The Wicked King by Holly Black
Published: January 8th 2019
I’ve been in a book slump for a loooooong time. Nearly a year, actually. And as it happens, the first book in this series (The Cruel Prince) was one of the last books I read last year before everything went downhill. It pleases me to say that the sequel to that book is one of the first I purchased this year as I was coming out of my slump. Woohoo! Back to spending money on books again.
The hype for this book was INSANE, and when I posted a book mail post about this book it was met with extreme excitement and praise. So, understandably, it didn’t sit on my TBR shelf for long.
It took me a little while to settle back into the wo
rld and re-familiarise myself with the characters; it had been a year since I had read the previous book after all. But, once I had reacquainted myself I started to fly through the chapters, and finished the book within a day and a half.
It was an easy read, as Black’s writing always seems to be, with her comfortable writing rhythm carrying me through the arcs of the story, but it left me feeling disappointed. I felt like the plot lacked depth, and I wasn’t really drawn into the world as I was when I was introduced. Don’t get me wrong, the plot twists did indeed surprise me, and Holly Black is a queen of the cliffhanger ending, but I was hoping for more.
Perhaps it was the hype for the book that gave me such high expectations, or maybe I’ve just been out of the game for a little too lon
g, but this book didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
There were things that I LOVED about this book; mainly Jude. Damn, I am loving the way her character is developing. It’s the grit that she has, and the strength and the capacity she demonstrates that has me feeling for her. I’m really excited to see what she does in the next book.
And then there’s the world with all it’s glorious drama and politics. Oh, I could eat that shit up for breakfast! The second book continued to develop upon the foundation the first book setup, expanding on plot points and leaving threads for what I imagine to be an exciting third installment. Which I am looking forward to reading, for sure! But it just left me feeling like this book was merely a set-up novel bridging books 1 and 3, as there wasn’t anything about it that really stayed wit
h me after reading it.
And then there’s the romance…
I just don’t buy it! Perhaps I missed a hidden chapter that everyone else seems to have read, because the relationship between Cardan and Jude just feels – Off? False? Shallow? Unconvincing?
Nevertheless, it was an entertaining read, and kept my reading mojo strong. Whilst I wasn’t blown away by the plot of the story, I am
intrigued by the expansion of the world and the characters and I am excited to see where it will go next. Will definitely be picking up the third installment when it’s released to see what Black has in store for us!
Have you read this one yet? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Happy to be reading again,