Title: The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)
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 full of tension, full of schemes and secrets, full of double-crossing and dangerous plots. Jude's struggling to keep her head above water, struggling to keep things in control. But control is hard to come by in the shifting world of Faerie, in the shifting whims of its current High King.
Jude is constantly on her toes, trying to keep everything in order so she can find away to keep Cardan under her control. So she can find a way to keep Oak safe before he's pushed into the role of ruler. But considering this is Faerie, Jude has a lot of players to keep an eye on. Because with Cardan the current king, there are those who would seek to placate him, manipulate him, control him. Dispose of him. Jude is right to suspect almost everyone around her, but there's someone close to her that she's forgotten about.
This book is full of so many secretive, plotting, double-crossing characters that it's hard to like any of them. Even Jude. But that's Faerie. It's a land of magic and wonder, of double-speak and tricks and clever turns of phrase. It's an inhuman land populated by inhuman people. For me personally, I kept having to remember that no character would ever do anything like walk away from the situation. Even Jude. Especially Jude. She wants to much to be a part of a place that she hates and that hates her. There are a lot of twists here, a lot of pieces slowly being revealed and falling into place, a lot of surprises and unexpected revelations. Knowing that, I'm definitely interested in how it will all come together in the last book. Considering these characters, it's hard to imagine a happy ending for anyone. Hopefully it'll be a satisfying ending.
(I received an e-galley of this title from Hachette Book Group Canada through NetGalley.)