The Wicked King by Holly Black Review

Holly Black has quickly become one of my favorites, with her captivating world and characters of the Fae, it’s hard to not get sucked into these stories.  Many writers are starting to touch on these wicked creatures, and their inability to lie, but few have quite gotten their quiet viciousness and schemes like she has.  She continuously brings characters that stay true to this basic stereotype of the group, while adding not just a twist, but also great depth.  The Cruel Prince Series seems to be her jackpot, bringing her writing to the forefront it has long deserved.  Wicked King continues the wild ride Cruel Prince started, and somehow manages to keep the same pace, intrigue, and overall drama that had me glued to this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I found it hard to find any faults or imperfections in this story, its plot filled with drama, action, and characters that seem to draw in one another.  Cardan and Jude are perhaps one of the most interesting partnerships I’ve seen in a story, battling each other while also somehow liking each other?  It’s an unusual scenario, given that most fantasies leave it at either liking or hating one another, at least at one time.  This fact alone makes the story have this brilliance to it, increasing the interest and the drama at every turn.  Each of these characters have this vividness with their depth and maintain their personalities even as the plot moves along, growing or adapting to the events taking place.  Even with some other great stories there have been cases where it feels more like a character is being pulled along by the plot than being a part of it, so this was not only a welcome change, but an exciting one!  The story started off on tense ground, but holy cow, when it picks up it picks up and escalates like a volcano erupting.  I felt like I would blink and already the next big plot was happening in the court, it kept me on my toes, and continuously caught me by surprise.

Even given the action of this story, one of the things that Holly Black does really well are the lessons her characters learn, making it clear it isn’t all about duplicity and revenge.  Instead, there are moments where our characters make mistakes both in action and thinking, and find themselves facing the consequences.  That’s a rather ominous way of putting it, but I’m really trying not to point out which characters, or what instances to avoid spoiling the book.  Be it soft or startlingly harsh consequences, there aren’t any actions that go unpunished.  Maybe that’s a part of being Fae, but it certainly makes things interesting as even good deeds don’t go unpunished.

I went into this book being more than just excited, I needed to find out what happened to my favorite characters, and while I was rewarded, I feel like I’m also in for round two of the torture.  Book three definitely can’t  get here fast enough, so we’ll see how I fare waiting this next full year.  I’ve never been the most patient person, and it shows when I read these series at the same rate they are published.  Is anyone else still on Wicked King withdrawl?

Let me know your thoughts on the review, or what you thought of the Cruel Prince or Wicked King in the comments below!

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