The Wicked King | Thoughts
It's funny how, sometimes, there's nothing you can do but like a story, no matter how you try not to. I'm not sure why I went into this book with my mind made up that I would not like it. I remember feeling the same way with The Cruel Prince when I finished; that when I looked back at the story and all its elements I should not be so enamored. But for some reason, I just liked it, albeit begrudgingly. So, going into The Wicked King, it was almost unfair how determined I was that I would not be impressed.
I would not fall into the hype.
I would not ship the two quite terrible MCs.
I would not get all excited and gushy and devour the book in a day.
Jude is annoying, Cardan is an entitled prick, but UGH how I love to be annoyed by the both of them. I'm not sure how it works, but much like the hatred Cardan and Jude feel for one another that is somehow intoxicating to them both, this story has me. It goes without saying that Holly Black can write, and her delivery is spot on.
Jude is annoying, but I am annoyed because all of her flaws are so painfully human, and wouldn't I feel just as furious at how unfair and powerless I was in the midst of such brutal creatures? I'd be annoyed with myself, much as she is, that all I tried to do always seemed to be inadequate. I love that she is smart, however, and every human weakness she has she balances with strategy and understanding her enemy. But who is the enemy? There is quite literally not one person in Faerie that I trust (Jude included), and that edgy feeling of being on high alert is what kept me turning page after page. This book kept me on my toes; I never guessed what would happen next. The betrayals are surprising and then, not really, because I remember it is Faerie, after all.
It's exciting; it's infuriating; it's delicious.
So, much as I unfairly tried to turn my mind against it:
I did fall into the hype (because damn it's undeniable).
I do ship the equally morally-gray MCs ("kiss me until I am sick of it").
I did get all gushy and excited and devour the book in a day.
And that ending...though another cliffhanger, I found it fitting and still so, so satisfying.
"Deny it, then," I yell. "Deny me!"
He cannot, of course, so he does not.
Oh, The Queen of Nothing, how long this wait for you shall be.