Review – The Wicked King – Holly Black

Honestly, I think this book was one of the most long-awaited books in the Bookstagram world. Even I knew I wanted to know what happened to Jude and Cardan, even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Cruel Prince (the first book in the series).

Title: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy

Age Classification: YA

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Publication Date: January 8th, 2019

Australian RRP: $19.99


I have heard that for mortals, the feeling of falling in love is very like the feeling of fear.

Jude has tricked Cardan onto the throne, binding him to her for a year and a day. But the new High King does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undimmed.

Meanwhile, a traitor in the court is scheming against her. Jude must fight for her life and the lives of those she loves, all while battling her own complicated feelings for Cardan. Now a year and a day seems like no time at all . . .


I did not have high expectations for this book. In fact, I probably went into it with the wrong attitude – I expected to not like it as much as I disliked The Cruel Prince. It may be because of that attitude that I was pleasantly surprised. I found The Wicked King to be much more palatable than The Cruel Prince. I felt like we received more character building for both Jude and Cardan, and they were both just more likeable! That was one of my main issues in the first book – I just didn’t care about any of the characters. And I found myself caring a tiny bit more in this one. I actually cared what happened to Jude and Cardan – and the other characters. Except Locke. And Taryn. And Madoc. Okay, I cared about SOME of the characters.

One thing that Black did in this book, which I’m not sure if that’s a quirk of hers, but I feel like she intentionally uses weird and odd words. Within two pages, I was jolted out of the story by the use of an odd word – which I know is great, and expands vocabulary, but I really just wanted to keep reading. Along with this, there were also some odd phrases used – almost archaic phrases. I know this probably hails from Faerie being an old world, but saying ‘I will speak with you anon’ and the like just sounds a little too Shakespearean for me. Those particular things threw me while reading, and I just like escaping while reading – I don’t want to think too much!

Overall, the book was not as bad as I expected. But these characters are still not, and never will be, my favourite. because deep down, I just don’t like them. But I am still interested to see what happens to them!

This gets a ⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5 stars from me.

Grab your copy here – and a copy of the first book here!

Happy readings loves!

-B x

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