Review #35

Title- The Wicked King

Sequel to The Cruel Prince

Author- Holly Black

Rating– 3.5/5

Genre- YA Fantasy

POV- first person, present tense

Trope- royalty, enemies to … enemies?

Similar Books/Comps– The Cruel Prince, The Red Queen

My emotions-  frustrated but intrigued


See list from my review on The Cruel Prince


This almost feels like an anti-romance. I keep having hope and then it’s shattered. I liked the first one more than this because there was so much politics in this sequel.

Page 44- a bit slow so far. I’m excited about the undersea creatures crawling up the Tower of Forgetting though.

Page 55- That changes everything. Who could it be?

Page 70- I’m pretty bored during the political table talk when they have meetings and discuss strategy about too many characters/leaders and an abundance of locations and such. I don’t really care

Page 83- I hope that’s foreshadowing because it’s brilliant

Page 110- I’ve been a bit bored until now

Page 144- fantastic!

I hope Holly likes Cardan likable soon because I’m 1.5 books in and still not a fan. Is this intentional?

Page 188- I’m still a bit bored from the strategizing parts of the plot 

Page 214 & 217 both raised the stakes. But neither were incredibly surprising or gasp-worthy.

This is the first novel I’ve read that only has book 1 and book 2 within. Most have had 3+

Page 300- yikes! Great scene. (Insert concerned emoji face here). I’m unsure what the actual climatic scene is though.

Page 308- I predicted this but still like it. I wish there was a bit more level of emotion in it though. 

Page 317- oh my god! I’m so mad at the ending lol. Ugh I don’t even know if I’m mad in a good way or bad way. This trilogy is definitely different than others I’ve read because of the characterization, and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. Moving onto the third one now.


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.

Best part-

My seesaw/internal debate of enjoying the characterization of Cardan and Jude. Prediction for The Queen of Nothing: I’m either going to feel extremely angry at the end of the third novel or blown away. I want more character arc/growth and have it be extremely evident.

What I’d change- Less politics/strategizing, more action

Pacing- moderate. Prose are great, I just didn’t read this as fast as others (meaning 3 days instead of 2)

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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