i finally read The Wicked King.
And ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh crap.
This is spoiler free for The Wicked King but not 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.
What was that ending.
Okay. I shall lose my mind over the ending of the book at the end of this review because why the heck not??? Anyways, I want to start with an extremely nit-picky complaint:
You see, the titles sorta give things away. Not completely but it does take the shock factor off of certain twists. THERE’S A REASON TITLES AREN’T RELEASED UNTIL THE PREVIOUS BOOKS ARE RELEASED.
But with that aside, I will admit that this book is even better than the first!
3 Reasons Why This Was Better:
- The stakes are higher in every way possible.
- There’s a lot less world-building and a LOT more plotting(!)
- More Cardan (yes this is definitely a perk)
For art is more than virtue or vice.
This story is one that won’t appeal to everyone, because it’s packed with political intrigue. Character after character schemes and lies and avoids telling *certain* truths and all of that comes to one of the most EPIC climaxes ever. BUT I SAID I WASN’T GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ENDING YET SO SHHH ME.
Jude is a brilliant heroine. She’s a Slytherin, not the typical Gryffindor “we do everything right and honorably and don’t care because we refuse to steal a cheese cracker mate*” main character. And it’s so refreshing. You can’t help but root for her, even as she does things that are a bit morally ambiguous. Her actions all have consequences, and she knows that. It only makes the stakes higher.
*don’t worry i’m not making fun of Gryffindors haha I’m one myself
Right. Cardan. Time to be controversial but it’s fine! I acknowledge that his tough past never, ever excuses his behavior, and it puts a certain strain on the main romance of this story. However, when I say “I freaking ship this” I do realize that there’s problems with the relationship, but in light of the actions, and circumstances of the characters, the situation is different.
With that being said…I FREAKING SHIP IT. Enemies to lovers is my absolute weakness, y’all. The romance is amazing in its own way! I could probably rant forever and ever and EVER about them but seriously: Cardan and Jude are love and life.
Also that plot is too twisty for words??? Not in a dramatic thriller way but sorta in a Witcher 3 way where actions have consequences you don’t realize until it’s too late. Except everything and everyone is scheming. It can feel slow sometimes, sure, but Holly Black’s writing is so popcorn-addictive that you’d seriously need to be bored to snap out of it.
and now for that asdfghkl ending.
BECAUSE WHAAAAAAT. I saw half of it coming but Cardan. Honey. Why…and Jude. HOW. WHAT. WHY. It was such an excellent showcase of how the characters have developed, how the storyline has unfolded, how complex everything has actually become. And all I can say is…
I want The Queen of Nothing RIGHT NOW.
So that’s it! Tell me: have you read this yet? Was your mind blown too?