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The Wicked King, Holly Black


The Wicked King is the second in this series, directly following The Cruel Prince. If you haven’t that one yet, stop here, and go and do so before you continue reading this review that will spoil the first book! Where we last left Jude and Cardan they had gone from bickering school kids to players well embedded in the lies and secrets of Faerie.

“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”

In The Wicked King, Jude has become harder, tougher and more stubborn as she is pushed and pulled by those around her. Cardan similarly has grown up fast and the two of them couldn’t hate the other more. We now have Cardan on the thrown of Faerie, being controlled by an oath he made to Jude and neither of them are happy about the situation. Tensions are running high as Cardan feels used, and Jude feels like she can trust no one. 

So the players keep playing and the haters keep hating and Jude and Cardan become unlikely allies against them all.

“I want to tell you so many lies”

Similarly in this one I found many of the side characters painful and just downright awful people. I know they were in relation to Jude somewhat meant to be ‘bad guys’ but I like my so called villains to have some redeeming qualities, it’s usually what makes them people you love to hate. I didn’t love to hate them jere I just really didn’t like them.

“I hate you,” I breathed into his mouth. “I hate you so much that sometimes I can’t think of anything else.”

Overall this book was a real change from the previous and really stepped up the drama, the stakes and I even think the maturity of our main characters. They were still young but there was a sense they understood more of the bigger problems and were taking on more adult like stuff. 

The plot was another thing that improved for me, I liked what was going on and the tangled web of love and betrayal. I liked that our main characters were more central to the action. Their love hate relationship was exactly whah you want from these kinds of angsty dramatic fantasy series and it was a good time.

“If he thought I was bad, I would be worse. If he thought I was cruel, I would be horrifying.”

Unsurprisingly another full on ending that makes me glad I waited until all three books were out before I started this series! Diving right in.

I read this for my Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt “by an author with flora or fauna in their name”. You can check out my progress here.



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