The Wicked King by Holly Black
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.
After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.
Review: 5 Stars
Beware of spoilers for The Cruel Prince, there are no spoilers for The Wicked King.
The Wicked King brings back all of your beloved characters from The Cruel Prince with all new problems to solve. Cardan is now the high king, but Jude is the one with all of the power. They are trying to keep Oak safe with Vivi and Taryn and Locke are together. The Wicked King is full of cunning fae with tricks up their sleeves, blood thirsty rivals who will stop at nothing, betrayal from someone Jude trusts more than anything and non-stop revels that are full of trouble. This long awaited sequel lives up to all of my expectations.
” The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder.“
As Jude struggles to maintain power over Cardan, she also has to tango with problems from Madoc, Locke, Taryn and keep Oak safe. The juggling act of keeping everything in order just might come crashing down. In Faerie a mortal can never trust anyone, but that is so much more true in this story as Jude finds betrayal around every corner and from those who she trusts the most.
“Someone you trust has already betrayed you.”
I have always wanted a romance between Cardan and Jude, and in this book the idea is explored a little. I think that the romance is the perfect enemies to lovers ideal. I think that Cardan and Jude would be perfect for each other. They both have dark sides, but together they could be amazing. Their romance would be one of passion, a roller coaster of excitement. But with a roller coaster, there are a lot of highs and lows.
“Kiss me until I am sick of it.”
As everyone is scheming the book has an insane twist. So many plot lines come together all at once and throw a huge curveball. The book had me screaming. I was shocked on so many levels and I couldn’t believe that I didn’t see any of it coming. Holly Black is a master mind schemer herself, as her plot twists itself in so many different directions. I am amazed at her ability to weave this story.
“My advice,” says Val Moren, “is that you learn to juggle better than I did, seneschal.”
Just when I thought that I was getting the ending that I have always wanted, Holly Black ripped it out from under me. I wanted to throw this book because of the way that it ended. I thought the ending of The Cruel Prince was bad. The hardest part about this book is that now it is over, and I have so much longer to wait.
“I hate the way I cling to him, the nails of one hand digging into his back, my thoughts splintering and the single last thing in my head: that I like him better than I’ve ever liked anyone and that of all the things he’s ever done to me, making me like him is by far the worst.”
Holly Black is the Queen of writing books about faeries. Her world building is incredible, bringing to life characters with horns, addictive fruit and giant toads that you can ride like horses. I always love her books, but the plotting of this one really blew me away. I honestly liked this one better than I liked The Cruel Prince. The twists and all of the character arcs were brought together to create a knockout story line.