Thursday, January 3, 2019

Power Struggles and Betrayal: The Wicked King

Title: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 8th, 2019!
*I picked up an ARC of this at ALA Annual last summer.

From Goodreads...
The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.

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.

My Review!
I really ended up enjoying The Cruel Prince, even after a rocky start (and I didn’t get hooked until well over 100 pages into it). But I freaking LOVED The Wicked King, and omg. omgggg. I can’t wait to hear what people think of it when it comes out bc !!!!!!! I have a feeling those who love the romance are gonna be shocked.

See, I didn’t have strong feelings regarding Jude and Cardan in the first place. But I did end up getting into them during the sequel. Their banter is fantastic, and I love how much hatred there is, but also how much longing and attraction clouds their judgements. Their relationship is complicated and messy, and I love it. So much. BUT THE FREAKING BETRAYALS OMG. I’M STILL SHOOK. CARDAN, YOU MASTERFUL, COLD GENIUS. Forget what Jude did to him, crowning him instead of her brother and forcing him into a role he never got to choose for himself, you will die after you finish this book. Like, I cannot even with it. It went to a place YA rarely goes. MY FAVE.

I feel like this sequel is just so much stronger in general, tbh. The world-building, the political machinations that Jude and Cardan have to dodge and plan and execute, like a chessboard of life and fae all tangled up. They’re both still dealing with the effects of what happened, and with friends out to get them, family who are in the way or out-of-sight-but-not-out-of-mind (FUCKING BALEKIN), and a traitor in their midst, the two of them are locked in a battle just to keep Cardan on the throne. But it’s not a battle that they want to fight together, or do they? They can’t hide that they care about each other, not after Things Happen. But that has to take a backseat as they struggle for power, over the other and everyone else.

So yeah, I thoroughly loved this disaster of a romance and the wickedness of these characters and the fae! I’m totally okay with where it went, and I’m stoooooked to read the next one, The Queen of Nothing. OF NOTHING. LOLOL. *whines because it's finally January but people still can't read this damn book yet* 


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