Author: Holly Black
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date: 08/01/19
My rating: ★★★★★
I received a copy from Hot Key Books via Readers First in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
The Wicked King is the stunning sequel to The Cruel Prince and I have to say, it is glorious! I don’t know about anyone else but I had extremely high expectations, and for me it well and truly surpassed them. Set five months after The Cruel Prince where Jude tricked Cardan onto the throne. Both Vivienne and Oak are living in the mortal world, Taryn is marrying Locke, Madoc is still the general despite his part in killing King Eldred. And Jude is now King Cardan’s Seneschal and is currently ruling Elfhame through him, until their bargain ends after a year and a day.
I can’t tell you how much I loved this book, I’m already desperate to get my hands on the next installment! Theres so much happening in terms of plot and character development in this one. I spent the whole book both loving and hating Cardan, he’s really changed and grown as a person since we first met him, especially the relationship between himself and Jude. I won’t say more though because of spoilers. I was eager to see how Jude’s relationship with her family changed after what happened in TCP and I wasn’t disappointed, especially with Taryn and Madoc. I won’t lie, I’m glad Madoc is still around, I can’t help but love him. I couldn’t even tell you why, he’s such a great character. There’s nothing worse than everything being swept under the rug so I’m glad this didn’t happen.
This next bit is slightly spoilerish, though not really in terms of story and plot! There’s a reference to Severin from The Darkest Part of the Forest, I think there’s been some before, I’m still working my way through her other books so those went over my head. Anyhoo, I love that both are linked to the same world. Overall The Wicked King is a gripping read that will leave you with a raging book hangover. I highly recommend picking these books up asap!