The Wicked King by Holly Black Book Review


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Content Warning: Bullying/Harassment


This series is more about the politics of a court instead of a fae romance. I’m not into political reads because my mind isn’t very logical, so it was tough for me to maintain interest throughout. I found myself stopping and scrolling on my phone, or not using my entire lunch break to read like normal. I prefer a more romantic approach with even a little bit of smut in it, but this book had none. It was bland in the romance category.

However, I did enjoy this book more than the first one.


  •  A map!
  • Intriguing plot


  •  Annoying characters
  • Plot starts halfway through the book
The Wicked King map



 The ending! What the hell! Now I have to read the third book. I love how Cardan stabs Jude in the back and banishes her. Maybe it’ll be good for her to not come back. She can live a different life now. 

I do think the concept of this book is fun, but it wasn’t portrayed well. Like there could have been so much more Cardan x Jude, at least seeing a little bit of changing feelings instead of a one-night-stand deal. But at the same time I want them at each other’s throats? I’m confused on what I want out of their relationship now.



Still not a fan of Jude, but she was more tolerable in this book. She’s so engulfed in power (which, you do you, girl), that for me she isn’t relatable. She makes dumb decisions in some scenes and then others she’s like top-tier strategist. So, I don’t understand the thought-process here. However, I’m interested to see how she handles her banishment in the next book, though. 


Cardan really doesn’t give a fuck. He just wants to party and drink, it seems. He truly is Jude’s puppet. Throughout the book, though, he didn’t grow. He was the same asshole and bully. I would have liked to see him spiral a little being king or rising up to the task. You know, something a bit more than what he was in the first book. 

Side Characters

The Court of Thieves, minus Jude, is probably my favorite. They have more depth and character to them than the rest of the cast. Taryn is a POS sister and I can’t stand her.


The writing is simple and easy to read through. There’s nothing special about how it flows or the images it creates. It’s just kind of there. 


Overall, The Wicked King was a decent installment to the series; much better than the first book. I particularly enjoyed the Sea Kingdom section, as that was the most memorable and interesting to me. Still not the biggest fan of the series (literally feels like I’m reading a different book than other reviewers), but maybe it’ll be redeemed in the third book.

Note: I’m writing this a few days after reading the book and it’s not really that memorable, although it was my favorite. Not sure what they says, but it is what it is. 

What did you think of the book? Do you have anything to add, good or bad? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Facebook Page  |  Goodreads TBR  |  Spicy Rating Scale | Holly Black’s Website 

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