Book Review, Quality Reads, Young Adult

The Wicked King by Holly Black Book Review

the wicked king by holly black book review

Title: The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #2
Link: Goodreads / Amazon
Release Date: January 9, 2019
Rating: 5/5


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.


Excuse me, Holly Black, how dare you? I’ll be sending an invoice for my therapist ASAP.

Melodramatic? Perhaps. Completely understandable given the most heart-wrenching ending of our generation? Definitely. If you saw the first ever review on Capulet Reads of The Cruel Prince, you already know how I feel about this series. Holly Black has comitted an act of god. Not only do fairies make my skin crawl, but I don’t find them attractive in the least. If I wanted to read about a gaggle of pointy-eared creatures banging, I’d read Lord of the Rings. For me, the role of sexually frustrated human/faerie pairings unfortunately already belonged to Sarah J. Maas.

I didn’t think I had room in my life for any more faerie nonsense. I didn’t think my mental health could take it. Yet, here I am crying in the club at The Wicked King. The first book was good. This second book is better. While it took me a while to not want to punch Jude in the face in book 1, I found her significantly more appealing this time around. Plus, there’s the growing relationship with Cardan to keep me frothing at the mouth like Pavlov’s dogs.

I read this book in one sitting. In this book, we’re once again greeted with Jude, our newly appointed “Shadow Queen.” I’d be lying if I said the premise of a mortal girl secretly pulling all the strings for a boy-king doesn’t sound like every fanfic I’ve ever read between the ages of 12 and 14. I’d also be lying if I claimed I wasn’t 100% here for it.

Unlike in the first book, I could see the “twist” coming a mile away. Yet, I was still screaming as I read the epilogue. Now, I’m depressed thinking that I’ll have to wait another year (or more!!!) for the next book in the series. I’m even more depressed thinking that book #3 probably won’t be the last, and this will become another Throne of Glass torture situation. Honestly, my heart can’t take it.

In the meantime, pre-order this book, like, yesterday. Even if you’re like me and you’re not into the faerie stuff.

The Good

  • Jude is less annoying. (Yay for character development!)
  • Carden is also less annoying.
  • Sexual tension strikes again.

The Bad

  • I still hate the name Jude.
  • The ending is pretty much what we all knew would happen.

Thanks Holly Black for giving me yet another series to anxiously wait for. Good grief, when will these YA authors stop their reign of terror on the youth of today.

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