The Wicked King by Holly Black
The Wicked King
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.
Ah, Holly Black…. how I love your worlds! I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, because I’ve been feeling a lot of withdrawal from Holly’s rich words, revels, and debauchery. She paints a vivid image of magic rules, unearthly figures of terror and beauty, and most importantly, the complexity of human emotions entangled among the cruelty of immortals.
Jude isn’t my favorite of Holly’s characters, if only because, just like the warrior girl herself, I need her to be soft when she cannot be soft. Her stubbornness and inability to trust became a hindrance to some of the relationships I needed to see in this book. My other request – more Cardan!!!! The subtleties of his rich, complex character were wasted on cameos.
I’m hoping for Cardan to become the major player he deserves to be in the third book. Yikes….the wait!!!