The Wicked King

Holly Black

Price Cardan is now the new crown High King of Elfhame and Jude is pulling the strings. Oak is safe in the human world with Vivi and Taryn is engaged to Locke. Madoc has been kept at arm’s length and Balekin is locked away in the Tower of Forgetting. Everything seems right in the world. 

It’s hard enough running a country with shifting alliances, but Cardan takes every chance he can to make it more difficult for Jude. And with an underlying tension that is bound to snap soon, Jude and Cardan’s complicated relationship comes to a peak, and explodes. 

With information revealed about someone close to Jude betraying her, she must figure out who and save herself and secure her spot as the ruler behind the throne. 

I think this has to be one of my favorite fantasy series ever. There’s so much tension, sexual and political. I never know what’s going to happen in the next chapter and I’m constantly trying to figure out everyone’s schemes. Speaking of scheming, can y’all chill? I swear, everytime Taryn or Mardoc speaks, my mind goes “What’s your angle?” They really pushed themselves to my last straw. Between the two of them, I probably lost like 50 hairs with how much they were annoying me and stressing me out. Taryn is still not choosing Jude, over anyone. She actually gets married to the rat that is Locke. Like, how do you think that’s smart in any world? He used your sister to test your love for him, resulting in your sister being made a fool of. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems like a red flag. And then he continues to be terrible to Jude and Taryn just turns a blind eye to it, and has the audacity to ask Jude for help with him. It felt so satisfying when Jude went “I’ll talk to Cardan” then proceeded to never bring it up again. Haha made me laugh. Jude and I have the same thoughts. 

And Madoc is all over the place. One minute he’s all “Jude, my favorite daughter,” then the next it’s “Jude you’re dead to me.” I really want to like him because I think stepfathers are really important to young women, and he did the best he could. But he gets mad when Jude’s plans don’t align with his, like he didn’t raise her and teach her how to be cunning. 

Locke sort of disappeared from this book, and I’m not complaining. He was such a terrible person to Jude and Taryn, I’m surprised Madoc let him get away with it and marry Taryn. I don’t know where his story is heading, he was barely in this one so I feel like he’s going to fizzle out and just exist and nothings going to happen. 

I don’t really like politics, I think they’re boring in real life. No offense to anyone that likes them lol. But in books, politics are weird to me. I’m trying to escape my normal life and when books are really politics, I get taken out. Not this one! I feel like all fantasy books are political, but this one has a chokehold on me. These characters are literally 18. Like how are they allowed to be geniuses? Jude is so cunning and is thinking forty steps ahead of everyone and trying to hold on to this crown with both hands while someone pulls at her hair. And Cardan, I love you but you’re a pain in the butt sometimes. But I did like his character development in this one. He was forced to step up and actually be the king. And he did an okay job. I don’t Jude liked his bargains that he made while she was gone, but he did them to save her. Love! 

I am very excited to see how this series ends but I don’t want it to end. It has quickly become one of my favorite series, fantasy in particular. The world building is amazing, the writing is beautiful, I want to protect these characters with my whole heart. I will be remembering this series for a very long time.