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The Wicked King

(The Folk of the Air #2)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  467,957 ratings  ·  45,847 reviews
The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.

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 brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her,
ebook, 336 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Céline and knowing the fact that some people can already read it!!! NOT FAIR!
Brigid Oh she 1000% is, and I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought that. …moreOh she 1000% is, and I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought that. (less)
The Wicked King by Holly BlackKing of Scars by Leigh BardugoThe Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiFinale by Stephanie GarberA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
YA Novels of 2019
874 books — 3,157 voters
The Wicked King by Holly BlackKing of Scars by Leigh BardugoNinth House by Leigh BardugoThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonThe Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare
Can't Wait Books of 2019
1,471 books — 3,679 voters

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1.) The Cruel Prince ★★★★★
1.5) The Lost Sisters ★★★★★

“Once upon a time, there was a human girl stolen away by faeries, and because of that, she swore to destroy them.”

Many of you might not know this but on this day many years ago, Holly Black’s biggest fan was born. Spoiler: it’s me! And I figured what better way to celebrate my birthday than to finally post my review for my favorite book of the year! I read this back in May, and it doesn’t come out until January, but celebrating my
Miranda Reads
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I have read my way through 315 books to bring you my Top 10 Books of the Year (video) .

Now you know that this one made the cut, check out my video review to see the others!

Once upon a time, there was a human girl stolen away by faeries, and because of that, she swore to destroy them.
Just a quick note - I got my copy from Owl Crate - this company had a wonderful monthly book subscription box along with a few special editions that I just cannot pass up!

This was everyt
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
"I want to tell you so many lies."

A billion spiteful stars.

Everything hurts, and no, I'm not okay. Holly is a delightfully cruel author and I love and hate her for it. It's very confusing. I'm not sure I can write this review as a 'sane' person but I'll try. Disclosure: spoilers for the first book, but not for this one! 

"Your ridiculous family might be surprised to find that not everything is solved by murder," Locke calls after me.

"We would be surprised to find that," I call
Elle (ellexamines)
someone: why do you like this book
me, deep in an elaborate fantasy sequence in which Jude forces me onto a throne for her own selfish gain and is an ambitious bitch to me and treats me terribly but also we have a lot of sexual tension: uhhhhh well I just really like the plot twists

Okay but for real. I already talked a lot about why I loved The Cruel Prince, so I guess I’ll just give a quick summary: antiheroes, court intrigue, power plays, and a fish out of water in a world full of monsters - bu
Emily May
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Update Jan 8, 2019: It's here!
Power is so much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.

So I'm officially ADDICTED.

I can't say for sure what makes a good fantasy book for other people but, for me, these books are like crack. I'm like Fever series-level addicted right now and I don't know how I can possibly wait for book three.

Also: Cardan is evil and terrible and I am in love with him. I wish I was sorry.

This book got me so good. The banter and sexual tension between Jude and Cardan had m
Emma Giordano
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This sequel was SPECTACULAR! I think I enjoyed it even more than book one!

CW: violence, murder, death, torture

Holly Black has done it again. She’s revered as the “Queen of Faeries” for a reason – the dark folklore behind the world she has created has the power to disturb you and also enchant you. I’ve reach much of her work, but The Wicked King impressed me in a new way. Holly’s prose is so delicate yet forceful. I was captivated throughout the entire novel by her writing alone. That, combined
• Lindsey Dahling •
Me, 99% of the book, watching Jude and Cardan interact:

Me, during 1% of the book (if you’ve read it, YOU KNOW WHICH PART):

Me, closing the back cover, lying to myself:

Me, explaining to a therapist how I’ll be just fine as soon as Holly Black releases this hold she has on me:
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
okay so there's Jude, which I like but she is so self-centered and kind of annoying but also right cuz everyone's treating her as a joke and there's Cardan which I like, but I also don't and I want them to kill each other, or maybe not, I don't know, this is all confusing.

If you enjoy my reviews and want to support my writing journey, please consider buying me a coffee. Cheers:)
chai ♡
Dear Holly Black,

First of all, how dare you?

Second of all, you are NOT supposed to go around burying rusty knives into people's hearts. That's illegal. This is illegal. Please stop writing illegal stuff.

Thank you.



P.S. Will Cardan ever get a break? Or just like, therapy?
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
jude duarte if you see this im free thursday night are you free thursday night to hang out on thursday night if you’re free i’d like to hang out thursday night please message me back if you’re free thursday night when i am free
Victoria Aveyard
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At this point, I don’t know why the rest of us even try. I think I’m going to go into a coma until QUEEN OF NOTHING.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
‘i want to tell you so many lies.’

hello, police? hi, yes, i would like to report a crime, specifically a murder… what murder? oh, well, you see, holly black has singlehandedly torn out my heart, ripped it to shreds, and then lit it on fire.

this book has ruined all other books for me this year. until the release of ‘the queen of nothing’ (that title alone is killing me all over again), i will be crying myself into a deep, dark, and healing hibernation. someone wake me up in 2020. maybe then
4.5/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺
“Because, for a moment, when I was at my worst, I felt powerful, and most of the time, I felt powerless.”

What that ending was, I have no idea, but I turned from crying out of pure candid joy to crying out of frustration.

With this book, the whole The Folk of the Air trilogy goes from 0 to 100 really quick. I could feel an increase of the pacing in the first book (which was packed with action), a pace that was a bit slowed
Maryam Rz.
I hate this book.

I hate it so much I can’t stop thinking about it. I hate it enough to wanna make 100 accounts to rate it one star over & over again.

But I won’t, not because that’s immoral but because there can’t be hate unless there is love. There can’t be loss unless there is need. There can’t be hurt unless there is care.

