Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Monday 10 June 2019

A Review of The Wicked King

This week Pennii Purton shares her response to a recent read of Holly Black’s latest young adult addition to The Folk of the Air trilogy. Find out about The Wicked King in this review.

The Wicked King - author Holly Black

Series: The Folk of the Air #2
Released 2019
YA novel. Genre: Fantasy
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.
This book follows on from The Cruel Prince (Released 2018) SeePennii’s blog post from March 2, 2018
The story picks up straight after the intense ending of The Cruel Prince, with Jude saving her brother Oak and binding Cardan to her, where she manages to secretly manoeuvre alliances behind the throne.
The plot thickens with a new realm introduced and we meet the Queen of the Undersea, Orlagh. This introduction was one of the best features in the story and added just another exciting layer to it. I loved reading about this tempestuous realm and the underbelly of its factions of Merfolk and Selkies.
With old and new characters - Jude, Cardan, Madoc, Nicasia, the queen of the Undersea, Balekin, Taryn and Locke just some of the schemers in this crazy world, grabbing for power at every chance they get, the action leads to some very interesting twists and shocking moments, all under Faerie’s glamour, and I loved it. 
Jude tries to foresee every eventuality but as with life, things don’t always go to plan. I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Jude and Cardan as their relationship changes, especially in the second half of the book.
The Wicked King surpassed all my expectations for the second installment in the Folk of the Air series. If you thought the ending in The Cruel Prince was a cliffhanger, then you had better prepare yourself. The ending leaves no doubt that an epic battle is imminent, of wits and hearts, realms and crowns, and human and Fae. 
Jude - In The Cruel Prince we see the very human girl Jude is just trying to survive in the realm of Fae. With this installment we continue to see her change and grow, taking on a mantle that falls somewhere between Fae and human. I love that she is smart and daring, fallible and sympathetic in character. She has become one of my all-time favourite heroines and I can’t wait to read what is in store for her in book three.

Look out for:      The Queen of Nothing: book #3 due 2020.

Pennii Purton
Library Technician, Reece High School

1 comment:

  1. Wow this series sounds great for teenagers especially as it can be challenging to find books that they will engage with.