Review for The Wicked King by Holly Black


After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her 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.

Trigger Warnings:

Violence, murder, death, torture, blood, vomiting, poison

My Review:

First of all…

THAT ENDING! Not a cliffhanger, really, but so deliciously sinister. Holly Black never fails to surprise her audience. The only reason why I’m glad I’ve waited so long to read this series is that now I can just sail straight into the next book. No waiting!

I have yet to decide whether or not I enjoyed The Wicked King more than its predecessor, The Cruel Prince, but I can say with certainty that both books blew me away. They both share the same addictive quality, but there are some aspects of The Wicked King that make it slightly more intriguing than The Cruel Prince. For starters, the tension between Jude and Cardan in this book was absolutely thrilling to read. I’m a huge sucker for the enemies to lovers trope, but this is something entirely different. No, Jude and Cardan don’t go from enemies to lovers… They are, simultaneously, enemies AND lovers. Which is… really hot. I love the dynamic between Jude and Cardan in this book– it’s a bunch of “will they, won’t they,” and it’s such a delight to read. I prefer a romance that is intense and entertaining, but never the focus of the whole book, and that’s exactly what Holly Black delivered with The Wicked King.

Another thing I loved about this book was the expansion of Jude’s character arc. I liked her well enough in The Cruel Prince, but I felt like I connected with her on a totally different level in The Wicked King. Since the book begins with a time jump, Jude’s rise to power makes a lot more sense, and we’re really able to understand how she, a human, has become so feared in a world of faeries. The thing is, Jude isn’t a good character. She is very cunning, untrustworthy, and power-thirsty. She will do anything to acquire power and hold on to it, no matter what the cost is. She is flawed. Very, very flawed.

But that’s what I love about this series.

All of these characters are bad. There are no truly good characters to compare them to, which is what makes them so likeable. I get major Slytherin vibes from everything about this series, and I’m so down for it.

The atmosphere of these books is very mysterious and wicked. Every aspect of Faireland, from the tension between different races of faeries to the constant political intrigue, will keep you engrossed in Holly Black’s devourable writing. Black has really upped her game with her incredible storytelling, and I think other big names in YA fantasy need to watch out (*cough cough* Sarah J. Maas).

Overall, The Wicked King is a spectacular sequel, and my expectations going into Book 3 are higher than ever. I have no idea how Jude and Cardan’s story is going to end, but I know that Holly Black will manage to surprise me with whatever epic conclusion she’s written.

If you haven’t read The Folk of the Air trilogy yet, what the hell are you doing with your life, because it is absolutely incredible. It’s dark, intriguing, and utterly intoxicating. As soon as I finish typing this review, I’m going to dive into Book 3…


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10 thoughts on “Review for The Wicked King by Holly Black

  1. dinipandareads says:

    I love your enthusiasm for the story and this series! It shines through this review and it’s such a joy to read 😀 You’re right about the characters all being pretty bad and that’s definitely what makes this a unique and interesting series to read! Fab review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Octavia @ Mythical Reads says:

      Ahhhh thank you! I’m so obsessed with this series and I’m glad it shows. I love how the characters are all very flawed because it makes the story all the more fun! Thank you for stopping by! ❤


  2. Jamie @BubblyBooks says:

    Yay!! Glad u loved this one! THAT ENDING slays!! Also am obsessed with how they are both enemies and lovers… just perfection love all the game playing and talking in circles around their feelings like yesss give me all the angst! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Octavia @ Mythical Reads says:

      Thank you! The ending was fabulous and the romantic tension between Cardan and Jude is EVERYTHING. I read Queen of Nothing last night and it was just as good! So sad that the series is over!

      Liked by 1 person

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