Title: The Wicked King
Series Details: The Folk of the Air #2
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 08, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
The Wicked King is the perfect follow-up to The Cruel Prince, and it’s simply the most deceitful book I’ve read this year. It has the slyest schemers and the shrewdest manipulators. Everything was cleverly knitted and every thread is seemingly made up of deceits. There’s plotting and scheming throughout the book, and it might sound endless, but that’s not all there is. It has chunks of action, romance, court politics, power plays, and family drama—all deliciously balanced.
What made this book totally immersive are the upgrades that Holly Black put into it. Faerie is made more dangerous and trickier especially for those who are fighting to rule it. The characters have grown a great deal. A few more layers were added to an already layered plot, and that really had me hooked.
In this book, there’s a wider crack on Cardan’s door so we get to know his character a little deeper than before. We get to understand him better. Things are a bit more intriguing now that Cardan started to show that he can be cunning too, that he can play the game quiet well if he wanted to.
“You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.”
Jules also had an amazing growth—from a girl who longed to be accepted as part of Faerie to a smart woman who had fought her way into a position of power. Despite the awesome character development, Jules wasn’t painted perfect. Being a human in faerie world, she still have her fears, doubts, and insecurities. But what I love about her is that she can quickly adjust to different situations. She harnessed her very human skills to fill her lack of magic which makes me very proud of her. Things are quiet heavy for Jules in this installment as she struggles to keep hold of the power she acquired. Apparently, trying to control everyone and everything in Faerie is not an easy feat.
“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”
Cardan and Jules’ complicated relationship has also been widely explored in this book. Theirs has been one of the most complex relationship made even more difficult by the events that happened in this installment. Because, let’s face it, they truly hate each other. But there’s also this strong passionate pull between them, and they find themselves giving-in to it despite knowing that they’re practically enemies. So it’s really hard to tell what’s to become of their relationship. It’s deliciously intriguing.
“If you’re the sickness, I suppose you can’t also be the cure.”
The twist was genuinely surprising. Holly Black really made sure that the readers won’t forget this book with that sick twist and massive cliff-hanger combo. This is actually a late review, because I finished this book weeks ago, but still I haven’t gotten over that twist. . . yet. It’s painful. It’s delicious. It’s smart. It stings. It’s the perfect definition of a reader’s drug. You just can’t sit still after reading this book.
The Wicked King is another spectacularly delivered piece. Would I recommend it? Hell, yes!