriar, he keeps her at arm’s length. To top it all off, Jude and Taryn’s relationship remains tense and Madoc is angry that the girl he raised outsmarted him for the crown. 

Not everyone is ready to accept Cardan as a leader, making Jude’s role as the decision maker for the crown more difficult. Alliances between other fae remain difficult as the young king tries to remain legitimate…and humiliate Jude at every turn. 

If Jude only hated Cardan, things would be easier. But the line between love and hate grows hazier, just as a traitor becomes uncovered. Some people are determined to see the mortal behind the crown fail. Jude doesn’t know who she can trust as the political climate in faerie turns to disarray.  She has to decide whether to stay and fight or if she should escape to the human world with her sister Vivi.

The Wicked King had a lot of surprises for us! The only problem we had with it was that it started slow just like The Cruel Prince. However, once it picked up, we couldn’t put it down. 

We love Jude’s ambitious personality and morally gray actions. It makes for an enjoyable MC because she’s not perfect and embraces it. She also has to face tough decisions. Overall, Jude will do anything for those she loves, which is a positive and negative trait.

Cardan’s backstory also played a larger role. We got to see more of his dark childhood and terrible family dynamics. Cardan never ceases to surprise us. He can be so good and so bad at the same time. While we felt bad for him and loved his chemistry with Jude, sometimes he needed a solid punch in the face.  

Worst of all: Taryn, Jude’s twin. Her decision and her constant betrayals make her our least favorite character in the series. Ugh, can’t she realize how stupid she can be? We’re wondering how Black will handle Taryn’s character development in The Queen of Nothing

Overall, we enjoyed the plot. Without spoiling too much, Jude faced torture and capture that gave us insights to more pats of faerie. After the halfway point, so much happens. And that ending! The biggest plot twist of all occurred at the very end, leaving Jude upset, confused and ready for vengeance. 

We cannot wait to read the third and final book in The Folk of the Air series. We need to know how Jude will handle her situation and how her relationships progress. All we know: Jude is bound for an interesting conclusion. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

24 thoughts on “Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black”

  1. I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying this trilogy so far. I had a tough time with it, primarily because I truly dislike bully-love, which was in abundance throughout the books. However, the rest of the story was quite interesting and I think that the end of this book and the beginning of the last were great! Such fun twists!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this trilogy – it was a pleasant and easy read full of great fantasy. i think for me I wish she spent more time building the rich world the story was based in. It was truly good – I just felt there was so much that could have been added


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