Melanie's Reviews > The Wicked King

The Wicked King by Holly Black
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fae, fantasy, young-adult, romance, arc, read-in-2018, signed, read-in-2019, subscription-box-owlcrate
Read 3 times. Last read November 5, 2019 to November 8, 2019.



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 love for this book and series on my birthday just felt right. Also, I’m just that extra, but The Wicked King is perfection in every way.

I love so many different kinds of books; fantasy, romance, young adult, new adult, adult, books with lyrical writing, books that are character driven, books with angsty relationships, books with soul crushing emotions, books that make me feel everything. And I’ve read a lot of books; over 800 according to Goodreads. But every time I pick up a Holly Black book, I feel like she wrote the book for me. And I mean that, because she writes exactly the kind of books that I want to read. Not just key elements or parts, she completely encompasses everything I love in literature. And if I could wish one thing for everyone who reads my reviews, I’d wish for you to find an author that makes you feel this way, too.

The Wicked King is the second installment in The Folk of the Air series, the first being my favorite book of 2017, The Cruel Prince! And this book starts off five months after the heart wrenching events in book one. This review is going to be spoiler free, but I will be talking about some key elements that happened in the previous book! So, please do not read this review if you do not wish to be somewhat spoiled for The Cruel Prince!

“I want to tell you so many lies.”


(The most breathtaking fanart by Loweana!)

Okay, so basically a brief summary is that Jude is alone with the new High King of Faerie. Madoc and her parted on bad terms, Oak is in hiding with Vivi, Taryn is to be married to Locke, Balekin is locked up, and Cardan is *clutches pearls forever* the new king. Yet, he must listen to everything Jude says because of a trick she played on him, but all of us know how quickly a year can pass and things can change. Especially since the Queen of the Undersea, Orlagh, is thinking about breaking the treaty with the fae folk on land, since she isn’t too sure about the new ruler. And she plans to use her daughter, Nicasia, any way that she can to help secure her place of power in the fae realm. And all the courts are coming together to see if Cardan really can lead and protect them.

“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”

And everyone is plotting in this book, I swear. The phrase “twists and turns” doesn’t even begin to describe the events that happen in this book. The political intrigue is so strong in this book. You won’t know who or what to believe, and you surely won’t know who to trust. And all these storylines come together to create something so beautiful. This book was a wild ride from page one to the very last page. Actually, especially the very last page.

And I know everyone has already made a very big deal about the end of this book, and they aren’t wrong. You all thought The Cruel Prince cliffhanger was bad? Oh, sweet summer children. And, obviously, I won’t spoil anything, but there are so many different ways to interpret what happened. I’m going to be vague, but when you love someone or something, you will protect it at all costs. Also, the juxtaposition from book one to book two? Probably the best thing I’ve ever read in my entire life.

Okay, I’m going to do a little break down for some of the characters in this book. You know, just so I can gush, fangirl, and truly be the hot mess that this book proves that I am. Also, Roiben plays a huge role in this story, which was such a wonderful surprise and I really wanted to mention it!


(My favorite fanart(s) by PhantomRin!)

Jude Duarte - My heart, my true love, my icon, my queen. Jude is my favorite protagonist and I would honestly die for her. Like, all I want in this life is for Jude to he happy, healthy, loved, and know that she is deserving of that love.

“I’ve wanted this and feared it, and now that it’s happening, I don’t know how I will ever want anything else.”

Cardan Greenbriar - And Cardan is probably my favorite character in literature. There, I said it. Are you happy now? Also, this book has a minor scene that really led me to believe that Cardan is pan or bi and the scream I screamed upon reading. (I’m so sorry, neighbors, if you’re reading this!) I thought I was too old or just completely over the concept of “book boyfriends” until Cardan Greenbriar decided to be created.

Nicasia - I’m not even going to waste my finger strength. Bitch, bye.

Locke - Okay, say what you want, but Locke is like the greatest antagonist of all time. I am not sure I’ve ever loved to hate a character as much as I absolutely love to hate him. I also completely believe that he’s going to be the “big bad” of this series, eventually. The half-brother development is going to come into play.

