Review | The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

Title: The Kicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Published: January 8th, 2019

Read as: US Hardcover, Barnes and Noble special edition

Average Goodreads rating: 4.63

My rating: 3.75

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.

Kill him before he makes you love him.

Oh, well hello most hyped book I have ever seen in my entire life. How nice to see you. Was I drawn into your hype even though I disliked The Cruel Prince quite deeply? Yes. Yes I was.

I have absolutely no willpower. I swore I wouldn’t read this book. I disliked The Cruel Prince and wrote the rest of the series off as “not for me.” Oh, but then the early reviews came rolling in and people were selling their souls to Crowley to get their hands on this baby. Slowly, the hype ate away at me, and on release day I found myself inexplicably at a Barnes and Noble, cash in hand for the pretty, pretty special edition.

I am not ashamed of myself in the slightest. There are worse things to be addicted to than books.

Speaking of books, let’s have a chat about this one.

Obviously I had some issues giving this one a rating. 3.5 didn’t seem like enough but a 4 seemed too generous. What is a reader to do but to throw out a pretentious feeling 3.75?

Let’s start with some positives. This book did not revolve nearly as much around a demented not love story as The Cruel Prince did which was nice. In CP I thought Jude was just an idiot for being sucked in by an obvious ruse of a romance. In WK she seemed more aware of what was going on around her, romance wise, even though she doesn’t always make the best decisions. It felt as if she grew as a character in that respect which I appreciated.

Jude is also delightfully flawed. She screws up quite monstrously on more than one occasion and I love that. No perfect girl saving the world in this book! Give me the flaws, the errors, and the shadowy edges. They give a character life!

On the more negative side, I absolutely despised the chapters that actually took place in the Undersea. Now, if you haven’t read the book you won’t understand what I mean and that is okay, I’ll be vague as to not spoil you. While reading that section I felt as if everything was just too easy. The people who needed fooled fell for the bait without so much as a bat of an eyelash. Which, I suppose was the point since they find humans to be so simple minded but at the same time it caused some heavy eye rolling on my end. Not my favorite section.

I also got very frustrated by Cardan. Any idiot with half a lick of sense could see that he is being purposefully manipulative but Jude falls for his crap, hook line and sinker. I can’t deal with it. Throughout the book Jude grows as a character and starts showing such strength just to get duped into something she should have seen coming. The dupe is even foreshadowed in previous chapters. ARGH!!

I could go on about different plot points in this book for quite some time but I think you may get my point. There are good parts in this book, some very good. There are also several parts that just annoyed me beyond all reason. Overall, it was a good story but do I think it was worth the hype? No. Still, I know I’ll be picking up the third book. I’d be lying to myself if I said I wouldn’t. I’ll get sucked into the hype train again and at this point I am committed to seeing how all of this ridiculous Faerie nonsense plays out.

7 thoughts on “Review | The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

  1. Since The Cruel Prince wasn’t my favorite neither, I am glad to see someone with a little bit of a mixed review for The Wicked King! I have mainly seen awesome reviews and of course I will fall for the hype. I’m so excited to read this but I don’t necessarily know why? Anywho, great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many awesome reviews for this book and I am so happy for the people who were able to enjoy it whole heartedly. I love seeing their joy, I just wish I had been able to share in it. I hope that you enjoy it when you read it. It is most certainly better than The Cruel Prince!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was very interested to see your review for this one!! I know what you mean about getting sucked in by the hype, I have almost succumbed a few times but I have heard that the characters are mean to each other and I know it sounds silly but it makes me anxious lol. It looks as though you definitely liked this book than you thought you would, so I am glad to hear that. Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone in this book is mean to everyone else. It is a little ridiculous. I like my books with a bit of cruelty but it is like Black went into this with the express intent of making everyone a jerk without hardly giving them a reason why other than they can. It is frustrating. Makes me think of high school and the clique of popular girls who were mean just because they could get away with it. Just overkill.


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