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The Wicked King

The Wicked King

Book - 2019 | First edition
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As seneschal to High King Cardan, Jude must fight to keep control of the Faerie throne while her younger brother, Oak, enjoys the childhood she never knew.
After learning 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. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. Someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves. Now she must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan, in order to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world. -- adapted from jacket
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2019
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780316310352
0316310352
Call Number: y BLACK 2019
Characteristics: 326 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm

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JCLLaurelA Jun 11, 2021

This book seemed a little more predictable to me, but that could also be because I've been reading fantasy books for quite a long time. Jude continues to not learn from her past mistakes which makes it hard for her to get much sympathy from me when things go wrong for her. She also continues to have an extremely toxic relationship with Cardan (yes, I realize that's a huge plot point of the series), which also makes it difficult to read and still be on her team. I'll still give it a 3 star, though, because there are parts of this that I truly enjoyed.

t
tvisha9
Mar 11, 2021

Overall, this novel wasn’t too bad. I did think that it was a little more boring than the first novel, as the pace of the book just slowed down overall. I wasn’t as hooked on it as I was with the first novel. I definitely enjoyed the suspense and romantic tension in the book, though. The plot twist at the end was a little predictable but I liked it anyway.

This book is the sequel to the best-selling novel The Cruel Prince. Continuing off from where the last book left off, Cardan has become the new High King of Faerie, and Jude has become part of the king’s court. However, Cardan is under Jude’s control, under an oath that he made to her for 1 year and 1 day. Oak, the true king of Faerie, is off in the mortal world, and safe from the enemies in the magical world that want him out of the way. Everything seems to be going well, even with Jude and Cardan’s extreme hatred for each other. However, a threat from an enemy soon throws everything off. Betrayals, torture, and fighting ensue. Will Jude be able to get through it and make everything alright? Or will she succumb to the ways of the magical Faerie world?

This book is appropriate for readers aged 15 and above. This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the content and topics of this book are really complicated. There are a lot of treaties, kingdoms, and ideas to keep track of as you go through the book for everything to make sense, and at times, it can get complicated. There are also a couple of adult topics as well as some violence. There is definitely a lot of violence in this book. Jude is captured by an enemy and tortured. There are also fights and one person is killed. There are many mentions of war and battle in the novel as well. There is very little bad language in this novel. The only words that are used are d*mn, h*ll, and bullsh*t, and these words are barely used throughout. There are a couple of adult topics in the novel. Cardan constantly takes female partners for the night and sleeps with Jude at one point, but there isn’t too much description. There are also some LGBTQ topics as seen through Vivi and her partner’s relationship.

sjpl_rebekah Feb 13, 2021

I was never quick to pick up this book series for two reasons:

1. I read the Coldest Girl in Cold Town by this author and though I enjoyed it, I wasn’t terribly impressed.
2. The book synopsis for The Cruel Prince does not do it justice.

I have seen this book series mentioned enough times now that I finally decided to read it. As a result, I am going to do something I never do and review all three books together. Why you ask? Because I ripped through them so fast it doesn’t even make sense for me to review them individually. This was a book series that kept me reading late into the night and each book took me about 2 days to finish. I simply could not put them down. The romance is a slow burn (which I always appreciate), but it was the political intrigue and endless scheming that truly kept me glued to the pages. Jude is a very strongly written character, and it was fascinating to watch her turn her vulnerabilities into strengths. The pacing of this book series is excellent, and I was never once bored. Great cliffhangers and a great ending really cemented this as one of my favorite YA series of all time.

p
penelopegomez
Jul 30, 2020

Wow this book series just keeps getting better and better! There was never a dull moment in this book. There is just so much scheming and backstabbing and romance strewn all throughout the novel. The way that book 1 ended, it just shook me to my core, I immediately had to start reading book 2! The way that this book ended wasn't any EASIER! Holly Black really knows how to leave people hanging... without giving too much away the ending of this book was the equivalent of getting slapped in the face! I could not sleep after reading this book and you guessed it, I had to immediately stay up all night reading book 3. I have completely fallen in love with this series and it's characters. Carden and Jude are my new favorite YA ship, they belong together, I don't care what anyone thinks you can not change my mind on this. Holly Black did an incredible job of bringing this fantastical faerie land to life. A genre I never in a million years thought that I would like. If you have any other "fantasy" novels you think I might like, please comment them down below.

I...I don't even know where to begin. This was absolute classic Holly Black and I mean that in the most heart-wrenching, gasp-worthy way possible. I feel like I just ripped out my own heart for fun.

