The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black
ARC received via trade for a fair review.
Publish Date: January 8, 2019
Warning: Some spoilers for The Cruel Prince.
Knowing that this was one of my more highly anticipated reads for 2019, I was really setting the bar up there as far as book standards go. I was hoping for more of everything that made me love The Cruel Prince, and I was not let down! I devoured this book! Once I was in it, I couldn’t pull myself away. I felt like this was the perfect continuation from first to second book in a series and for this I loved every page. But please, Holly Black, could you please not leave me on such a cliff hanger in EVERY BOOK?! Just the thought of having to wait another year to find out what happens next makes me die a little each time I remember. This book was insanely addicting and full of the dark faerie world we’ve all come to love, pulling at that dark side in us all that wants to know if a human really can take on a whole land of faeries and come out alive.
In this book, we are still along on this twisted adventure with Jude while she schemes her way through the world of the Faerie. Having tricked Cardan into being crowned King, she has managed to become is right hand human, ruling behind the cover of Cardan playing King. Meanwhile Cardan, up to his same old regime, continues to get drunk and live life on a whim while Jude must try and control him and the kingdom before someone catches on to her trickery. Little does she know there is so much more at hand in the court of faeries. Seeing a young and irresponsible king on the throne has those who are thirsty for power ready to fight for their chance at taking Cardan down. Full of twisted schemes, tricks and of course more betrayal, this book pulls takes you through all the ups and downs of the lessons Jude learns along her path to power.
Jude is such a powerful character in these books and in The Wicked King its evident just how far she will go to prove that she can best the faeries that have made her feel so inadequate all of her life. I love how fierce and clever she is, even after having been betrayed by those she thought she could trust most. She somehow manages to keep a level head and think through things with so much determination to survive that she is next to unstoppable. Even though she feels that what little power she’s gained might be temporary, Jude never stops trying to get a few steps ahead. Nearly killing herself to get there by taking her daily doses of poison, and barely sleeping going from one impossible task to the next. Humans aren’t made to live like this and as much as she’d like to believe she is different, Jude is in fact Human.
Cardan, the source of all my heartache and stress and book boyfriend angst. It should be of no surprise that he’s back at all his wine induced shenanigans leaving all the hard work and decision making to Jude. After all, this was all her grand plan in the first place, right?! But there’s more than meets the eye as far as Cardan is concerned. Having been pushed aside and made to feel second rate, everyone has failed to notice how intelligent Cardan actually is. While they’ve cast him off as the trouble maker, he’s been observing everyone and learning all along. He has a dark and twisted past that has made him so callous but there’s a tiny soft spot with the name Jude written all over it.
The relationship between Jude and Cardan is one of the longest slow burn hate to love romances that I’ve ever endured. I have never wanted two characters to just get it over with and admit their true feelings more than I wanted these two to just let it out! I love that they don’t let their emotions take over all logical thinking and that they try to be all business but just can’t help how they feel. It makes sense for two strong willed and strategical thinking characters would take evereything into consideration before giving into romantic whims. I like that even though we might be rooting for them to kiss, they stay true to character. It feels right.
The Wicked King was everything I needed to continue with this series, and still not enough. I love the atmosphere of these books and the perspective following Jude while she tries to live the only way she knows how in a land where she is not meant to survive. It’s dangerous but addicting this need to prove that she is no lesser because she is a Human. This book not only kept true to what I loved from The Cruel Prince, but there’s even a wedding, an attempted assasination or two, a new part of faerie you haven’t experienced yet and even more dark and devious characters to fall in love with. I am fully on board with this series and can’t wait to see how things unfold in the third book.
If you liked this book:
If you liked The Wicked King by Holly Black and you haven’t read her other series yet then I suggest picking up Tithe by Holly Black right away. There are characters in this series that play a large role in The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. It’s always neat to see characters from other books you’ve read make a cameo in other books but these characters play such a large role its a treat to know where those characters came from and what their story is in relation to the role they play in The Wicked King. Not only that, but the Tithe triology was a really enjoyable and quick read. They are worth reading and can even been helpful in curbing your guarantee book hangover you’ll experience after finishing The Wicked King. A little more of faerie to hold you over in the meantime should do the trick. Just like the doctor ordered!
Have you read any of the books mentioned here? If so, what did you think? Were they enjoyable reads for you? Have you read any of Holly Blacks other books? I tend to find an author I like and stick with their books until I’ve read all that catch my interest. It’s nice to get used to a writing style and get familiar with the way it reads. It’s alnost like talking to a best friend, you don’t need all the formalities when you’ve already been through them all, then you just get to sit back and enjoy it. Do you get like this with certain authors as well? Let me know!