“I hate you,” I say, the words coming out like a caress. I say it again, over and over. A litany. An enchantment. A ward against what I really feel.

So really, it’s my own
I do not know what is becoming of me.

At the time I read this book, I had a 2.94 average rating. (Before you ask - yes, my heart is made of ice and pain and suffering and knives.) I so frequently have unpopular opinions that I made a shelf for them (so they can band together in their unpopularity and become friends). I eat YA bestsellers for breakfast.

I didn’t even like the first book in this series!

And yet...I kind of enjoyed reading this book?!

I didn’t even mean to ever pick it up!

If you put me
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
3 stars Reread 2020


Well, that was an ending!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Kai Spellmeier
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
King: wicked
Wig: snatched
Review: to come
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s a great feeling to fall in utter love with the first book in a new series, and then anticipate the sequel, and then be offered a chance to read said sequel early, and then to read this book in 24 hours and savour every bit of it. Very few series that I’ve read in my life have hooked me as much as this one. The only downside? The agonizing two year wait for the third book!
Mar 21, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that I have found in myself a taste for power, will I be loath to give it up?
Jude finally has what she so desperately craves. Now she must do everything she can to hold onto it. But that is no easy task. How was she to know how much harder it is to keep power than it was to take it by force in the first place? After all, she is just a mere mortal in the world of Faerie.

Ah, this series is just so darn satisfying! All the political intrigue and scheming and backstabbing I loved in the firs
Cindy ✩☽♔
Power is so much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.

I'm not sure if I should be happy or angry?

This book was, undoubtedly, my most anticipated book of the year. But I must confess, it did not quite live up to my expectations. That's not to say it is not a good book, it was just a tad slow for my taste. The book doesn't really pick up until about the 60% mark. After that though, things definitely get interesting.

Main Characters' Ranking:
Jude = Cardan > Madoc = Vivi >> Locke >>>>>>>> Tar
Melanie (MelReads)
Mar 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
you know what… miss black did that
destiny ♡ howling libraries
#1 The Cruel Prince ★★★★★
#2 The Wicked King ★★★★★
#3 The Queen of Nothing ???

After the shocking turn of events that finished off The Cruel Prince, Jude is fighting with everything she’s got to keep the kingdom of Elfhame from falling to pieces under its new rulers. Unfortunately for Jude, not only is a war brewing in the Undersea, but the court is full of traitors—and a few of them might be in her own home.

I loved The Cruel Prince, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sold on certain factors—yet,
chan ☆
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
me reading the folk of the air trilogy in a day *spoilers*: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLg5D...

cardan to jude:



not going to exhaustively review this because everyone and their mom will. but i fucking loved this, no surprise. could have been smuttier, and the ending was... cliff-y but whatever. holly can do no wrong.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dear Holly Black,

How dare you.


I am a mess.
Chelsea Humphrey
CONGRATULATIONS-Goodreads Choice Awards YA Fantasy Winner!

Ok so here's the deal-I wasn't crazy about The Cruel Prince. There, I said it. The reason I'm starting this review with a seemingly negative attitude is two-fold: 1) It shows the sheer amount of growth that Black provides between the first two books in this series and 2) It shows that I'm not just blowing smoke up your ass and being pushed to give this a high rating to boost sales. The Wicked King was a true delight and privilege to read,
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.” Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.”

I wish I could disagree with Cardan but he’s right! *lol* All this book is about are intrigues, machinations, power games and murder and tell y
✨    jami   ✨
I genuinely cannot believe this book was basically about what happens when you let a drunk furry be king

“Once upon a time, there was a human girl stolen away by faeries, and because of that, she swore to destroy them.”

YOOO Holly Black did it again! The politics !! The characters !!! The angst !!! AND THAT ENDING. I enjoyed this even more than book one - it was so dark, twisted, with even more political intrigue, betrayal and scheming. Part two especially was incredible, and all leading up t
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caution: This review does contain mild spoilers for The Cruel Prince. Proceed at your own risk.

Seriously. I mean it.

Final warning:


With her brother, Oak, safely out of Elfhame, Jude is 5-months into her puppeteering oversight of Cardan's reign as High King.

The dislike between the pair is as high as ever, but y'all know, there is also an unhealthy dose of sexual tension burning just under the surface.

Jude's sister, Taryn, the most terrible of terrible, is poised to marry Lo
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

The relationship between author and reader is one of constant courting, and sequels are especially hard. You've won my trust once, with a stellar book, but that's no guarantee that I'm going to enjoy the sequel. Second Book Syndrome is totally a thing. It's what happens when authors get complacent and think that less effort can be expended when publishing their sequel. I loved THE CRUEL PRINCE, despite thinking it would be a disappointme
Margaret M - semi hiatus  (With lots of catching up to do)
5 unapologetic wicked stars.

I loved being transported back to this dark fairy tale world with Cardan and Jude at the centre of a tale that provided everything. Superb world building, cracking characterisation, and super twisty plots. Another fantasy author I love, another series I am hooked on.

And with comments like “The point of a fight is not to have a good fight, it’s to win.” you know you are in for a power struggle, this time between earth and sea, between families and within the courts. A
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Addicted to YA: The Wicked King - buddy read 59 112 Nov 19, 2022 03:22PM  
Ugh Taryn 36 597 Nov 03, 2022 12:32PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black - Restarting October 9th 2022 360 452 Oct 14, 2022 09:53PM  
I have a tiny problem 2 44 Aug 05, 2022 01:42AM  
I have a tiny problem 1 8 Jul 31, 2022 02:27PM  
Can we talk about that ENDING?!! *spoilers* 28 3824 Jul 15, 2022 08:49AM  

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Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house ...more

Other books in the series

The Folk of the Air (3 books)
  • The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
  • The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

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