The Wicked King by Holly Black – Book Review

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“I have said that he has the power to deliver a compliment and make it hurt. So, too, he can say something that ought to be insulting and deliver it in such a way that it feels like being truly seen.

Goodreads / Amazon / Storygraph


After a shocking revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must do everything in her power to protect him. To help do so, she has bound the wicked King Cardan to her, in order to be the power behind the throne. 

Navigating through constantly changing political alliances are hard enough, but Cardan proves to be even harder to keep under control. He does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine Jude, even as his infatuation with her continues to grow. 

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world. 

Thoughts on the Plot

There is a lot of political intrigue going on within the plot. Everyone is plotting and planning and scheming and it is one of the things that I really like about this series. 

There is a lot of betrayal and backstabbing and everyone just wants to have power. 

They want to feel in charge and a lot of the plot is forged by the motives of the characters. 

The pacing felt a little slow at the beginning. Once we’ve settled into the story it hit a little lull but did pick back up.

And as per usual, another character driven book. 

Thoughts on the Characters

I still do not endorse Cardan and Jude’s story as a “love story”.

Jude is still very impulsive and driven by her emotions. Though I do enjoy the fact that she is not afraid to be ruthless. She knows exactly what she wants and she is going to get it.

Especially when it comes to protecting those closest to her. 

Cardan on the other hand, is still meaner than he should be to Jude. Looking at him more as an immature royal, paints him in a far better light than him as Jude’s love interest.

Though it is interesting to view Cardan through Jude’s eyes. It proves he can be sweet and even romantic at times. 

I also enjoyed the side characters, Roach, the bomb, and Oak. Oak is still without a doubt my favorite but he is not written the age he is supposed to be. 

I was disappointed with Vivi and Taryn. This book solidified by absolute dislike of Taryn and Vivi must have been just acting out of stress. 

Overall Thoughts

This book is so much stronger than the first book. I enjoyed it far more than I did The Cruel Prince. It still has its issues but begins to show a lot of growth.

I still found myself rooting for Jude because the reasons behind her ambitions made sense. Whereas with Cardan it was hard to look past the spoiled Prince qualities of his. 

His bullying of Jude continues, though hwe do also start to see Cardan become a bit of a softie for Jude.

But I still would not endorse this book as an “enemies to lovers” because it’s just…not. 

A solid 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Storygraph

You Might Also Like: The Cruel Prince // A Court of Thorns and Roses

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