The Wicked King (Folk of the Air Series #2)

The Wicked King (Folk of the Air Series #2)

by Holly Black


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The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince — now in paperback!

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316310321
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 02/11/2020
Series: Folk of the Air Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,446
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.

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The Wicked King 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first of the series was okay for me because I really hated the first part of the book. It was slow, the characters were awful, and I didn't like Jude. But this book started off strong and it was crazy from start to finish. I was so happy toward the ending and literally three pages to the end shattered my dreams. I loved all the twists, spies, and subplots. I cannot wait to see how it all ends. P.S. I know why he did it, but it still hurts They'll bounce back though....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
courtofbingereading More than 1 year ago
Fellow book lovers, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. My mind is still reeling, days later, from just how phenomenal it was. Holly Black has truly outdone herself. This is easily one of the best, if not the best, books I have read in 2018. I’m going to be honest with you, I wasn’t a fan of The Cruel Prince. In fact, I only rated it 3 stars when I read it this past January. I didn’t feel that the book had lived up to the hype that surrounded it when it was published. However, now I’m planning on doing a reread because I can’t comprehend how I didn’t enjoy The Cruel Prince when I absolutely devoured The Wicked King. That being said, if you were like me and didn’t much enjoy The Cruel Prince, I strongly recommend that you give this series another chance. I don’t think you will regret it. Where to begin? Holly Black has mastered the craft of storytelling; she has written a riveting book full of magic, mischief, and deceit. In this story, you witness how the smallest taste of power can change people. You also get to see the lengths people will go in their thirst for power. The Wicked King picks up 5 months after The Cruel Prince ended. Cardan is on the throne while Jude pulls the strings from behind the scenes. Madoc and Jude are not on speaking terms, Taryn is planning to marry Locke, and Oak is hiding in the human world with Vivi. Despite all that, things are going well enough for Jude--except that she knows her time controlling Cardan dwindles every single day. Needless to say, Jude is preoccupied with trying to find a way to convince Cardan to swear another promise to her. Until a new threat appears: Queen Orlagh, Queen of the Undersea and Nicasia’s mother, is thinking of breaking the treaty she has with the fae on land. “Fighting was chess, anticipating the move of one’s opponent and countering it before one got hit.” Like it’s predecessor, The Wicked King is full of twists and turns. You never know who you can trust just as you never know when you are being manipulated. My advice for reading this book is for you to trust no one. Every single character in this book is capable of betrayal if given the proper motive….And I love it. I loved psychoanalyzing every character’s move as I tried to decipher whether or not they could be trusted. Holly Black does a tremendous job in writing a perfectly well-paced novel. There were zero dull moments; I was never bored with this story. In fact, I couldn’t read this book fast enough. I snuck away to Elfhame every possible chance I could. Let’s talk about my two favorite people, Cardan and Jude, for a minute. I SHIP THEM SO HARD, GUYS. AH. Their sexual tension is so palpable I could feel it through my kindle...yeah, it’s that intense. I cannot wait for The Queen of Nothing so I can read more about these two characters. Lastly, can we talk about that cruel cliffhanger? (No pun intended :P) I know everyone is talking about how evil Holly Black is for ending the book there, but I honestly don’t think this book could have ended another way. No other ending would have been nearly as satisfying or enthralling. Holly Black is truly a genius. I stan my queen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I must admit I wasn’t immediately drawn into the story. However, it got so good I had a hard time putting it down. I know a book is good when all I want to do is miss work to lay on the couch and finish the book!
