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Presented by State Library Victoria

REVIEW: The Wicked King by Holly Black Absolutely Killed Me and I Have No Regrets

Hello Fellow Readerholics,

Welcome to my first post of 2020! I’m really pumped, I think this year is going to be great. I joined the Goodreads reading challenge and I intend on actually taking it seriously this time so we’ll see how that goes. Anyway, enough about the new year and more about the second book in the Folk Of The Air series, Wicked King. If you haven’t already read it my review on The Cruel Prince can be found here. As always, this will be a spoiler free review although I cannot guarantee I won’t accidentally spoil parts of 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.



I’ve recently found that reviewing books like this is hard because I never know what to say. I found this book wonderful and thrilling and wicked and I don’t think there are enough words in the English language for me to describe my feelings about this book but I’m going to try.

In my previous review, I wrote about how much I loved the characters and that remains true. Jude is still mean and scary, yet loveable. Cardan is still the morally grey love of my life and Taryn and Locke still deserve to burn in hell. I think one of the strongest aspects of this book was Jude’s narrative voice as it was strong and perfect for shaping what we as readers see of the fae. I thought it was amazing how the strength of her voice clashed with her desperation to hang on to the power she had and it’s that balance that always continues to work for her character. She’s so unlikeable most of the time yet I still love her to bitts and she may be one of my favourite book characters ever.

The side characters really stepped up in ‘The Wicked King’ and I think it was majorly improved by the villains. Madoc’s relationship as a step father to Jude intrigues me as he is her most prominent father figure but he also brutally murdered her parents so their relationship is really interesting. I really, really disliked Nicasia but I was able to feel somewhat sympathetic towards her. You all know how I feel about Locke and Taryn and how emphatically I dislike (aka, hate with a burning passion) them.

I also really loved the concept of humans wrestling whatever power they can. The idea of faeries not understanding the stakes of their world on the same that humans do really intrigued me. Vivi (who I also loved), as someone who grew up as a faerie did not understand how Jude was affected by growing up as a human in a faerie world and was never subject to the torment and abuse she suffered. And the dynamic between Jude and Cardan is *weird Italian chef kiss* perfect! As we see Jude cling to the power she has over Cardan and Cardan being under someone’s thumb, one more time.

There were so many plot twists, I think I screamed about 9 times reading this book. I don’t really want to dwell on the ending as it pretty much murdered me and I will never truly be ok about it.


Overall, this book was incredible. It was dark and wicked and tense and perfect. I think I preferred it to The Cruel Prince if I’m being honest. I’m rating it 4.8/5.


Your Favourite Bookworm


inky State Library Victoria

Screaming while reading is certainly a sign that the book is good!

6th Jan, 20

It certainly is!

6th Jan, 20