Book Review: The Wicked King By Holly Black

Warning: This review may contain spoilers for the first book in this series: The Cruel Prince. You can find my spoiler free review here. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you do. It’s fantastic!

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Find it on Book Depository

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

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This book is going to give me such a hangover.

Have you ever had a book lull you into a complete sense of security only to have it rip it out from under you like some old woven rug with the very last page? BECAUSE I HAVE AND I AM NOT OK! This book wrecked me. To say I loved it just doesn’t feel like enough! I want to go back in time and stop myself from reading The Cruel Prince so that I wouldn’t have to deal with waiting a whole year for the last book to come out. The Wicked King was everything I had hoped for and maybe a little more.

The Wicked King picks up five months after the events of The Cruel Prince. Cardan Greenbriar, High King of Elfhame now resides on the throne. However, it is Jude Duarte, his mortal seneschal, who holds all the power! Jude has become increasingly distanced from her family and is well and truly caught up in the power she has over the King and his court. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is vying for the throne, while Jude and her Court of Shadows continue their scheme to keep Cardan on the throne until Jude’s younger brother, Oak, is old enough to take over.

This book was absolute perfection! Holly Black has such a knack for story telling that she honestly makes you feel that if you were to look up from the page, you’d be in Elfhame along side Jude. She takes the term “twists and turns” and knocks it out of the park! There were schemes on schemes on schemes and I was living for it. Jude and Cardan where EV-E-RY-THING! Their love-hate relationship  had me completely enthralled. The snide banter, sexual tension and slow unraveling of feelings was amazing. I quite honestly, wouldn’t have minded more of their interactions throughout the book. It was that slow development of trust for each other over time that was my undoing when I read those last few pages.

I am wholeheartedly invested in these books and it is going to take everything in me to not wail at the thought of having to wait another year to read The Queen of Nothing. So until then, you’ll most likely find me rocking back and forth, a copy of The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King in my arms, muttering hysterically about how much I love Cardan Greenbriar despite him being, in fact, rather wicked.

This book is very easily a 5 star read for me. The whimsical nature of the world of Faerie, the snarky, sexy character interactions and the seamless extension and execution of the plot all come together to create a truly incredible read. I need the last book, like, yesterday please.

January Reading Wrap-Up

January was a great reading month for me. With my (fairly) new baby taking up most of my time, I didn’t think I’d get much reading done, so my TBR was only two books long! I ended up reading another three! With five books already under my belt, I am well and truly on my way to reaching my Goodreads reading goal!

One of my goals for 2019 was to read more and start a blog so I could review what I read! I feel like I have really hit the ground running this month! If you’re interested to see a summary of what I read in January, check out the list below! All of my corresponding in-depth reviews will be linked.

My Review System

5 Stars: This. Book. Blew. My. Mind. I’d read it again and again and would highly recommend it.
4 Stars: The book was great! I enjoyed it and I may read it again.
3 Stars: I could take or leave this book. It had some interesting moments, but nothing too captivating.
2 Stars: Not a very good book, I’ll more than likely forget about its existence once it’s lost in the expanse of my book shelves.
1 Star: A book I wish I didn’t waste my time on. I did not enjoy it at all and would definitely not recommend it.

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Title: Scythe (5 stars)
Author: Neal Schusterman
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Dystopian

You can read my in-depth review here.

My Recommendation: I would recommend this book to everyone. E-VE-RY-ONE! I am not usually a huge fan of sci-fi, but this book had the perfect blend of genres and it was really captivating! It really gets you thinking about life, death and your morals as a human being! I cannot recommend this book enough! Go read it!

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Title: Thunderhead (3.5 stars)
Author: Neal Schusterman
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Dystopian

You can read my in-depth review here.

My Recommendation: If you enjoyed Scythe, I’d give this one a read. It wasn’t as captivating in my opinion and felt like it suffered from a little bit of “second book syndrome” in which reading it felt like it was more or less a bridging novel, necessary to expand the plot. I think because I enjoyed Scythe so thoroughly, this book had huge shoes to fill for me and it didn’t quite meet those expectations.

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Title: The Cruel Prince (5 stars)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: YA Fantasy

You can read my in-depth review here.

My Recommendation: I. Bloomin. Loved. This. Book. It was completely up my alley in terms of genre! It was utterly magical and had some awesome characters. I absolutely loved the overall plot and would highly recommend this book to fans of Cassandra Clare or Sarah J Maas.

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Title: Stalking Jack The Ripper (3 stars)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Murder Mystery/Historical Fiction

You can read my in-depth review here.

My Recommendation: I’d recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t mind a light “whodunit” read. I found this book too predictable for my liking having picked who Jack the Ripper was within the first few chapters. The book was still entertaining enough due to the witty characters and Sherlock Homles vibes. However, it did feel like a lot of useless “filler” information was given to try and keep the mystery alive. It fell a little flat for me.

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Title: Truthwitch (3.5 stars)
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Fantasy

You can read my in-depth review here.

My Recommendation: I found this book really hard to review. It felt like the first section of one really long book, with no satisfying conclusions to any of the character storylines. I enjoyed the overall premise of this book, but I would not recommend it to fantasy lovers who enjoy in-depth lore or world building. It had some great moments and some really quippy character banter that I enjoyed. Be warned though, it has a pretty intense case of  “insta-love” that some might find cringey!

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Title: Twilight (chapters 1-5)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

You can read my in-depth review here.

This month I re-read the first 5 chapters of Twilight, 14 years after I read it last. I documented my thoughts and feelings which you can find in my in-depth “review.” I will be continuing my read through of this book as the year progresses as I really disliked it and I’m not sure I can continue anytime soon! I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, I found it to be utter trash. Ha! Sorry 15 year old Aimee!