**SPOILERS FOR THE CRUEL PRINCE BELOW**
I was planning on reviewing both The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, but then realized that it would be hard for me to discuss the sequel without at least bringing up some spoilers from The Cruel Prince. So, if you haven’t read The Cruel Prince yet, do not continue. Spoilers aplenty below.
I actually enjoyed The Wicked King much more than The Cruel Prince for several reasons. While we have basically the same cast of characters as the original book, we know them all well enough now to move past surface interactions and go deeper into the core personalities of each of them. Also, the whole Locke seduction doodad from The Cruel Prince has played itself out so The Wicked King is able to move on to the nitty gritty of the story.
At the risk of drawing many readers’ ire, I really love Locke. Yes, he’s a jerk. He’s narcissistic, cruel, and capricious, but he knows who he is, and he doesn’t apologize for it. Also, his interactions with Jude in The Wicked King are pure gold. I’m curious to see how much of what he has been doing is part of a greater plot, and how much is just who he is.
I loved the machinations, and backstabbing in this one. Watching the characters working at cross-purposes, even though some of them have the same goals, was a ton of fun. The action scenes were great, and no one writes Faery quite like Holly Black.
I’m hoping to see more of Vivi in the next book. I think she has such potential! Jude rocks, of course. She’s her own worst enemy in a lot of ways, but she’s also plucky, strong,and very smart.
For those who have read both books, though, I do have a question: On page 154, there’s a sentence that reads, “You might think I am heartless to allow this, no less order it”. It’s Jude, not speaking to any of the characters in the book, leading me to believe she’s speaking to the reader. It didn’t sit well with me because I don’t remember that happening anywhere else in either book. Did it happen and I just forgot? Or maybe I misunderstood the paragraph? Thoughts?
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a great adventure, the world is unique and twisted, and the characters are interesting. I’m looking forward to the next installment. What about you?