The Wicked King is the second book in the dark tale of Jude Duarte and her sisters, and their struggle as mortal in a faerie world. Jude has been such a favorite character for me since the first book in this series, The Cruel Prince. She’s a complete bad ass, strong and fearless and never whining or feeling sorry for herself no matter what ill treatments and injustice she suffers. After all that happened to her in The Cruel Prince, I wondered (and feared) what more evil Holly Black could possibly to do her this time around? Quite a lot it turned out…
The Wicked King picks up five months after the end of book one and the jaw-dropping revelation that Jude’s little brother Oak is the heir to Faerie, and we get to see how Cardan has developed as a ruler, after several months’ worth of practice. We also discover how Jude’s deception has affected their love/hate relationship thing they have going on, since she’s bound Cardan to her and made herself the power behind the throne. No ruler is ever safe in Elfhame, though. Jude can’t let her guard down for a minute, having to navigate Faerie politics and deal with enemies from without and within the kingdom. As if that wasn’t enough, Jude is constantly at odds with Cardan, who takes every measure to humiliate or defy her wishes. At the same time, there is a spark, an attraction neither of them can get away from.
A LOT happens in this book, much of which I simply cannot tell you without spoiling the whole plot. We get to see new parts of the faerie world that were only hinted at in the first book, like the Undersea. We are re-introduced to characters that I assumed were out of the story, in new unexpected ways. And there are upheaval of political alliances and feuds everywhere. The pace of the story is even faster than in the first book and the plot just draws you in completely. Holly Black makes an amazing job keeping her reader at suspense, and to always deliver the unexpected. The intrigue and power dynamics were so entrancing that I couldn’t put the book down until the very end. There were twists I never in a million years saw coming.
I have some mixed feelings about Jude and Cardan’s relationship though. It’s intriguing, for sure, but I don’t know if I want them to be a couple or not, which is a bit frustrating as a reader. I can’t see their relationship ever becoming a good one. There will always be this unhealthy undercurrent, a hint of violence and abuse, that you don’t want anyone ever get caught up in. Yet, some part of me want them to be together, to admit their feelings for each other. So, very mixed feelings for the book in that respect. Nevertheless, the book itself is so good and I truly recommend it and am now eagerly awaiting The Queen of Nothing. It’s simply impossible to not continue reading this series to see where Holly Black takes us and what more she will do to Jude until the end...
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alwyn Hamilton Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Mackenzi Lee Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally M. Tasia Nancy Garden Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Yamile Saied Méndez