Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: I’m not gonna lie, I was underwhelmed by The Cruel Prince. It had so much hype and I think my expectations were too high so it let me down a little. But I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed The Wicked King. First of all, the world building is spectacular in this series. It’s so creative, full, and vibrant. The rules of the Faeries are perfectly explained and add so much to the story and our understanding of the world. There is so much political intrigue and it is handled in such an exciting way that kept me super invested. I think my main problem with The Cruel Prince was that I didn’t really connect with Jude, but I liked and rooted for her so much more in this one. I loved the way her relationship with Cardan developed and watching her scheme to maintain her control. She is smart and badass, and it was fun to see people underestimate her and have her prove them wrong. Cardan is such an interesting and complex character. He was my favorite in book 1, and after this book I am obsessed with him. I really hate Jude’s twin sister Taryn. I have since the first book, but even more so now. She is such a snake and I don’t trust her at all. Actually, my favorite thing about this book was that I could trust NO ONE. I loved having no idea where the story was going to go, and just when I thought I knew, I was blindsided with a twist (or 5).
The ending was fantastic and I hate that I have to wait forever to find out what is going to happen next. I finally understand the hype about this series, and have a slight book hangover. You got me Holly Black. You got me.