The Wicked King Book Review

The Wicked King: Book Review by Dinh.

4.5 stars out of 5 stars


You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.

Jude 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 biddable. 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 life and the lives of everyone she loves, Just must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.

From hardcover book, 322 pages, copyright 2019, and published by Little, Brown and Company.


I read Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air series) last year and loved it! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Wicked King, so when it came out last week I quickly got a copy from the library right away.

I was so excited to read a good fantasy that I delved right in and kept on going until the end. I finished it in two days!

I am happy to say book two of the Folk of the Air series, did not disappoint. Now, I wish book three of the series was available!

Here’s what I loved about The Wicked King.

The Wicked King by Holly Black


If you haven’t read The Cruel Prince, here’s a quick recap. Jude and her sisters were dragged away from the mortal realm to the High Court of Faerie by the man that murdered their parents. They learned to live among the Fae. Jude trains everyday to avenge her parents as she plots and plans. At the end of the book, she manages to trick Prince Cardan to be her puppet king.

We begin The Wicked King five months after Cardan was made king of Elfhame. Behind his throne is Jude, the power behind him.

I loved how the story continued with Jude trying to keep one step ahead of the game. Now that she has the power, it isn’t as easy to keep it. Jude is constantly thinking of ways to outmaneuver her opponents and protect the ones she loves.

Author’s Style

Holly Black knocks it out of the ballpark with an amazing compelling sequel. The setting and great characters pull you right in from start to finish.

I liked Black’s writing style. The descriptions are enough for visualizing but she doesn’t waste words by dragging on. There’s plenty of dialogue to help the story move along and for the reader to get the gist of the situation.

Black has written another great page-turner. It’s riveting from start to finish. There’s plenty of scheming and political intrigue. The build-up was great!

I also liked the tone of the book. It’s on the darker side as we see that Faeries are not all lovey, in fact some can be quite ruthless.

The Wicked King Prololgue Page


Black does a fantastic job with the cast of interesting characters. I found Jude and Cardan character’s the most intriguing.

Jude is a character you can’t help but to love. She’s strong and brave and smart. She uses her brain to solve her problems. She takes control of what she can and finds ways to survive in Faerie even though she is at a disadvantage of being human.

Jude’s relationship with King Cardan is evolving. Jude’s feeling towards Cardan is mixed and complex and I enjoyed how Black has made this a slow boil love story. Jude’s is too busy to think about Cardan but he’s there in her mind. I loved the realistic natural of the characters the hate-love relationship. It makes an interesting read.

Cardan was cruel but we begin to get a glimpse of different person underneath that. Is he as cruel as he seems? We’ll find out for sure in book three, I hope.

Cardan’s character is a like a puzzle and bits are being revealed at a time but we don’t know for sure if he’s as wicked as he seems. The twist at the end really throws the spanner in the works and left me guessing.

Taryn, Jude’s twin sister, Madock the stepfather and Locke are also brilliant supporting characters.


Yep, we finish with a cliff-hanger! Such a great build up with lots of action. The suspense of what’s going to happening next is too much. I can’t wait for the next book.

My Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a great young adult fantasy series to get into I highly recommend checking out the Folk of the Air series. Both the first book, The Cruel Prince and the sequel, The Wicked King are excellent.

The Wicked King will engage you from start to finish and you’ll probably read it in one sitting. It’s a must read!

Get your copy here. Or listen to it for free with an Audible trial. (Audio sample available).

Do you like to read about Faeries? Do you have a favorite fantasy novel that you love?

One thought on “The Wicked King Book Review

  1. I have to admit that I haven’t read any of Black’s YA before and haven’t read The Cruel Prince! But it is one of the books on my list because everyone seems to be loving this sequel like crazy. I am not surprised that it ends in a cliffhanger đŸ˜‰ Jude sounds like a wonderful character as well. So happy you loved this sequel!

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