The Wicked King by Holly Black is the second book in the Folk of The Air series and is the surprising and enjoyable sequel to The Cruel Prince. It came out in January 2019 in Hardback and Audiobook and I’ve just finished it.
The Wicked King follows around four months after the end of The Cruel Prince and is told from the perspective of mortal girl Jude who has been brought up in the land of Faerie by Madoc, the Grand General, who murdered her parents. That in itself is an interesting and complex relationship which is something that really draws me into the story. Without giving too much away Jude is now in a position of power which she is quite desperately clinging too facing all sorts of humiliation and anger from the Folk and her family. The story very much feels like a power struggle throughout with a lot of tension, murder, betrayal and heated passion thrown in for good mix.
Despite being a fantasy the book is very political which I really enjoyed. It was interesting to see a mortal power struggle in a faerie land. I find most of the characters and their relationships with each other really interesting. Instead of being your typical young adult fantasy romance style book the relationships are full of more betrayal and displeasure at each other. The Wicked King challenges a lot of moral issues too, and instead of painting faeries in a cute or tricky way the focus is more on the mischievous.
What really surprised me about The Wicked King was the ending as I completely did not see that coming at all. It was a complete throw which actually, for once, left me wanting to know what happens next which of course is something I will have to wait to find out. I really enjoyed the ending even though those type of cliffhangers really frustrate me but this actually lead me to wanting to know more about the build up from the others characters point of view, why it happened and what will happen next.
The Wicked King is available to buy on Amazon. Here is the affiliate link for the book:
One of my goals for 2020 is to read 52 books or around one a week. Some might be new, some are ones I’ve had for a while or been meaning to read, some I haven’t quite finished yet and some will be recommendations from others. You can see all the books I’ve read so far on my Good Reads 2020 Reading Challenge.