gaele More than 1 year ago
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5 First – if you haven’t read The Cruel Prince stop right now – go grab it and read / listen to it first. You’ll be hopelessly lost and really won’t enjoy this second book that picks right up where the first left off and drags us deeper into the political and personal quagmire that is facing Jude than ever you could imagine. And yes, that is not a suggestion. Then – clear your schedule. Because once you grab onto this series, full of very “non-Tinkerbell” fairies and decidedly un-Disney like treachery, you’ll just have to keep reading – putting it down for petty moments like food, sleep and work are far too big an ask. So – are you ready? OK – let’s go. Jude’s deal with Cardan – the ‘acting’ Prince more inclined to commit himself to laying about and finding others to do ‘the hard stuff’, but entirely willing to reap the benefits and keep his one secret close to his heart, fueling his miserable behavior. Yep, he’s acting out and all in his feelings, but unwilling to risk much should that fear he holds close actually be true. And, finding that Jude was far more willing, capable and able (not to mention disposable) of managing the politics, backstabbing and delicate diplomatic responses so often required of a leader, all which equate to work, and lots of it – he’s perfectly willing to allow her to step up. Jude is one of those characters that you have to admire and even love, for her complexities, her inability to truly share with anyone, and her cleverness (and some luck) are wonderful qualities, and the fact that she does all that she can, determined to make things work and only being closest to her ‘true self’ with Cardan, and is functioning fueled by anger at her situation, fear of the dangers and not a tiny amount of desperation as she is determined to prove herself capable and competent, even as she’s working her way to the top despite her early captive beginnings. Even pairig with Cardan is a dangerous business, one that she doesn’t back down from – OR pull her punches – if she sees something disagreeable and has another path – she’s not above pushing for her own solutions – but always aware of the fact that everything for both could come crashing down should any see that they are not always of one accord. Yes, there are more revelations and moments here to answer questions from the first, but solid character building, a development of the relationship (working and not) between Jude and Cardan, lots of surprises and a cliffhanger that makes the need for the third book a persistent NEED, the story is immersive and wholly engaging in many surprising ways. Narration is again provided by Caitlin Kelly and she’s added some flair to Cardan and a bit of steely determination to Jude that allows their still-developing characters to feel as if they are growing and changing through each new challenge, success and failure. Keeping a sense of the tension, mystery and emotions clear for both auditory and visceral impressions, the moments that at first feel ‘common’ are often revealed as more important to the overall with a slight change in tone, emphasis or pauses. A wonderful performance that allows the words to clearly present, while building impressions and allowing reader’s imagination and the author’s words to take flight. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was pretty disappointing to find out I spent $13 on only 265 pages. But it was a really good read for what it was.
Surt Lim 13 days ago
Jude and Carden are a match made. Loved the layers of each of the main characters. Their love is geniune and misunderstandings sad and intriguing.
Chris Coleman 4 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
INCREDIBLY JUICY! This book has strong character build and makes Jude look even more kick-butt! I still hate Taryn especially in the end but.... Cardan is mysterious and captivating. It shows you just how formidable the two are as a (sort of) team! :)
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I loved The Cruel Prince, but it has been a long time since I read it, so I had to look up some summaries before reading The Wicked King. I’m so glad I finally read it. This was a great second book in the series. This series has been my first real introduction into the world of Faeries. The Faerie world is explained in an easy to follow way, so I think this is a great series to read if you’re just getting into the Faerie fantasy genre. This story was fast paced. I flew through it in one day. Everything takes place over a couple of months, but it felt like a much shorter timespan. There was a lot that happened, and it was never a dull moment. I guessed at what would happen at the end, since I know the third book is called Queen of Nothing, so someone must become a Queen at the end. However, there was a twist that I wasn’t expecting. I’m so excited to see what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And now I wait until the next one **sobs**
Dee's Reading Tree More than 1 year ago
“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.” -Madoc In this sequel to “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. We continue the story of Jude Duarte, a human in the realm of Elfhame, who is struggling to hold on to her newly acquired power over its high King Cardan and his subjects. The graphics on this cover were amazing, and I loved the little drawings of dragonflies throughout the book along with the drawings at the beginning of each chapter. The dialogue between Jude and Cardan was so entertaining to read. I could just read about those two talking forever. “‘For a moment,” he says, ‘I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.’ ‘And what made you decide it wasn’t?’ He grins up at me. ‘They missed.’ I have said that he has the power to deliver a compliment and make it hurt.” -Jude and Cardan As we read on, we see Jude become a pawn in this “game of kings and princes, of queens and crowns,” as Locke puts it, all while she tries to resist her growing attraction to Cardan. By the way, I know everyone loves Cardan, but I kind of fell in love with Jude. She is brave, witty, and strong. She is everything I love in a female character. This book is fast paced, and full of plot twists. I admit to staying up reading until 3am a couple of nights. I kept telling myself I would stop at a neutral point in the story where my mind wasn’t racing and reeling with questions, but these points were few and far between. Any book that makes me voluntarily lose sleep is an automatic five stars for me, because as a mother of two, sleep is not easy for me to come by. “Fear is terrible, but the combination of hope and fear is worse.” -Jude After all my years of reading, I give props to Holly Black for surprising me with this ending. Of all the endings I ever imagined, this one never crossed my mind. I remember posting on Twitter that I needed therapy right after finishing “The Wicked King.” If you haven’t read “The Cruel Prince” yet, which is first in the series, go ahead and catch up and then read this one. I promise you won’t regret it!
