Praise for The Wicked King:
"A stunning and compelling sequel."
SLJ, Starred Review The Wicked King has satisfying twists and turns, sizzling passions, brutal violence, spies and revels of all sortsno one brings the intricate courtly politics of Faerie to life quite as well, or with as much intelligence, as Holly Black. Shelf Awareness, starred review
*"A heady blend of courtly double-crossing, Faerie lore, and toxic attraction swirls together in the sequel to THE CRUEL PRINCE...Black's writing is both contemporary and classic; her world is, at this point, intensely well-realized, so that some plot twists seem almost inevitable."
Kirkus, Starred Review
*"A rare second volume that surpasses the first, with, happily, more intrigue and passion still to come."
Booklist, Starred Review
*"[A] dangerous journey filled with mystery, betrayal, intrigue, and romance....Larger-than-life action in a kingdom packed with self-centered, evil, and manipulating characters also doles out real life issues."
VOYA, Starred Review
"The plot itself twists, turns, and dovetails perfectly with the assured character development; in this way, Black proves herself a master storyteller writing in the tradition of Megan Whalen Turner."
Horn Book "An epic saga of palace intrigue and deception." Entertainment Weekly "Holly Black is a mistress of well-paced fantasy..." Austin-American Statesman " The Wicked King is so fast-paced and intense, you won't be able to put it down." The Missourian Praise for The Cruel Prince: "Lush, dangerous, a dark jewel of a book. Black's world is intoxicating, imbued with a relentless sense of peril that kept me riveted through every chapter of Jude's journey. And Jude! She is a heroine to lovebrave but pragmatic, utterly human. This delicious story will seduce you and leave you desperate for just one more page." Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom "I require book two immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen." Victoria Aveyard, #1 bestselling author of The Red Queen series * "[S]pellbinding.... Breathtaking set pieces, fully developed supporting characters, and a beguiling, tough-as-nails heroine enhance an intricate, intelligent plot that crescendos to a jaw-dropping third-act twist." Publishers Weekly, starred review * "Another fantastic, deeply engaging, and all-consuming work from Black that belongs on all YA shelves." School Library Journal, starred review * "Jude, who struggles with a world she both loves and hates and would rather be powerful and safe than good, is a compelling narrator. Whatever a reader is looking forheart-in-throat action, deadly romance, double-crossing, moral complexitythis is one heck of a ride." Booklist, starred review "This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life. Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in." Kirkus Reviews
Gr 9 UP—By crowning Cardan High King of Elfame and holding him under her command for a year and a day, Jude Duarte is able to protect her brother Oak from their power-hungry father Madoc. Jude uses her ability to control Cardan and the Court of Shadows to her own advantage and to protect other mortals. As the power goes to her head and her feelings for Cardan change, Jude is warned that someone she trusts will betray her. Balekin, Cardan's murderous older brother, and Madoc both scheme to take the throne, but in the end, the worst betrayal may be the one she never expected. Caitlin Kelly captures the beauty and caprice of the fae, giving her voice an ageless quality that matches Black's richly developed world. Kelly gives Jude a strong and determined voice, but still shows Jude's youth and vulnerability. VERDICT Fans of Julie Kagawa and Melissa Marr, as well as those who enjoyed Black's other books, will want to pick up this suspenseful sequel to The Cruel Prince.— Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 9 Up—It's been five months since the twist ending of The Cruel Prince. After Jude Duarte betrayed her family, killed her mentor, and tricked Cardan into being her puppet King of Elfhame, Jude has realized that seizing power is much easier than holding onto it. Every relationship feels broken or near to it—with Madoc, her parents' killer-turned-pseudo stepfather, her twin sister who is engaged to the fairy who toyed with Jude's heart, and most certainly Cardan the Crowned King. There's no time for emotion, let alone sleep, as the Queen of the Undersea is ready to make her move for power and Jude learns someone she trusts had already betrayed her. Readers are dropped right into another dark and entrancing tornado of Faerie chaos. Trust, lust, trickery, and deceit swirl through everything as Jude struggles to remain in control of Cardan, the kingdom, and herself. Elfhame is a cruel place but like Jude, teens can't help but be drawn to the flames. Action builds steadily to yet another devilishly cunning twist ending. VERDICT A stunning and compelling sequel that will continue to entice fans of the previous volume and the author.— Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ
A heady blend of courtly double-crossing, Faerie lore, and toxic attraction swirls together in the sequel to
The Cruel Prince (2018).
Five months after engineering a coup, human teen Jude is starting to feel the strain of secretly controlling King Cardan and running his Faerie kingdom. Jude's self-loathing and anger at the traumatic events of her childhood (her Faerie "dad" killed her parents, and Faerie is not a particularly easy place even for the best-adjusted human) drive her ambition, which is tempered by her desire to make the world she loves and hates a little fairer. Much of the story revolves around plotting (the Queen of the Undersea wants the throne; Jude's Faerie father wants power; Jude's twin, Taryn, wants her Faerie betrothed by her side), but the underlying tension—sexual and political—between Jude and Cardan also takes some unexpected twists. Black's writing is both contemporary and classic; her world is, at this point, intensely well-realized, so that some plot twists seem almost inevitable. Faerie is a strange place where immortal, multihued, multiformed denizens can't lie but can twist everything; Jude—who
can lie—is an outlier, and her first-person, present-tense narration reveals more than she would choose. With curly dark brown hair, Jude and Taryn are never identified by race in human terms.
A rare second volume that surpasses the first, with, happily, more intrigue and passion still to come. (map)