The Wicked King

The Wicked King by Holly Black
Holly Black
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Aug 10, 2022

Jude Duarte is now seneschal, an advisor to the High King of Elfhame, who is Cardan
Greenbriar. She wants to keep Cardan and Elfhame in control until her brother, Oak, is finally of
age to become King. However, the Queen of the Undersea is threatening Cardan to marry her
daughter or else she will attack his kingdom, which makes Jude’s plans more difficult. So Jude is
trying to protect Oak, Cardan, and Elfhame, but unfortunately she gets captured by the Queen of
the Undersea. Surprisingly though, Cardan steps into the true role of King to save Jude and
Elfhame, but later ends up betraying her.

I think this book was really interesting. My favorite part was learning about Cardan’s
background and why he became so cruel as he grew up. It was honestly sad and made so much
more sense why he is so mean. I loved that he had great character development and didn’t hurt
others anymore for his pleasure. Jude, however, was kind of manipulative in this book. She
controlled many of Cardan’s actions and didn’t trust him despite his improved character. When
she thought she was betrayed, she refused to look at how he actually helped her. If Jude trusted
him more, then Cardan would have been a great king earlier. But I would still recommend this
book to fantasy lovers and people who liked the first book of the series.

I think that the cover of this book accurately portrays the plot and theme. The crown in
the water properly shows the feud between Cardan and Orlagh, the Queen of the Undersea. It
portrays the war that may have happened between them perfectly. Plus the title shows that
Cardan can still be cruel and deceiving but only towards his enemies now.

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