A Spoiler Free Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

Despite reading and enjoying the first installment in The Folk of Air trilogy by Holly Black, it took me a few months to finally pick up the second book; however, when I finally did, I did not regret it! The Folk of Air trilogy centers around a fantasy, Faerie world that exists alongside our own. If you would like to read a further description of the first novel, you can click here to read my review of The Cruel Prince. Basically, the book follows Jude Duarte, a mortal girl who has grown up in the realm of Faerie. The events that ensue would completely spoil the ending of The Cruel Prince, so I’m afraid that’s all I can share.

Overall, this wild story contained a plethora of twists and turns, and I couldn’t help but be drawn in to the world that Holly Black has created. The Wicked King was so entertaining and for two or three days it filled my spare time completely. If you are a fan of Sarah J. Maas or Cassandra Clare, I would highly recommend picking up the first book in this trilogy!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

One of my favorite elements of the plot was the political intrigue. Black not only shows us a beautiful fantasy world, but also gives us insight into the complex relationships within the Faerie Court. Of course, for those who aren’t too well-versed in the ways of fantasy novels, the plot may seem outlandish and silly at times despite the high-stakes within the novel. For me, that’s part of the fun of Holly Black’s books. The plot truly captivates you and allows you to escape into a wild world so different from your own.

The characters are where my feelings get complicated. Jude often feels like the stereotypical “strong female character” and Cardan the stereotypical “bad boy with a heart of gold.” At times, this grows infuriating, but it didn’t stop the book from being any less intriguing. You would think that these very common character archetypes would lead to their interactions being extremely predictable, but I was still shocked by so many of the characters’ decisions.

Black’s writing style is simplistic and beautiful. She strings together the perfect words and phrases to create an atmosphere that goes unmatched by other fantasy novels. Everything from the food they eat to the history of their world is explained with an ease and certainty that makes it feel real.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and I am definitely excited to pick up the third installment in the trilogy!


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