Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Borrowed from the Library
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.
The Wicked King is an excellent continuation of The Folk of the Air series -- a second volume that surpasses Book One. With the all the introduction to the world and characters out of the way, Black is able to take us straight into the action in this second installment, and I loved seeing the evolution of the characters and their relationships as the plot took an interesting turn. One of the things I love about Cardan is that, although we do learn more about his background in this book, its not used as an excuse for all his behaviour; he's allowed to be flawed without his past completely making up for all of it. I am now interested to see how things will conclude in the final volume. This one was a 4.5-star read for me.