Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black // Whimsical, witty, and intriguing

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

About the Book


Title: The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2)

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Release Date: January 8, 2019

Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 0316310336 (ISBN13: 9780316310338)


The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

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.

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About the Author

Holly Black

Holly Black

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.


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My Review


If you were to ask me, I think this book is a huge improvement from The Cruel Prince! I love both books of course, but it took me so long to get into The Cruel Prince while The Wicked King drew me in, right from the first sentence.


The setting of The Wicked King — Faerieland — is a web of intrigue where nothing is as it seems. Have I ever mentioned how much it reminds me of Wonderland? Trickery and magic lie in every corner like predators waiting for their prey. I love the whimsical touch to this world. Faeries have always had a special place in my heart and I’m glad this book, or series rather, gave their full definition: beautiful, cunning, cruel, and deadly.


If The Cruel Prince showed us how humans like Jude and Taryn survived (barely) in Faerieland, The Wicked King shows us the core of its politics, how the courts and kingdoms are run and at the same time exploiting the fragile ties between each ruler. This book shows us cool, calculated thinking, a with a chessboard of a plot and characters that are both pawns and kings/queens.


The writing is beautiful! The story flowed smoothly and Holly Black might as well be a faerie, she knows how to trick a reader! I certainly did not expect that ending, even (especially?) with what happened a few pages before the final one. Nothing is predictable in The Wicked King, and that both terrifies and pleases me.


This book was pretty fast paced for me. So much happened in the span of a few hundred pages and my mind is still whirling as I try to take in everything that happened. It wasn’t boring at all, readers will be on the edge of their seats as they try to anticipate what happens next after every chapter of The Wicked King.


My Rating


4.5 / 5 stars




Have you read The Wicked King? How about The Cruel Prince?

If you have, what did you think? How many stars was your rating for each book?

Do you love reading fantasy or is it out of your league?

If you haven’t read this book yet, do you think you’ll love it or hate it? Why?


3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black // Whimsical, witty, and intriguing

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