“I wish he hadn’t used me to test my sister’s love for him. I wish she hadn’t let him.”

Taryn Duarte - Friends, I have a lot of feels. But I’m just going to say that I want few things in life as much as I want the novella, The Lost Sisters, that comes out October 2nd, 2018. I think it’s going to completely shatter everything we know about Taryn, and I’m ready for it.

Oh, and in case I haven’t gushed enough, the romance in this series is my favorite romance of all-time. And like, I don’t say that lightly. I thought in The Cruel Prince that it might have been because I just love fae stories so much. But while reading The Wicked King I realized that it’s just because this is the best enemies to lovers in the history of the trope. I mean, sex is great and all, but have you ever shipped Jude and Cardan more than any relationship you’ve ever personally been in? Because, same. I honestly don’t even know how I’m functioning, let alone sitting at my desk typing this review, after reading the Queen of Mirth scene. Seriously, Holly Black is a fae queen, none of us are deserving, and her words are magical.

“You are my dearest punishment.”

But this is also a book all about power, and the ugly things people are willing to do for it. Yet, it’s also about love, and all the beautiful, selfless, hopeful, hopeless, heartwarming, heartbreaking things we are willing to do for it. I honestly feel like the heart of this story is about sacrifice; the things we do for our family, our loved ones, and for ourselves. There is a lot of good on these pages. And I know this is a whimsical, magical book all about fae, but a lot of themes and messages carry over really beautifully.

“It’s easy to put your own life on the line, isn’t it? To make peace with danger. But a strategist must sometimes risk others, even those we love.”

I’m not sure I’ve ever been as happy reading a book as I’ve been reading The Wicked King. Also, I seriously pretty much reread this while writing this review. Like, I opened my book back up to grab some quotes that I tabbed, and I seriously had to stop myself from consuming the whole entire story all over again. Without a doubt in my mind, I will read this again before release. It’s just that much of a masterpiece, in every single sense of the word.

“He looks at me as though we share secrets, although we don’t. We don’t share anything.”

Overall, this review doesn’t do this book or my feelings justice. I have no word combination for how much this book, this series, and this author means to me. Yet, if you peak inside my heart, you might see my loved ones, coffee, video games, tattoos, Frank Ocean, and The Wicked King by Holly Black. Not only is this my favorite book of 2018, it’s one of my favorite things in life. And Cardan and Jude honestly have the best sexual tension in existence. I could read about them forever, with no pay off even, and I’d just ask for more.

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Content and trigger warnings for murder, death, bullying, abandonment, captivity, abuse, talk of past child abuse, and for violence in general.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.


(Thank you so much, Diana. You will never know how much this means to me, but I promise I'll cherish this ARC forever. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and soul, thank you! 💖)

[Reread: January, 2019]
This is still such a masterpiece, and I loved rereading this with Lea! ❤
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Reading Progress

September 22, 2017 – Shelved
September 22, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
September 22, 2017 – Shelved as: fae
September 22, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 22, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 22, 2017 – Shelved as: romance
April 23, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
April 23, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
April 23, 2018 – Shelved as: signed
May 3, 2018 – Started Reading
May 3, 2018 –
page 1
0.3% "I'm not entirely sure I am emotionally prepared for this, but here goes nothing.... or everything... I'm not sure. 💛✨"
May 3, 2018 –
page 128
38.1% ""
May 5, 2018 –
page 208
61.9% ""
May 6, 2018 – Finished Reading
January 26, 2019 – Started Reading
January 26, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019
January 26, 2019 –
page 1
0.3% "Time to reread about my fave king, before I fall back in love with Nikolai this Tuesday! 💖"
January 26, 2019 –
page 150
44.64% "Every single time Jude says "I hate you" I gain 5 years on my lifespan. 💗"
January 28, 2019 – Finished Reading
June 13, 2019 – Shelved as: subscription-box-owlcrate
November 5, 2019 – Started Reading
November 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 136 (136 new)


message 1: by Lej (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lej I highly recommend The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, if you haven't read it yet.


