The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)

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The Wicked King audiobook

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Review #1

The Wicked King audiobook free

I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished the first one waaaaay back when that one first came out. I stayed up all night reading, and oh, it was delicious. I have bags under my eyes and I don’t even care; it was well worth the few hours of sleep I missed out on.

******************************************************SEMI SPOILERS***************************************************************

I knew where this book was going from the first few pages. Knowing the end-game didn’t make the journey getting there any less exciting, though, and for that I’m grateful. Sometimes (a lot of the time) knowing the end of something makes it totally boring and not worth finishing, but there are so many twists and betrayals and schemes going on between all the players of Elfhame that we hardly know where to look half the time, let alone look at the stuff not being explicitly shoved in our faces. So, that being said, here’s the gist.

The Wicked King picks up almost exactly where The Cruel Prince let off, right in the middle of it all, exactly where Jude had been angling to be. She’s now the power behind the throne, the true ruler of Elfhame, which Cardan takes every opportunity to point out. She spends a lot of the book fighting to keep a step ahead of everyone else, because as Madoc warned her when she was little, attaining power and holding on to it are two different things. I find the relationship between Jude and nearly every character in the book intriguing, but perhaps her relationship with Madoc most intriguing of all. This is the guy who murdered her parents (book 1) and spirited her away to faerie and raised her as his daughter (to the best of his ability, which, let’s face it, wasn’t great), who tried to use her as a pawn and ended up being played. Now he’s watching all her angles and looking for a way to wrest the power she stole from him back. There are few things more interesting than a mentor and pupil going head to head over a live game of chess to see who comes out the winner. At least to me, it’s one of my favorite plot points.
When Jude is not grappling with all the problems that arise (a tentative war, being kidnapped, betrayal, betrayal, betrayal, finding a way to keep her hold on all the power she’s accumulated) she’s semi-struggling with her feelings for Cardan. Mostly she’s struggling to figure out how to prevent her growing feelings for him from causing her to lose her power over him. She’s on a precarious ledge, this girl, and she’s juggling too many pieces.
And Cardan. I love this boy-king. I’d read an entire series dedicated to him, if we were so allowed that joy. I won’t get into all the plot points involving him because they really are entertaining and enjoyable to witness for yourself, but let’s just say he really starts coming into his own. As much fun as he is verbally sparing with Jude and as tortured as he is fighting his attraction to her and as a twisted as he is thanks to his brother and his upbringing, he is at his most intriguing and formidable when he starts acting like the royal he actually is. Even being earnest and honest and trying so hard to be good in a world that doesn’t value good, he really is a power to be reckoned with when he puts his mind to it, and it is sexy as hell. Who doesn’t love power plays, right?
Vivi still sucks; what she did to Heather was cruel, perhaps even more so because she didn’t intend it that way.
Taryn still sucks; I have no idea why Jude doesn’t just ignore her or banish her.
Oak is still adorable.
Locke deserves to be banished to the Undersea and Nicasia’s bed for eternity. Nicasia needs to get over Cardan and realize that he’s just not that into her.


At the end of the book, Jude is banished from Elfhame. Then she spends time sitting on her sister’s couch mopping about how she got played. BUT SHE LITERALLY HAS THE ANSWER SHE NEEDS IN HER FREAKING HAND. Cardan spent the entirety of this book dropping not so subtle remarks about Jude being the true ruler of Elfhame, telling her he trusted her, trying to get her to trust him, and basically having her back, and she’s freaking pouting in the mortal world that her now-husband kicked her to the curb. Except did he really? He said until the crown pardons her she was exiled to the mortal world. Well, hello girl, you were the one running faerie from the get-go and you just got crowned Queen by marrying the object of your desire. He gave her the tool she needed to lift her banishment five pages before he banished her. She could have pronounced her time served right there on the beach in front of Orlagh and gone about her business running things with no unnecessary maybe-drama. He even “smiles at her oddly” and doesn’t deny that she is in fact Queen of Faerie. If I were Cardan I would be very disappointed in my new bride for being so damn dense in that moment. This is the one thing that irritated me about this book, and I’m glad it happened in the last few pages, and super mad it happened in the last few pages lol. Jude is supposed to be so smart and clever she out maneuvered some of the biggest players in Elfhame to gain the position as Queen of Shadows and then she just accepts the fact that she’s banished? Why?

***********************************************************SPOILER END*************************************************************

Overall, I loved this book. It’s going to be heartache waiting for the next one.


Review #2

The Wicked King audiobook in series The Folk of the Air

Lacked depth between Carden and Jude. I thought as the second book in this series, the author would build the romance and affection between characters, which would have led to the end being more of a surprise versus expectation. Jude’s character is written as if she is a 12 year old boy playing a live video game. She is an 18 year old Women, who displays no passion or ambition other than waiting for her younger brother Oak to grow up. It makes absolute no sense that as a human with no magic capabilities she continues to defeat and kill these warriors. Very disappointed that this book is listed as an adult Dystopian Romance, but written as a pre-teen sci-fi.


