Fantasy (Teen), Series, YA Fiction

Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black – The Folk of the Air #2

It is a fast-paced YA fantasy that I couldn't put down!


Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.


I have been sooooo excited to read this book, considering how much I adored The Cruel Prince!

This book has also been highly anticipated by many Holly Black fans and others in the book community, so the hype was definitely there. I waited quite a while to read this book (even though the anticipation was KILLING me) because I didn’t want to be swayed by anyone else’s opinion …. so here are my thoughts:

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) book cover

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

by Holly Black

Published December 8, 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: The Folk of the Air
ISBN: 0316310336

Data from Goodreads

Summary (Goodreads): 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.

My Review

I would highly recommend if you don’t remember what happened in The Cruel Prince that you read it right before reading this book because the story takes off right where the previous one ended. And boy does it move fast!

The Pros: What worked for me

  • Once again, the author did a great job with pacing and characterization. There was never a dull moment in the story, which means the reader is always kept hooked to the story.
  • The characters also stay true to their nature, which is something I always appreciate because there are many cases where the things you loved about a character tend to disappear as the series progresses. If anything, some of the characters seemed to reveal their treacherous nature even more, which just made this novel even more enjoyable for me.

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • The one thing I will mention is that I wasn’t as enchanted with Jude as I used to be; for a character that is constantly mentioning how deceptive this world is and how careful she must be with her trust, she really does a bad job of avoiding traps. Nevertheless, her misadventures and attempts to get out of sticky situations got my heart pumping and she had my support throughout the story.
  • The one thing I couldn’t help noticing – and maybe this is just a small pet peeve of mine – is that the language being used in the story was not always consistent with the setting. For instance, Jude and some of the other characters in faerie would use common modern slang at times, which was incongruent with their position in the faerie court and the world that they were in. Now, I know Jude is human and would visit the human world, so I can excuse her use of slang but why characters like Cardan or other fae would do so just made no sense to me.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book. It had great pacing, plenty of twists and turns to keep readers interested, and the same awesome characters I fell for in The Cruel Prince. I cannot wait to see what the author will come up with in the next book in this series: Queen of Nothing! I’m giving this a solid 4/5 stars!

6 thoughts on “Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black – The Folk of the Air #2

  1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the book. I believed The Wicked King was better and I can’t even wait for the Queen of Nothing to come out. I’m sure that one will be even more better!

    1. Yes, this is one of my favourite series by Holly Black! Have you read anything else by her? I hope Queen of Nothing comes out soon, I might even buy a box set of the series when it is released!

        1. To be honest, this series is my favourite thing written by her. I didnt really like some of her other books but I’m glad I gave this one a shot!

Leave a Reply