Audience: YA fantasy, no language, violence, romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.
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 SEQUEL SURVIVES.
I totally, thoroughly enjoyed this wicked tale. Was it the best sequel ever? Maybe not, but it was wrapped up in so many devious plots that I enjoyed it all.
“The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder.”
“Someone tries to betray the The High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.“– The High King, Cardan
I mean, look at that quote. Cardan for all of his twisted ways, is not a murderer. Unlike our lovely seneschal, Jude. This is what makes this series the height of amusement.
I love how cruel and tortured these souls are. Jude remains plagued by her obsessive need for power, yet struggles at some of the most basic emotions. She’s ambitious, reckless and morally gray. Cardan on the other hand has this complete layered sense of wickedness. He is so complex and I would totally love a POV from him. The High King is an amazing villain/anti-hero.
“I want to tell you so many lies.”
Now put those two together and the craziest level of sexual tension ensues. Oh, they drove me batty. They both lack the fundamental rule of a ‘relationship” (that being trust) and in losing this, have created a beautiful tragic love that will probably end up in flames. Though I’m truly counting on them working it out. I’m all for a reunion scene, am I right? They both deserve to love and be loved and I need everyone happy okay??
The pacing is a little slow in this book, as I feel it suffers the plague of the sequel. I wasn’t really invested til about halfway and then within the final few pages things darn well blew up. SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!? The most wicked of all the books will be coming next year, that ending about guarantees it. Jude completely gets what she deserves [and I secretly love it, but also hope she gets revenge all in the same breath].
There’s plenty of characters I would willing stab myself for Jude and I am eagerly anticipating how Black destroys them in the finale. Taryn, Locke, Nicasia, Madoc, Orlagh, I mean, y’all, I have a list.
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult fantasy
- No language
- Violence: some gore, knives, poison, torture, enchantments
- Romance: a bit of kissing, a lightly detailed love scene, discussion of how faeries love to be naked
- Trigger warnings: alcohol, bullying