The Story Girl Good luck on getting one! Can't believe ARCs are out almost 9 months before release date, but that's amazing! (And if you happen to get one... I totally wouldn't object if you decided to pass it along :P).

And that title! Can't even imagine how wicked he could be. 2019 can't be here fast enough!


Hailey Through NetGalley and Edelweiss? Or just through the publisher? I need this. 😅


Melanie Ellijay wrote: "I highly recommend The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, if you haven't read it yet."

I've had book one forever and never picked it up. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Ellijay! Happy reading! 💗xx


Melanie The Story Girl wrote: "Good luck on getting one! Can't believe ARCs are out almost 9 months before release date, but that's amazing! (And if you happen to get one... I totally wouldn't object if you decided to pass it al..."

THE TITLE SO GOOD! AHHH! 💗xx


Melanie Hailey wrote: "Through NetGalley and Edelweiss? Or just through the publisher? I need this. 😅"

I saw it (physically) on Kerri Maniscalco's instagram story! 💗xx


Brandy Klocko Currently wishing for an ARC as well. Fingers crossed!


Melanie Brandy wrote: "Currently wishing for an ARC as well. Fingers crossed!"

Fingers crossed for you, too, love! 💗xx


AHHHHHH I didn’t even know ARCs are out, and omg I’m so happy for whoever got them. I honestly could not deal if I got an ARC because then I’d have to wait maybe two years (if you didn’t get an ARC of The Queen of Nothing) for the last one and that’s a scary possibility.


message 10: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel Good luck Melanie!! 🤞👍


Melanie “Ahhhhhh” wrote: "I didn’t even know ARCs are out, and omg I’m so happy for whoever got them. I honestly could not deal if I got an ARC because then I’d have to wait maybe two years (if you didn’t get an ARC of The ..."

Hahah! This is such a big mood, love! It's the best kind of torture though! Happy reading! 💗xx


Melanie Rachel wrote: "Good luck Melanie!! 🤞👍"

Awh, thank you, Rachel love! 💗xx


message 13: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Risner That excerpt... that cover. I die.


message 14: by Madeline (new) - added it

Madeline How do you even get an ARC?!?!


Melanie Amy wrote: "That excerpt... that cover. I die."

I'm writing to you from beyond the veil, beautiful. 💗xx


Melanie Madeline wrote: "How do you even get an ARC?!?!"

This is a question I'm asking myself in my dreams, haha. No no, I sent in a request to Little Brown and told them how much The Cruel Prince meant to me, with links to my reviews. But honestly? I bet everyone will get it at Book Expo and BookCon this year, too! Good luck, love! 💗xx


Leyna A. Heyy what’s an “ACR”??😅


Melanie Mocha_CakexX wrote: "Heyy what’s an “ACR”??😅"

I'm sorry I'm just now seeing this, Mocha! It stands for Advanced Reader Copy! 💘xx


Lea (drumsofautumn) Oh my god!!!!! I’m so happy for you 💕


ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω OMG YOU GOT AN ARC OF THIS?! AND SIGNED TOO?! That is so awesome! Congrats :D Can't wait to read your review on it. I'm dying slowly waiting for next year's release xD


The Story Girl OMG so happy for you! (And not at all jealous lol.)


Brandy Klocko I'm crying. So jealous.


Sh3lly Congrats! :)


Stacy Wow! Super jealous! ;) I’m pretty sure this book is going to be fantastic after the ending to book 1. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!!! :)


Melanie Lea (drumsofautumn) wrote: "Oh my god!!!!! I’m so happy for you 💕"

Thank you, Lea love! I love you so much! 💖xx


Melanie ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω wrote: "OMG YOU GOT AN ARC OF THIS?! AND SIGNED TOO?! That is so awesome! Congrats :D Can't wait to read your review on it. I'm dying slowly waiting for next year's release xD"

I still can't believe it, love! Honestly! But I'll post one soon! I hope you're having the happiest of reading! 💖xx


Melanie The Story Girl wrote: "OMG so happy for you! (And not at all jealous lol.)"