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
I have been attempting to write my review for The Wicked King for the last WEEK (well, in the middle of other work) trying to capture my shock, amazement, heart-break and overall awe of this series, and I have been failing spectacularly. There is a very fine line between SCREAMING ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT I LOVED AND LEFT ME SHOCKED in The Wicked King and spoiling the book for people who haven’t read it yet, while also capturing how ESSENTIAL it is for everyone to read this series and well, my review just doesn’t do it justice. Let’s try anyway: THINGS I LOVED IN THE WICKED KING: 1. JUDE AND CARDAN (AND JUDE AND CARDAN TOGETHER): I don’t disagree that Jude and Cardan’s relationship in The Cruel Prince was a little problematic, but their dynamic changes in The Wicked King, especially in the second half of the book and I WAS LIVING FOR IT. I especially loved the power Cardan wielded in respect to the land of Faerie and his schemes and kisses were all so deliciously written. 2. ALL THE SCHEMING: Madoc, Jude, Cardan, Nicasia, the queen of the Undersea, Balekin, Taryn and Locke were just some of the schemers in this crazy world, grabbing for power at every chance they got which led to some very interesting twists and shocking moments, all under Faeris glamour and I loved it. 3. THE COVER: The designer in me is absolutely itching to say it because I LOVED The Wicked King cover best of all in the series. With the Queen of Nothing cover, however, I’m not so sure. I feel like it’s not the best it could be. 4. THE ENDING: NO SPOILERS BUT I might have been screaming. I also might have been desperately turning pages, hoping there was more, but I had no such luck. Let’s just say that YOU WILL NOT SEE THE ENDING COMING AND YOU WILL LOVE IT AND IT WILL BREAK YOU. Would I recommend this book? YES. YES. YES. YES. Go dive in now. The Folk of the Air series has been nothing short of spectacular so far.
PinkMooseReads More than 1 year ago
I read The Cruel Prince last year when it first released. It brought me out of a slump very quickly and I really enjoyed it. I ordered The Wicked King by Holly Black the week it released. I’ll admit, I finished another book first. A lot of my bookworm friends had already read The Wicked King and were blown away by the ending, and ready for book three. I picked up The Wicked King, ready for where it would take me, no matter the end. The book started off slowly, but building a storyline can do that sometimes. Once things picked up, I was sucked back into the Fae world, and was pulled through each chapter. I enjoyed learning more about the Fae politics, and how the different kingdoms worked together. As always, Holly Black’s world building brings the setting to life. The story builds on the previous book, but also has a story of its own, which is refreshing if it’s been a while since you read the first book. As much as I enjoyed my time with the book, like so many others, I’m excited for the next book, and really hate that I have to a year for book three. Read all of my reviews at my blog
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was great. Nothing ever going the way you expect it to. Learning to understand a whole different world and culture of folklore I haven’t read yet. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, but how can Barnes & Noble honestly (and with a straight-face) charge $9.99 for the hardback novel. Hardbacks involve printing costs, tons & tons of paper, shipping costs, labor costs to stock on the shelves. Then they charge $12.99 for a Nook E-book version... REALLY!?!?!?!?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick and enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great plot, great character development, well written. I did not want to put this book down!
