Title: The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2)
Author: Holly Black
Pub. Date: January 8, 2019
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4.5
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.
As I’m writing this review, it’s been 22 days since finishing the book.
22 days and the ending still has me screaming whenever I think about it.
S C R E A M I N G.
I enjoyed The Cruel Prince when I read it last year, but I didn’t get the hype. I wasn’t a huge fan of Jude and was more invested in Cardan. I thought the book was good, but not worth the fanfare it was getting. You can read more about my TCP thoughts here.
While I’m still solidly more interested in Cardan, despite certain events that took place at the end of this book, Jude has grown on me. I felt like she wasn’t as annoying or self-sacrificing. She knew what she wanted, and she took it.
I finally caught onto the hype surround the books, the world, the characters – but I think the ending of TWK would grab or infuriate anyone.
I think the pacing was a little too fast in the book, things flew by very quickly. I think that the big reason for this was because we already had all the world building, we knew what it looked like. So, we didn’t need to spend all that time learning the world. But I also think a lot happened, but not a lot happened. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I say that. Personally, I would have liked for the pacing to be just a bit slower.
As for the characters –
Not a fan of Locke – wasn’t a fan of him in TCP and clearly after this book, for a good reason. In my opinion he’s a dick (I get it, he’s faerie, of course he’s a dick, but COME ON) and he manipulative out of malice and greed.
I’m not a fan of Taryn either. Don’t come at me with “if she were a guy, no one would bat an eye” …I. Don’t. Care. What she did was absolutely horrible, and the games she continues to play with Jude are so unfair to her. I’m still not a huge Jude fan, but her sister is downright horrible to her. And yes, again, its faerie, things are epically effed up, but she’s still horrible, and I hope Jude takes revenge.
Even after that ending – the one I’m still screaming over – though I’m honestly not sure if I’m screaming at Cardan or for Jude – I’m still solidly team Cardan.
I just love him.
Also, there’s that scene. And shit.
Holly Black made me want to be kissed by him.
But he’s also such a brat, but so likeable. He also has these super endearing moments and almost vulnerable moments.
I hate him.
Let’s talk about Jude.
I definitely found her to be much more likeable in this book. A lot of my previous issues with her didn’t seem so annoying, or I just didn’t see them in this book. I suppose she left them behind in TCP. She felt driven and motivated and seemed to somewhat learn to not let others goad her into things. She came across smarter and cleverer. I actually felt and found myself occasionally rooting for her.
As for the two of them together –
Holly Black, how dare you stab me repeatedly in the chest?
I hated loved them together so much. So much in fact that I fell for the twist Holly pulled at the end, hook, line and sinker
I screamed – well, internally. It was [I think] 3 or 4 AM when I reached the end and then I went to Twitter and I screamed in digital.
I wanted them to so desperately to be together, that I forgot the book’s title. I was so immersed in the story and the honey sweet moments between Cardan and Jude that I forgot who they were and what they were capable of. I forgot that they were in Faerie and that everything is a freaking trick of some sort.
Yes. I’m still very angry.
Angry at the book.
Angry at myself for not paying attention.
I do think that this shows just how talented Holly Black is at crafting a story. When you go in to it knowing that these characters aren’t technically good, but they story makes you forget, only to remind you at the end…to enrage you – you know the story had done good.
The author has done their job right.
I’m really excited for Queen of Nothing now, and I hope that everything that happened at the end of TWK is a ploy and everything goes back to happy.
It’s a fool’s dream – I know, but I wish it nonetheless.
If you haven’t already, and you’re interested, you should pick up the first book The Cruel Prince so you can start catching up for the release of Queen of Nothing set to come out next year!
If you haven’t already seen it, the cover for Queen of Nothing was recently released – here it is!
It’s pretty, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t like it. Don’t @ me. Maybe my opinion will change after reading it. Regardless, I’m super excited about this book!