Well I’ve already found my favourite book of 2019…how can anything surpass The Wicked King?! It was cruelly brilliant.
My first reaction on finishing was basically just: WHY DON’T YOU JUST PICK UP MY LIMP CARCASS AND TOSS IT 50FT INTO THE SEA TOO. The story is excellent in the most beautiful, clever, and perfectly poisonous way. I am reeling and also want to s c r e a m myself into the next dimension because
afjdksald I’ve lost my mind. I am not used to being so suffocatingly in love with a series that I can think of nothing else ahhhh.
This is a SPOILER FREE review for The Wicked King…however it may contain spoilers for the first book, The Cruel Prince! Proceed with caution. (And also read my The Cruel Prince review!)
➸ Again I put forth the fact that these are the MOST Slytherin books.
They are about mind games and plot twists. They are about characters outwitting and undermining each other, and not just Jude. We have Madoc playing his own games. And Cardan starts to stop being a veritable flopped over fern and grows into his sullen mouth and power as the high king. Then add in the other courts who have agendas and wishes (aka this book features Orlagh, the queen of the sea, who is making her move against the throne and playing her own murder games). And I just !!! when you think you know who is plotting against who — there is a dECOY FOR THE DECOY and plot twist within a twist. I can’t even.
I am thRIVING on this.
➸ Cardan and Jude? I am dead. fUlly fully dead.
Their relationship is complicated and definitely toxic, but they know it. And it makes for a very interesting dynamic. I mean — from the moment Cardan sleight-of-hand steals Jude’s ring and then wears it, I KNOW HE IS FLIRTING WITH HER. They are both manipulated and overlooked teenagers, they are kids drowning in a pretty world with no footholds. So they understand each other, but they hate each other…do they? The question of: “IS HE WORKING WITH HER, PROTECTING HER, OR MANIPULATING HER” is gonna kill me. I swear. But seriously, the murder-flirting, the kisses, the twists with their relationship….omg. These two are vicious and entrancing. Hate-to-love (?? is it love??) at its finest.
➸ Also the stakes grow staggeringly higher.
Wherein Jude learns that claiming power is much easier than keeping it. She seriously needs a nap though! It’s 5 months after The Cruel Prince and this gIRL HAS NOT SLEPT. I really ached for her, because she’s so along playing this game of control and crowns and magic and schemes. (Jude needs a soft pretzel and a nap, fite me if you disagree.) I love her character to pieces. Her anxiety and vulnerability is perfectly balanced with the craving of power and control.
➸ We already know Holly Black is a writing QUEEN.
Her descriptions have me falling head-over-heels in love with the faerie world. Yes, hopeless mortal here *waves languidly* I don’t even care. I just love the descriptions, the faerie culture, how she weaves in other courts and their games and japes and terrors.
…am I going to stop gushing soon??? I DON’T KNOW, AM I?!? I freaking adored this book. I knew I would but like holy wow it sets the bar so high for 2019.
But what I like best is that (a) it’s surprising and maddening and addictive, (b) it takes you on an adventure that is like dancing on silver knife blades, (c) it gives you a sliver of what you want and then snatches it away, and (d) THAT CLIFFHANGER. THAT ENDING. JUDE. CARDAN. I LOVE THEM AND MY WHOLE SELF HURTS.
it is a story of murder, betrayal, mind-games, lust and love and entrancing kisses, and friendships you want to trust but oh oh can you possibly trust anything or anyone??
thank you allen and unwin for the review-copy! THE WICKED KING (Folk Of The Air #2) by Holly Black came out January 2019
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.