The FIRST Top Book of 2019, aka The Wicked King

The Wicked King (FOTA #2)
Holly Black, a legend
★★★★ | pub. Jan 8th 2019
June 19th — June 26th

I’ve been waiting to post this for SIX WHOLE MONTHS. @ Holly Black you know what you did

someone: why do you like this book
me, deep in an elaborate fantasy sequence in which Jude forces me onto a throne for her own selfish gain and is an ambitious bitch to me and treats me like shit but we have a lot of sexual tension [and eventually we have angry sex to the sound of her gasping “I hate you” (hide spoiler)]:uhhhhh well I just really like the plot twists

Okay but for real. I already talked a lot about why I loved The Cruel Prince, so I guess I’ll just give a quick summary: antiheroes, court intrigue, power plays, and a fish out of water in a world full of monsters – but this time, she’s determined to seize the same power. And it’s badass.

Jude… is so great. She’s seriously becoming one of my favorite fictional characters of all time, and I don’t really know how? Her narrative voice is so strong, shaping and characterizing the world around her. The strength of her voice perfectly counteracts the desperation we see within her to cling to power, to not give up the few gains she has made. She’s so delightfully unlikable and yet manages to gain audience sympathy at every moment.

The side characters here are particularly great. I particularly like the relationship between the Bomb & the Roach; the backstory we got for them here was excellent. Vivi is as fantastic as ever, but I actually love what was done with her character [I’ll talk about this later]. The Wicked King is also pushed up by a series of interesting villains; while I am emphatically not a Locke or Nicasia fan, Taryn is intriguing and I want more of her, and Madoc is always a delight. Oh, and then there’s Cardan, the Sort Of Love Interest, who I find both incredibly compelling and very dislikable.

I think what I’m most fascinated about with this book is how it plays with the dynamic of humans wresting whatever power they can. The idea of fairies not understanding the stakes of their own world on the level that human characters do. Vivi, as someone who grew up a fairy, does not understand how Jude was affected by her childhood – she was never charmed, or manipulated, or forced to play the games that Jude was. And the dynamic between Cardan and Jude is perfect; Jude clinging to the little power she has over Cardan, and Cardan being under someone’s thumb, just one more time.

I’m not sure how I felt about parts of the dynamic between Cardan and Jude; there’s a continuous lack of dictated consent in their interactions, which makes sense for the situation and is still bothersome. But also, I’m kind of obsessed with their relationship. They have so much sexual tension and it kills me. I cannot wait to see where it goes.

And also, guys, there were so many fucking plot twists I’m laughing. i have no idea how I even felt about the final twist but literally everything else was so fucking legit and I screamed about eight times reading this book.

Basically, that was everything I liked about The Cruel Prince, but like… more. Jude is seriously one of my favorite fictional characters ever and the plot twists killed me and I’m super into the romance. And in unrelated news I’m going into a coma now [@Holly you know what you did] and I’ll see you all… next year. If I’m not dead yet.

Also, I swear I think all of your opinions are valid, but also… any accounts hating on Jude in this comment section will be blocked

Have you read The Wicked King or any other books in this series or by Holly in general? Are you interested? Let me know in the comments!watercolor-2087454_960_720Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


12 thoughts on “The FIRST Top Book of 2019, aka The Wicked King

    1. honestly a lot of people didn’t like The Cruel Prince and I’m gonna be honest, I think it’s fair – the series just hits a lot of beats I enjoy and I really gel with Holly Black’s writing. Try it if you want to!! but if you really disliked TCP you might not like this one either :/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hmm, depends on why you three starred – what bugged you?

        if it was the fact that all of them are kind of unlikable, you will probably hate this. if it was the pacing being a little weird, you’ll probably like this about the same or a little more. if it was Locke probably more. if it was Cardan (I mean, I didn’t like him for MOST of the first book) probably a little less.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I mean, I loved it, so obviously I don’t think it’s overhyped!! I honestly think a lot of overhyped things are just… being hyped to the wrong people? i think this is a fantastic book for a certain demographic, but was being marketed to a very broad audience (i mean, i saw people make ACOTAR comparisons, and that is just…. not the way to go.) a lot of super-hyped things have merit: it’s just that the merit might be appreciated more by some readers than others. just like all books!!

        Liked by 1 person

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