Hehe, thank you, love! I'm wishing you the all the happy reading! 💖xx


Melanie Brandy wrote: "I'm crying. So jealous."

Awh, don't cry, love! They will be much easier to get after con season! 💖xx


Melanie Sh3lly ☽ escaping in books is my reality ☽ wrote: "Congrats! :)"

Thank you so much, Shelly love! I hope you're having the happiest of reading! 💖xx


Melanie Stacy wrote: "Wow! Super jealous! ;) I’m pretty sure this book is going to be fantastic after the ending to book 1. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!!! :)"

I can't wait to let you know, Stacy! I have nothing but the highest of hopes! But I hope you're currently reading something that's five star worthy! 💖xx


Sol ~ TheBookishKing ohmyGOSH! i really really hope it lives up to all your expectations 😍😍 happy reading Mels 🙌🏽💙


Melanie Solomon S. wrote: "ohmyGOSH! i really really hope it lives up to all your expectations 😍😍 happy reading Mels 🙌🏽💙"

Thank you so much, Solly love! I hope you're having the happiest of reading right now, boo! 💗xx


Kimberly Unbelievably Jel!!!!! 🤤


message 34: by cassandre (new) - added it

cassandre I'm soooo jealous of you right now lol
I happy read hun, looking forward to your review


Melanie Kimberly wrote: "Unbelievably Jel!!!!! 🤤"

Love, go request it on Edelweiss! It's up! Good luck, Kimberly! 💗xx


Melanie cassandre wrote: "I'm soooo jealous of you right now lol
I happy read hun, looking forward to your review"


Awh, thank you, Cassandre love! Make sure you send in a request to Edelweiss! 💗xx


Sophie "Beware Of The Reader" I am crying all my tears as an international blogger now ....I will have to live vicariously through you Mel I would really DIE to hold this one :-((((( Enjoy <3


Melanie Sophie "Beware Of The Reader" wrote: "I am crying all my tears as an international blogger now ....I will have to live vicariously through you Mel I would really DIE to hold this one :-((((( Enjoy <3"

Awh, I'm sorry, love. I know this is a hard one to get all over, but especially internationally! Hopefully after all the cons are over it won't be so hard, love. But thank you, love. I bet we both fall in love all over again! 💖xx


Rusty Grey Wonderful Melanie !!☺️ But now I have to wait till 2019 for this one . 😞


K. Elizabeth I cannot wait to read this! Glad you loved it & wonderful review (as always)!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Heartwarming non-review, Melanie! ;)


Lady Jane Fantastic review!


AHHHHHH I’m so excited for it and just ahhhhhh. 2018 has blessed us with great books, but their sequels are coming so late 😭


Melanie Rusty wrote: "Wonderful Melanie !!☺️ But now I have to wait till 2019 for this one . 😞"

Awh, thank you, Rusty! And it will be here before we know it! 💖xx


Melanie Eryn✵ wrote: "I cannot wait to read this! Glad you loved it & wonderful review (as always)!"

Awh, thank you, Eryn! You are so kind! Happy reading, love! 💖xx


Melanie Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "Heartwarming non-review, Melanie! ;)"

Hehe, thank you, Tadiana! I hope you're having an amazing read right now, love! 💖xx


Melanie Jane wrote: "Fantastic review!"

Thank you, Jane! 💖xx


Melanie “Ahhhhhh” wrote: "I’m so excited for it and just ahhhhhh. 2018 has blessed us with great books, but their sequels are coming so late 😭"

Right? 2018 has been delivering... but yeah - waiting is so hard! But so worth it, sometimes! Hehe! I hope you're having the happiest of reading, love! 💖xx


Molly You are so lucky!!! Where’s my copy ? So jealous! That’s awesome!!!

Holly Black .. Miss Black , Queen if books Black? If you’re listening .. please.. pretty please..


message 50: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi Gorgeous! I can't wait!!!


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