Review – The Wicked King

Title: The Wicked King

Series: The Folk of Air #2

Author: Holly Black


As this is book 2 in a series there will be spoilers from the first book, The Cruel Prince. Read at your own discretion. Ye have been warned.

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 dreaded sequel. It can go either way. It can crash and burn or reach an even higher peak than its predecessor.
So how did The Wicked King fare? Well..

It was better!

I devoured The Cruel Prince, but with The Wicked King…it seemed to happen even faster. I’ll get into this more in the ending further down, but that ending… wow.
Emotions were amped up a notch, though it wasn’t as action-packed as one might have expected, though fightscenes were present, but one or two more wouldn’t have hurt.


Jude, my dear. You make questionable decisions that comes back to bite you in the ass. You don’t listen to your friends and allies and it costs you big time. You think you have everything under control and figured out and then it’s extra shocking when something happens that you didn’t expect. Your feelings for Cardan are a hot mess and confusing at times.

Cardan Cardan Cardan. You.. *sigh* Oh you.
I don’t really know what to do with you boy. You certainly don’t make it easy for me. But I can live with that. I just can’t really tell whether or not I want to love you or hate you or just slap you in the face.

Side characters. Taryn and Locke.. Nope. You’re both dead to me and Taryn needs to make an effort in TQON before I’ll consider changing my mind. You’re proof that sharing blood and a womb is not always enough apparently.
Madoc. I’m still undecided. He’s a muddy character in some ways and shadowy, cloaking his true self. At least that’s what I choose to believe because I want him to be on Jude’s side, though that seems like a long shot.


The plot was interesting and I didn’t find it boring or slow. I had a constant feeling that anything could happen because I could not foresee anything in this book. I went into this series completely blind and I am grateful for that because wow, what a roller coaster ride so far.
I was glad to see the world expanding beneath the waves and I’m curious whether or not we’ll get to experience a new setting in the third book (fingers crossed). I will say that I wish there had been more of the scenes under sea. It felt a little rushed.


Oh my GOD! That ending. I…I… I am kind of gobsmacked. The last 30 pages were a whirlwind of emotions. It started out with me being giddy and giggling at what Cardan did and how Jude responded…but then.. Then it all went bananas! Everything flipped around and I was left feeling utterly bereft.
Talk about doing a 180 with next to no warning. Cardan won this round, but oh I am so ready to find out how it ends in The Queen of Nothing (I understand the name of the book now and it hurts my soul).

Final thoughts

I thought this book was great. Really great and it was another easy 5 star rating for me.
Better than TCP and it did great with setting up the third book because I am so hooked! These books suck you right in and you won’t get out until you’ve read them all.

I want The Queen of Nothing in my hands now!!!

If you have read this series, which book did you prefer? The Cruel Prince or The Wicked King?

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