The Wicked King picks up five months after The Cruel Prince, with Jude as the High King Cardan's seneschal, pulling Cardan's strings and running the Faerie world. I thought we might get some Undersea action with the cover details and the art inside the book, and boy, I wasn't disappointed; I was so excited to see the mer-Folk (mer-fae?) in their element, and my god, I loved that we finally got to see Orlagh and Nicasia and their underwater world. Even if the reason that we got to see it was less than wonderful.

I found it so easy to step back into the world of Elfhame. The way that Holly launches us right into Jude's world, how she can never rest because of the vicious cycle she's thrust herself into, was so viscerally real to me. I felt anxious for her, and with her, and because of how TCP went, all I did through the whole book was look at everyone suspiciously. Are you going to betray Jude? How about you? No? Are you sure? Cause I'm not. I loved second-guessing what was going on. And when the twist came, I still somehow didn't see it coming. Cardan is still wonderfully cruel, beautifully unpredictable and stunningly wicked.

I adore him. And I adore Jude.

But the ending. My god. HOW DO WE WAIT A YEAR? My girl has been left in an utterly devastating situation and I am not okay.

As an endnote, I just have to say that I just love how Holly writes. The first person present-tense perspective makes me feel like I'm inside Jude's head and it puts me so close to her that I just feel so ultra-protective of her that I want to climb inside the pages and hiss at anyone who comes too close, Cardan included. The way she writes is accessible and grounded while also being beautiful and ethereal to match the world she's created, and I'm always in awe of how she can make me feel so many things for these characters.

I'm going to be honest, I don't understand the Jude/Cardan thing. They just don't seem like a match to me! So far, I just feel okay about this series, though I'm often left wondering about Jude's motivations. I will say I do like the way the world is constructed because it's easy to slip into and Black's descriptions are gorgeous. But I just can't connect to any of the characters.

m
monicarp
Feb 25, 2020

I'm always a little apprehensive when it comes to sequels because I'm always nervous that they won't live up to the first book. I can tell you right now that is not the case with The Wicked King! This book was amazing, and I could not put it down. Holly Black's writing is so effortless, and it is so easy to get lost in the world she's built.

I thought this book was absolutely amazing, and every twist and turn was so unexpected! I loved diving deeper into this world, and seeing how Jude dealt with all of the consequences of her actions in The Cruel Prince. If there's one thing I've learned it's that Holly Black is the queen of great endings! As soon as I finished this book, I ran out and picked up a copy of The Queen of Nothing because I needed to know what happened ASAP. If you're a fan of the fantasy genre and haven't read this series, please pick it up. You won't regret it!!

c
CourtneyEHK
Jan 19, 2020

I could not put this book down!!! 5/5 All the way!

This book did not disappoint, I remember thinking the Cruel Prince was not as good as everyone kept telling me it was and I was a bit disappointed in it. Its the reason it took me so long to read this book but WOW was I not disappointed here!!!

Jude is smart, fierce and manipulative and it is fantastic to read. Cardan is self distructive, sweet and shockingly calculating, his character development is impressive and well done.

I am sure we can all admit that Taryn is horrible and despicable. I really just hate her, she is the worst twin anyone could have and Jude deserves better.

Madoc is a weird soft spot for me. I liked him in the Cruel Prince and I still like him in this book too. He's an interesting character and for all his power play I feel like there might be more to him than what we are shown.

I could keep going on about different characters but I will leave it at that for now. I loved the different character arcs. I thought it was exicuted very well and I am very excited to start Queen of Nothing. Do not, not give this book a chance because you were not overly thrilled with the Cruel Prince. You will miss an excellent story if you do.

f
fantasyqueen
Jan 09, 2020

2

u
uta2340
Dec 30, 2019

Book #2

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Dogwood2021
May 27, 2021

"I hate you ," I say, the words coming out like a caress. I say it again, over and over. A litany. An enchantment. A ward against what I really feel. "I hate you. I hate you. I hate you."

"The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock." Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. "Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder."

m
Marleny_Martini
Apr 04, 2019

"Your ridiculous family might be surprised to find that not everything is solved by murder,” Locke calls after me.

“We would be surprised to find that,” I call back."

m
Marleny_Martini
Apr 04, 2019

"The folk doubtlessly learned this lesson long ago. They do not need to deceive humans. Humans will deceive themselves."

m
Marleny_Martini
Apr 04, 2019

"The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.” Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder."

j
jess_a_book_lover
Feb 14, 2019

“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”
- Madoc

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 25, 2019

"That's the problem with a puppet government: It's not going to run itself. Adrenaline may turn out not to be a replacement for experience."

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dstradling
Sep 11, 2020

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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