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The Wicked King by Holly Black Review

Title: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

First published January 8, 2019

336 pages, ebook

ISBN: 9780316310338 (ISBN10: 0316310336)

Rating: 4.33


The Wicked King by Holly Black continues the thrilling and bloodthirsty saga of The Cruel Prince. Jude, now the power behind the throne of Faerie, must protect her brother Oak and maintain control in a world where political alliances are constantly shifting.

But when someone close to Jude threatens to betray her, she must uncover the traitor while navigating her complicated feelings for Cardan, the wicked king she has bound to her. With her life and the lives of those she loves at stake, Jude must strike and strike again without tiring to ensure her survival in the treacherous world of Faerie.

About the Author

With more than thirty fantasy novels for young readers under her belt, Holly Black is an accomplished author who has topped the New York Times bestseller list. She has been recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Eisner Award and Lodestar Award, as well as being awarded the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor.

Her books have been translated into 32 languages and adapted for film. Holly currently resides in New England, where she lives with her husband and son in a house that boasts a secret library.

Editoral Review

Holly Blacks The Wicked King is a thrilling addition to her Folk of the Air series. The book was first published on January 8, 2019, and it has since garnered critical acclaim for its captivating storytelling, unique characters, and stunning world-building.

Holly Black has established herself as one of the premier authors of young adult fantasy, and with The Wicked King, she solidifies her reputation as a master of the genre. The Wicked King picks up where the first book in the series, The Cruel Prince, left off.

The protagonist, Jude Duarte, has become the power behind the throne of the Faerie Court, pulling strings and manipulating events to ensure her own safety and the safety of the people she loves. However, her position becomes increasingly tenuous as she faces off against a host of enemies who want to see her fail.

Meanwhile, her relationship with the charismatic faerie prince, Cardan, grows increasingly complex, fraught with tension, desire, and danger. Blacks writing is masterful, weaving together intricate plot threads, multidimensional characters, and breathtaking descriptions of the Faerie Court.

She creates a world that is both enchanting and dangerous, filled with wonder and horrors. Her prose is precise and evocative, creating vivid images that linger in the mind long after the book is finished.

The pacing is perfect, with the tension and intrigue building steadily until the explosive climax. The characters in The Wicked King are some of the most compelling in modern young adult fantasy.

Jude is an incredibly well-realized protagonist, a mix of vulnerability, strength, and cunning that makes her both relatable and fascinating. Cardan, too, is an intriguing character, a morally ambiguous faerie prince who is both dangerous and alluring.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with Black imbuing each character with a unique personality and backstory that adds depth and complexity to the narrative. One of the most impressive aspects of The Wicked King is its exploration of power, politics, and morality.

Black delves into these themes with nuance and subtlety, painting a complex and compelling portrait of a world in which power is at once intoxicating and corrupting. She explores questions of agency, responsibility, and loyalty, forcing readers to confront their own assumptions about right and wrong.

As with any book, The Wicked King is not without its flaws. Some readers may find the pacing to be slow at times, or the plot twists and turns a bit too predictable.

Additionally, the book may not be ideal for those who are turned off by the darker aspects of young adult fantasy or the genre as a whole. Overall, however, The Wicked King is a triumph, a book that should be on the must-read list of any fan of young adult fantasy.

It is a novel that is equal parts thrilling, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking, a testament to Holly Blacks talent and creativity. It is a book that will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.

Score: 4.5/5