PerfectlyTolerable More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. Its dark and twisted and yet somehow super real, despite being set in faerie. In The Cruel Prince we got to see very little of Cardan’s true personality, but what we did see was intriguing. It left us wanting more. The Wicked King gave us more, but I wouldn’t exactly say it came through with answers. I feel like there is still so much we don’t know about Cardan! The book is written from Jude’s point of view and Cardan is incredibly biased toward her, so we only see the facade he puts on. I really want to know what he is thinking and how he truly feels. On the other hand we know everything Jude is thinking. I love her and her schemes and calculations. She is a brilliant strategist, yet she is still human and sometimes her human emotions interfere. And not just where Cardan is concerned – she also lets her love for Taryn and Madoc cloud her judgement. I am super curious to see what she does in the next book! There were a couple of scenes were Jude got “swoony” over Cardan, and those were super annoying. She can still fall in love with him without all the breathlessness and fluttery stomach and all the overused teenage love tropes. Nothing else in this book falls into your standard love story. If you follow my blog semi-regularly you might have noticed that I absolutely HATE cliffhangers. They are one of my biggest pet-peeves, and most of the time I think it indicates poor writing on the author’s part. But, somehow, the cliffhangers in The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King didn’t bother me so much. They drove me crazy and pissed me off, but they didn’t make me hate the books. I can’t explain it, and its probably hypocritical, but it is what it is. As far as I can tell, no one saw the twist coming at the end of The Cruel Prince. Personally, I was completely caught off guard! So, while reading the Wicked King, I was ready for another big twist, and I was determined to figure out what it was. I caught a bunch of little foreshadowing hints throughout the book and I was so proud of my self! I thought I had figured it out. But then, because Holly Black is an evil genius, it turned out I had only figured out a very tiny piece of the twist. I was still completely blind sided by the ending. Holly Black totally let us think we had figured it out, in order to misdirect us, and it was brilliant. I was super naive and should have known that there was a bigger twist. I let myself get lulled into a sense of security and hopeful excitement, then Holly Black ripped my heart out. This being the second book should have been clue enough, but somehow I still let myself hope. As much as I am looking forward to The Queen of Nothing, I am also a little scared. I don’t know if I can handle it. I need closure! I want a happy ending wrapped up in a shiny red bow!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FierceFemaleReads More than 1 year ago
I just finished the last page of The Wicked King and I'm still reeling! The storyline is fantastic, I love Jude, the book is sprinkled with so many imaginative details, and I was thrown by several of the twists. The story picks up five months after the end of Cruel Prince (some very minor spoilers ahead!) and continues to follow from the perspective of Jude. She is now the right-hand woman to the High King of Elfhame - a very reluctant king, that is. She and her Court of Shadows run the kingdom in all but name, trying to prepare for every possible situation. As we learned from Cruel Prince, it is dangerous for a mortal is live amongst the Folk. Rather than leave like her older sister, Jude goes to extreme means to make sure she is not left vulnerable. Jude works tirelessly to not just live in Elfhame but to outwit the Folk themselves, which is how she ends up running a kingdom while Cardan lounges in debauchery. I found this motivator to be a compelling twist to Jude's personality and complicated the storyline. She does not wish for power for its own sake, but because it becomes the armor that protects Jude's mortal mind and body. It does not, however, protect her heart. Against her better judgment, she continues to lose it to a character who I cannot decide if I love, hate, pity, or a mixture of the three! The political climate of Elfhame grows increasingly tremulous as vying factions begin to make their moves against the young king. Wishes, tricks, and bargains become increasingly complicated until the characters (and the reader) do not know whom to trust. One final bit of scheming leads to an upheaval in the kingdom's power structure and to an ending that left me breathless. And I enjoyed every minute of it!
Some_Reading_Required More than 1 year ago
*4.5 stars* Holy sh*t! And I thought The Cruel Prince ripped me apart. Although The Wicked King started out a bit slow, once it hit its stride, I couldn’t stop reading. I frequently checked which page I was on, because the story was so juicy, and I was dreading the inevitable last page. The year wait for The Wicked King was hard, the year wait for The Queen of Nothing, is going to be utterly agonizing. "Are you afraid? Good. You’re in the great game now. And the great game’s terrifying." – Tyrion Lannister This series is like a slightly tamer, fae-filled version of Game of Thrones. There’s so many individuals vying for the Elfhame throne in The Wicked King, and Jude’s got her work cut out for her. Even though Cardan is compelled to do whatever Jude says, he still finds ways to make things more difficult for her. Of course, she also exerts a lot of energy into trying not to like him, which is just ridiculous. It’s okay Jude – we all love Cardan! Jude is also still working through her feelings for Taryn who betrayed her, and Locke, who played her. In The Cruel Prince, Jude always seemed to figure “it” out and come out on top. In The Wicked King she gets knocked down quite a few times. Cardan is a character whose POV I would love to get some day. Maybe a 2.5 novella? Pretty please Holly?!! His character was fleshed out a lot more in The Wicked King, and he played a big role in the jaw-dropping cliffhanger at the end. He was totally the book’s MVP. I need book three so bad!! The Wicked King’s cliffhanger was even more cruel than book one’s, and I’m really looking forward to the people who wronged Jude (some more than once) to get what’s coming to them in book three. Jude is definitely not going to be in a great place when book three picks up, but that only means she’s got higher to rise and more epic challenges and battles to conquer.