The Wicked King is book two in the Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black. I’ve reviewed book one, The Cruel Prince, and you can read that here. I really liked The Cruel Prince and thought it was a good first book for a trilogy. It was a little boring at times and the characters weren’t quite developed enough but the overall story definitely had potential. Unfortunately, I no longer feel that way… The Wicked King was wickedly dull. This review will have slight spoilers.
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 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.
- Rating– ⭐⭐
I don’t HATE this book. To hate it, I would have to feel strongly about it and I simply do not care. The writing, storyline and characters were all fine but I was just so unbelievably bored almost the entire time. I really hate that I feel this way because the world and fae in this series are incredibly interesting but Black doesn’t do anything exciting with any of it.
I honestly can’t tell you what happened for the first 65% of this book because it was so dull and forgettable. It was mainly just Jude doing spy things and occasionally thinking about how hot Cardan is. There was no cute banter between them, no tension, no drama, nothing. I suppose it’s my fault for expecting too much from a YA book but then again, there are YA books out there that are gritty, intense and have spicy relationships. This one is just too mild and bland to stand out to or really entertain me.
I must say, though, once Jude is captured by the Queen of the Undersea, things do start to pick up BUT this doesn’t happen until the book is more than halfway over. That is way too far into the storyline for the main action to happen. The only part of this book that I truly liked was the ending. I didn’t see it coming and it made me want to read the third book, The Queen of Nothing. Hopefully that book will completely redeem this trilogy for me because as of right now, it’s a dud.
I know this trilogy is very popular and believe me, I want to love it too. There’s nothing I enjoy more than diving into a new fandom but as of right now, I don’t get the hype. As always, I want to know all of your opinions. Thanks for reading and have a great day!