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The Wicked King

The Folk of the Air, Book 2
Written by: Holly Black
Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly
Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An intoxicating and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times best-selling The Cruel Prince, nominated for the Cilip Carnegie Medal 2019.

I have heard that for mortals, the feeling of falling in love is very like the feeling of fear.

Jude has tricked Cardan onto the throne, binding him to her for a year and a day. But the new High King does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undimmed.

Meanwhile, a traitor in the court is scheming against her. Jude must fight for her life and the lives of those she loves, all while battling her own complicated feelings for Cardan. Now a year and a day seems like no time at all.... 

©2019 Holly Black (P)2019 Bonnier Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Holly Black is the Faerie Queen." (Victoria Aveyard)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Really enjoyed it!

the political plot in this book is very intriguing and narration takes you to a different world

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  • Lucy
  • 17-01-19

Sensational follow up

I enjoyed The Cruel Prince but The Wicked King raises the stakes. Fantastic plots, counterplots, schemes and intrigues. Holly Black is a master storyteller.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rachel K
  • 12-01-19

If you liked the first one, you’ll love this!

Good pacing, good narration, good twists. I really find myself rooting for Jude and I am invested in her story. Finishes on a cliffhanger so I am keen to see what happens next. Definitely recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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  • paula
  • 20-01-19

Starting to think Black wants to kill her readers.

..from pure shock. Seek not an airy fairy romance with star crossed lovers and the like. This story is about cruelty, bloodshed, deceit, twists you will not see coming and heart stopping endings that fall far from the dreaded "cliche cliff hanger" category.

You will admire, revile, pity, mock, deeply hate and desperately love the characters. I secretly lustfully ship a beautiful romance between a certain pair that with each book grows increasingly impossible on account of all the heinous things they do to each other. The one thing that remains certain is that Holly Black is fantastically imaginative and despite this being the first books of hers I read she has instantaneously claimed her place on my favourites shelf (which is no small feat as I am a tough to please).

If you haven't already picked up this series you are missing out on life.


Post Script: the narrator does a great job of bringing the story to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karrie
  • 12-01-19

So so good!.....

This is the second book in the series and as good, if not better, than The Cruel Prince. It has you guessing, never expecting the twists and turns....Needless to say, I am waiting excitedly for the third book. This book deserves all the good reviews and the narrator is excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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  • laura
  • 24-03-20

great twists and turns

I think this book is a lot better then the first. I loved the ending. :)

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  • R L Connor
  • 13-03-20

Spellbinding, intoxicating and utterly gorgeous.

I adore this series. the characters are complex and flawed and the worldbuilding is incredibly lush. It's Game of Thrones meets Labyrinth and I am HERE for it!

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  • Poppey
  • 16-12-19

Sometimes Things do not go to Plan

Jude has had to send her younger brother, Oak away to the mortal lands with Vivi, her older sister to keep him safe while binding herself to Cardan, High King, to be the power behind the throne for one year and a day. However, their relationship has never been an easy one.

Now, some 5 months later we pick up the story. Betrayal is in the air for Jude, which is compounded when war breaks out between the land and the sea.

Jude is being attacked from every which way. Her adoptive father is angry at her for what he perceives as her betrayal; she has still not forgotten that he killed her real father. He will stop at nothing to gain the throne, even if it means her death. Jude will also stop at nothing to protect her's/Cardan's throne, but her inner struggles continue.

The book ends on a somewhat precarious note when Cardan offers to marry Jude if she releases him from his vow. She does and he makes her his Queen of Faerie. However, there is a sting in the tail and it will not end well.

This is one of those trilogies that, once you become immersed, there is no going back and you have to continue to the bitter end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-19

A good book for those who like stories from the world of faery

The book has some good plot twists, characters are surprising. The plot is very intense and doesn’t dwell on the unimportant things. A lot of moments did seem quite naive. However, it wasn’t anything too bad to give up listening. In fact, Jude is the first character that doesn’t annoy me with her bad choices. She does make mistakes but each time I was curious what will come out of this. Looking forward to the next book.

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  • FDL
  • 12-09-19

Can't wait for the next installment!

I really enjoyed this book, even more than the first (which is still amazing!) I love Jude, who is bold and stubborn and more than a little frightening. This novel sees her rise to the top of fae society, only to find that the life she thought she wanted isn't as wonderful as she'd hoped. Intrigue, murder, and political bargaining abound in this excellent book of faery!

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  • Muckeye
  • 27-07-19

Best Audio book ever!

SO MANY CRAZY PLOT TWISTS!!
Absolutely adored this, and I wasn’t able to stop listening to it. I loved the characters and I love the way the story is written as well at is read. Amazing!

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  • K. Bridges
  • 21-07-19

A sting in the Tale

Having listened to the first book in the series, I obviously had to keep going and I must say that I would not have predicted this follow on. I don't think the stories are amazing and the narration is not as good as some of my favourites but it's fun to listen to and I can't possibly imagine what's going to happen in book 3. Either way, I'll definitely be listening to it!

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  • Brittany
  • 12-01-19

HOLLY!!!! WHATTTT!!!????

I found The Cruel Prince boring, but was determined to give The Wicked King a fair chance and it did not disappoint. I couldn't stop listening!!! Holly Black, you have RUINED MY WHOLE YEAR!!!! And it was sooooooo worth it!!!
Caitlin Kelly is a brilliant narrator, I hope to one day have her narrate my books.
Give this series a go. Holly Black is the master of plot twists.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-20

Couldn't stop listening!

I loved this book, and I love the Folk of the Air series. Holly Black is an exquisite story teller. This book is an action packed "page-turner", written with vivid imagery and intrigue. Cannot recommend highly enough!

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  • Casey
  • 18-01-20

Great story and absorbing narrator

The Wicked King is a satisfying next chapter in Holly Black’s series, full of intrigue, romance and fantasy - with an excellent narration by Caitlin Kelly that really draws you into Jude’s world.

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  • Becky Corner
  • 20-11-19

Love this

My favorite book I'm so ready for the next one. I need to know what happens to jude and Carden

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-05-19

finished the book in 3 days

i was looking for something to read after Sarah J Maas books and this was perfect. I loved it. cannot wait for the third book.

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  • Kait
  • 16-04-19

So well done.

I really loved this audiobook. I am a huge fan of the story and the characters and the narrator just brought it to life even more. I cannot wait for the third in the series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-03-19

Love this series

It entranced me the audiobook was amazing to listen to I want more, the plots were even better ever twisting..

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  • Lunagirl
  • 13-03-19

Excellent plot, full of twists and turns

When I first started listening to the first in this series, The Cruel Prince, I thought I had made a mistake... was I really up for a teen style fantasy, with teenage emotional drama, albeit in Faery? Would this be the fictional equivalent of an insipid cup of weak tea?

I was wrong. Both the Cruel Prince and the Wicked King turned out to be tightly woven stories with well-executed twists and turns which take place on the shifting sands of changing, many-faceted relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed both books and will definitely listen to the next.

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  • Al R
  • 26-02-19

Awesome!!

I am reviewing this with my mouth 😱 wide open. I totally invested my whole imagination in this story and just got knocked down in shock.

Loved this book. Loved both books. The only bad thing is having to wait for the third!!

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  • Book_Addict
  • 27-01-19

***Brilliant***

This book is dar and decadently delicious, it makes me shiver with delight. The world and character building is brilliant as the twist and betrayals, murders. Poor Jude she is too busy controlling everything that she forgot she is only mortal which has weakness and that King Cardan took advantage off. I hate cliff Hangers but it will be worth it to wait for Jude's revenge. Caitlyn can't do no wrong she us fantastic.