Review #3

Audiobook The Wicked King by Holly Black

Power is so much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.
I have been waiting for this book to come out since right after the release of the first book, the Cruel Prince, which blew me away.

I bought the book yesterday and finished it by midnight last night, though not because it is a short book. It is just *that* good. I couldn’t put it down, and I found myself staying up way later than I should to finish it.

First thing’s first.
Jude – conniving, murderous, Jude. I love her as a character, I love the angst she brings to the table. But most of all, I love that she is a female lead who manages to have a love interest that isn’t the whole focus of the story.
First and foremost, Jude is a schemer. Her romantic interests are second to her desire to succeed in her plotting, whatever the cost, which I think is great. Too often, the love interest takes over the whole story and the plot is lost; that isn’t an issue in this story, and it is primarily because Jude is such a strong character with blinding focus, however detrimental this one-path mindset might be to her in the end. She is dynamic, and I feel that from the Cruel Prince to the Wicked King, she really grew as a character in many ways, while remaining the same morally grey Jude we knew and love from before.

Cardan – THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH WORDS for me to describe my love for this character, who is all sorts of messed up and wicked in ways one couldn’t even begin to explain. His character also grew exponentially in this book, and we learn a lot more about him as a person – including little glimpses into his past, snippets of hints that don’t quite complete a puzzle so we are still left guessing at the very end, when he pulls the rug out from under the readers with a twist I’m sure nobody saw coming!

Taryn – I wasn’t very impressed with her in the Cruel Prince, especially after her betrayal of Jude with the foxy Locke, but boy has that changed. From Jude’s perspective, Taryn has always been the agreeable sister, the one who did her best to blend in and not be noticed so as to avoid conflict. However, I’ve found that reading from Jude’s perspective has led to a lot of surprises with the other characters, as Jude frequently misjudges her peers. Taryn is no exception, and we see another side to her in this book – one just as conniving, if not moreso than her twin. Paired with the tricky Locke, the two may prove to be a formidable power couple in the next book, and I have my suspicions about how far Taryn’s involvement goes in regards to the more shocking revelations in this book. All this to say, you’ve impressed me, Taryn. What are you up to?!

Locke – Well, there’s definitely something going on here. He’s sly, he’s got his hand in a few different cookie jars, and from the Cruel Prince, we saw that he likes to create as much drama as he can possibly orchestrate. After some events in this book (looking at you, forest scene with Jude), I am almost certain that Locke is more involved than he seems to be from Jude’s perspective. He’s playing his own game, and perhaps one with his new bride Taryn….But I guess we will have to wait for book 3 to figure out just what it is.

Anyways, I have so much more to say about this book but I can’t seem to get the words out. My head is a M E S S, I am suffering from book hangover. I feel like I will be biting my nails for the next year as I eagerly await the next installment after a not-quite-but-almost cliff hanger of an ending.

S.O.S., someone save me. The cruel prince has destroyed my soul.


Review #4

Audio The Wicked King narrated by Caitlin Kelly

I devoured book 1 but had a really hard time starting this based on some of the reviews, but ohmygawd I need book 3 asap!!!! It is currently 6:30 am and I just finished after starting this at 9:30pm. I could not stop reading. Such a great series so far but literally my heart is broken and I dont even know what I want to happen in book three Im so torn! I just hope there is some other schemes that give me the ending I want so badly but fear someone has been untruthful even when they arent suppose to be able to lie…


Review #5

Free audio The Wicked King – in the audio player below

I was very close to loving the previous instalment in this series, The Cruel Prince, for its writing style, its world-building and its twists and turns. But while I adored the flawed heroine, Jude, the sort-of villain, sort of potential love interest, Cardan, just didnt quite spark my imagination, even though thats my absolute favourite character type.
This time around, everything I enjoyed before was present and correct and perhaps improved. The characterisations, world-building and unpredictable plot only deepened. But with Cardan as king and Jude as his nominal advisor and actual power behind the throne, the stakes felt higher and everything felt a bit more mature than when they were all basically scheming schoolkids. And in turn, with more responsibility and more pressure, Cardan became a much more interesting character, simultaneously more likeable and more scary, and the sexual and political tension between him and Jude ramped up accordingly. As a result, the book really came alive for me. It was a compelling read throughout, though I particularly appreciated the two twists in quick succession at the very end.


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    2 thoughts on “The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)”

    1. Hi

      I am trying to listen to The Wicked King by Holly Black. But the links are for the Wicked Kingdom different book. Thought I would bring it to your attention.

      Thank you for this site as I just started listening to Audio books.

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