Rating: 4/5 Stars
The final installation in a planned duology, “The Wicked King” is the sequel to “The Cruel Prince” written by author, Holly Black.
The novel picks up where “The Cruel Prince” leaves off. Main character, Jude Duarte, is a young woman living in the land of Faerie where fantasy creatures rule and plots to overthrow the high king are plentiful. Jude has aligned herself with King Cardan, an enemy whose motivations are unknown and potentially dangerous but who Jude finds herself falling for. Jude’s plan is to eventually put her brother Oak on the throne when he is ready to rule, but in the meantime she must deal with bloodthirsty enemies and devilish plots. With a traitor in her midst, will Jude be able to survive and place Oak on the throne?
Holly Black has done a fabulous job of continuing to build the characters from the first novel. The author skillfully uses internal dialogue to give the reader a detailed look into the minds of the main characters which allows for a truly invested reading experience. Jude’s complicated relationship with Cardan is a wonderfully illustrated tapestry with twists and turns that left me turning pages late into the night.
Without sharing any spoilers, I devoured this book and the plot twists. Usually, I find that trilogies tend to be fairly predictable once the tone of the story is set. I enjoyed this book in particular because although the voice of the writing was familiar, the story continued to develop. For some reason, the second books tend to be only building towards the finale. However, I felt that this novel would be a wonderful standalone book. It was interesting, entertaining and simply thrilling to read. The only complaint I have about this novel is that now I am forced to wait until this final installment is released to learn what happens to Jude and the rest of these enthralling characters.
Recommendations: If you’ve read “The Cruel Prince” this follow up is a must read! If not, it isn’t too late! Start with book one and work towards this novel!