THE WICKED KING (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black | Review

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

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.

I have to say that I remember really enjoying The Cruel Prince. I re-read my review of it, and while coming across a little harsh, I still stand by it. I felt, in short, that I just really didn’t like the main character, Jude, but the surrounding characters, mainly Cardan, were really well written, and that’s what kept me interested.

So, naturally, my expectations for the second book were relatively high, hoping for some character correction with Jude. But, unfortunately, I just don’t think we got that.

In fact, I think we added on another issue — the pacing. I understand that some people want to go into a book where one thing after the other happens sentence by sentence, but this sequel, to me, just seemed so poorly paced, it was almost ridiculous. I feel we spent a good 150 pages getting aquatinted with everyone again, while having 20 pages for conflict build up, 30 pages with the actual conflict, and the rest just winding down to the ending.

Cardan, again, was the best character, but I felt we hardly got to see him. Jude remained annoying, and the story ended with a “cliffhanger” that, I will admit, I didn’t see coming. But with such major pacing issues, as I felt this book had, I’m just not sure I want to continue with this series. We’ll see. The thing is, is I don’t really know if I should be blaming Black here or her editors.

In the end, this book was enjoyable, just not Black’s best.


Have you read The Wicked King? What did you think? What’s your favorite Holly Black book? Let’s chat int he comments!

THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black (Review)

The Cruel PrinceAmazon |TBD | Goodreads

384 Pages

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


I kind of went into this blind, going off of the hype I had heard and the promise of a great story about the inner workings of the crown involving the Fae. I had read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a while back and it was okay, so I didn’t really have many expectations for this beyond that.

Overall, I would say my experience with this book was positive.

I loved all of the surrounding characters – Vivian, Cardan, Oak, etc.

I loved  bveing close to characters with such high power – Fae Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses – amazing!

The story was really great and amazing too.

But what I didn’t so much fall in love with was the main character. I found Jude to be very unpredictable and unreliable when it came to certain things. While this may be what Black intended, I felt that it was handled entirely in the wrong way. Every surprising, critical decision she made, save for the final one, seemed very “fly by the seat of your pants” and almost didn’t make sense in terms of the way her character acted. Needless to say, the MC was not my favorite.

I was also disapointed to find that very critical scenes in the book, such as the final one, where only a couple of pages. I just wished this book would have been more.

Needless to say, I will probably be reading the next installment, and the things I didn’t loved about this book, considering it is the first in a series, are forgivable.


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