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.
Oh, it is so good to be back in this world, created by Holly Black. The Wicked King is the second book in the Folks of the Air series, and it dives even more deeper in the tretrachious world of the Faeries.
The Wicked King picks up a little bit after The Cruel Prince with Jude dealing with the High King of Faerie, Carden, who I can say kinda hates and kinda loves. Oak, her younger brother sent away to be protected, and her sister Taryn, set to be married to Locke, and Balekin locked away.
From the first chapter, you get a great sense of Jude’s character. She sees the world of Faerie, as if it is a game to her, with her trying to take power from Carden, as he is the new High King. The political intrigue is what really makes the book stand out from other fantasy novels. It almost feels as it is a chess game that Jude is trying to win.
The chess game now comes with a new pieces of the chess board in the form of Orlagh, the Queen of the Undersea, and Nicasia, her daugher. I loved the introduction of the Undersea, it added so many layers to this already amazing story, with Nicasia, set to be engaged to Carden and Jude finding a somewhat challenger to her quest for power. It really shows how great of a world builder Holly Black is, and adding more layers to this already expansive world.
A big theme of the book is power and what many would go through to achieve power. With Jude she was taught from Madoc, her semi-adopted father, to learn about how to attain power and also how to keep power, which what she is trying to do throughout. Even though Madoc, isn’t really in Jude’s life, based on the events of that took place during The Cruel Prince, you could still sense his presence.
In regards to Jude and Carden. I think that is the textbook definition of enemies to lovers done extremely perfectly. Their dialogue throughout the book is amazing. Even though they hate each other, and I mean really hate each other, you could tell that in the back of their mind, they want each other so badly. Even some of Jude’s inner dialogue about that is funny.
With the cliffhanger. My god, why is wait for the next book so long? I need to know what happens next.
In the end, The Wicked King, was a fantastic read that added so much layers to this already great universe. With even more political intrigue, I could not put this book down. Also filled with rich and lustful characters that I cannot wait to see how the story continues.