Jude 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 biddable. 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 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.
“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”
This book has emotionally destroyed me. Idek how to live anymore. What is life??? I finished this book all of, like, 24 hours ago, and I’ve been thinking about it constantly nonstop for the past 24 hours and I was dreaming about it last night and it was on my mind all through the tests I was taking today and I just don’t know how to function anymore. Also, am willing and ready to sell a kidney and/or my soul to get my hands on the next book…
The Wicked King picks up five months after The Cruel Prince ended, with Jude now the power behind the throne, Cardan the High King of Faerieland, and Oak out in the human world. Jude has quickly learned that seizing power is so much harder than holding on to it, as she struggles to find a way to continue manipulating Cardan and gets tangled in political webs and schemes of power.
The beginning of the last book actually annoyed me a little because it seemed a bit childish, like school drama, so I couldn’t quite give it five stars. Well. This book jumps right into the action and skips all that and it’s SO AMAZING FROM PAGE ONE!!!!
Jude is the most amazing person and I love her so much omg. She’s so morally grey. She does some things that I don’t really agree with, she’s completely ruthless, she’s always scheming. But also she does some things that are absolutely amazing, and can have noble intentions, and I absolutely can’t help but to root for and love her!! She’s such a perfect fabulous Slytheryn and I take my hat off to this girl, the badass-est of all the baddies.
Cardan is equally amazing! He is just as grey, and I’m always wondering just what exactly is going on in his head. He’s still cruel, like pretty much all the faeries, but also at times I feel like he’s just a big softie on the inside?? But just as I start thinking that he goes and does something and I’m like wHAT how dARE YOU??
Also, let’s just talk about the romance between Jude and Cardan. Because I SHIP IT 200% omg I love love love them soooo much!! One scene (you know if you’ve read ;)) was just so aahhhhhh I need to read about these two forever!! I didn’t really like the romance that much in the first book, but they’ve both really developed and changed, and become much closer to each other in the dangerous game of politics they play, close to the point of almost trusting…but never trust a faerie…asoidfjlkofjid. (This review is so incomprehensible but I just love this book so much it’s hard to articulate.) I feel like in a lot of YA books, romance overshadows everything and the protagonists are so annoying that they’re constantly thinking about love when their world is about to blow up but this book was definitely not that it did the romance perfectly!! It was just enough, tucked away behind all the action and scheming, just enough to make you desperate for more without becoming overwhelming and annoying.
The world Black has built here is just so amazing!! We get to learn even more about the complex faerie world and the politics that make it work, both above the land and below the sea!! There are still those amazing cameos from Black’s other books and I’ve read the Tithe books but a long time ago and I think I definitely need to reread them to remember how much I love them but also I still remember enough to be absolutely distraught at points…
Everyone in this book is so, well, wicked and cruel; ready to stab their friends in the back at a second’s notice. There was so much crazy stuff happening in this book and I saw basically NONE of it coming!! Just like the last book I feel like I can’t even say oh wow there was that great plot twist because it wasn’t even just one plot twist but twist after twist after twist on a twisty turvy path that was basically taking all the breath out of my lungs!! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, turning pages so fast because I was so stressed out on behalf of the characters and I needed to know what was going to happen and just when I would figure out one thing, another betrayal or twist would shock me and I just. Can’t. Even.