‘The Wicked King’ by Holly Black is incredible.
Published: 8th January 2019
Format: Hardback, 336 pages
Synopsis: 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 (TWK) picks up five months after The Cruel Prince (TCP) and the characters have settled into their new roles. Everything seems to be going well enough for Jude and the crown but things soon start to slip out of her control and it goes downhill from there. At times it seems like Jude is the cleverest out of all of the players but she learns too late that there is a better schemer, and it bites.
There are many times throughout this book that make me gasp and they all involved Jude and Cardan together, or at least mentioned their relationship. Their connection deepens in TWK and its the most glorious romance because of its hate. Jude dislikes how cruel and evil and aloof Cardan is and in turn, Cardan dislikes how good Jude is at being one of the Fae, he dislikes her ambition and drive to be better than others. But they love each other both because of those things and because I think they see each other as equals the most. It’s a very difficult relationship to describe and I love that it’s so hard to put my finger on it. I could probably write a 9,000 word essay on their romance and not even scratch the surface.
With regards to the ending, there is of course a cliffhanger and it’s one to end all the others in existence. I honestly couldn’t control my outburst at reading that last chapter. The whole book built up and referenced a certain way out for Jude and when we finally got it, I was ecstatic, but I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THERE WAS A CATCH. I’m still berating myself for getting so sucked in and for getting duped. TWK slayed me. Don’t ask me how Black has the ability to make me care for all the characters when I know I shouldn’t trust any of them. No matter how many warnings the characters give, I trust and fall in love with them anyway, and then OF COURSE I GET HURT when they do what they alluded to. I guess I’m just too human for this book.
Despite being too human for TWK, I enjoyed it so much. This book is magic personified and I dare anyone not to fall in love with this story. Three words to describe TWK: Betrayal, Love and Power.
“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”
“If you’re the sickness, I suppose you can’t also be the cure.”
You can get your copy here