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Publisher's Summary

An intoxicating and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times best-selling The Cruel Prince, nominated for the Cilip Carnegie Medal 2019.

I have heard that for mortals, the feeling of falling in love is very like the feeling of fear.

Jude has tricked Cardan onto the throne, binding him to her for a year and a day. But the new High King does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undimmed.

Meanwhile, a traitor in the court is scheming against her. Jude must fight for her life and the lives of those she loves, all while battling her own complicated feelings for Cardan. Now a year and a day seems like no time at all.... 

©2019 Holly Black (P)2019 Bonnier Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Holly Black is the Faerie Queen." (Victoria Aveyard)

What listeners say about The Wicked King

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HOLLY!!!! WHATTTT!!!????

I found The Cruel Prince boring, but was determined to give The Wicked King a fair chance and it did not disappoint. I couldn't stop listening!!! Holly Black, you have RUINED MY WHOLE YEAR!!!! And it was sooooooo worth it!!!
Caitlin Kelly is a brilliant narrator, I hope to one day have her narrate my books.
Give this series a go. Holly Black is the master of plot twists.

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Abit short compared to the last one but still good

moved so fast which I actually appreciated, really ended really got me loved it

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Great story and narrator...

Loved everything about this story..
I have listened more that once!!
I really enjoyed listening to the way Caitlin reads.

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Entertaining

I really loved the story and the narrator. Definitely going to listen to the rest in the series!

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better than the first

this one was a better plot line than the first. I enjoy the narrator

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Just cannot get enough!!!

I’m so glad to have stumbled across this series! I could not put it down, always wanting to know more and where the story was going! Highly recommend

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This book is just as bad as the first.

Jude is still annoying, constantly feeling sorry for herself and wishing she had more power. The story is boring and rushed.

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Great book and narration!

I loved this book. I enjoyed it more then the first! Would definitely recommend for teens/young adults.

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A Fantastical Tale

the First book was good and this book is brilliant, full of twists and turns and intrigue!!+

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What was that ending omg

Wow I wasn’t expecting that ending and of course it’s now midnight and I must start the next book immediately.
Wow. These books are great.

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  • Lucy
  • 17-01-2019

Sensational follow up

I enjoyed The Cruel Prince but The Wicked King raises the stakes. Fantastic plots, counterplots, schemes and intrigues. Holly Black is a master storyteller.

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  • Audible Customer
  • 03-11-2020

“Revenge is sweet, but ice cream is sweeter.”

I loved The Cruel Prince. And I absolutely love The Wicked King. It's one of those rare books that improves upon the first. It's very well written with a beautiful lyrical prose. It's so well done that I couldn't put down the book. I love Holly Black and her writing. Caitlin Kelly's performance is also excellent.

In The Wicked King, Jude, with her sharp wit, is every bit of the willful and strong girl she was in the first book. And Cardan really got under my skin. I love them together and their angst romance. I can't wait to see what happens in the third book.

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  • Rachel K
  • 12-01-2019

If you liked the first one, you’ll love this!

Good pacing, good narration, good twists. I really find myself rooting for Jude and I am invested in her story. Finishes on a cliffhanger so I am keen to see what happens next. Definitely recommend!

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  • paula
  • 20-01-2019

Starting to think Black wants to kill her readers.

..from pure shock. Seek not an airy fairy romance with star crossed lovers and the like. This story is about cruelty, bloodshed, deceit, twists you will not see coming and heart stopping endings that fall far from the dreaded "cliche cliff hanger" category.

You will admire, revile, pity, mock, deeply hate and desperately love the characters. I secretly lustfully ship a beautiful romance between a certain pair that with each book grows increasingly impossible on account of all the heinous things they do to each other. The one thing that remains certain is that Holly Black is fantastically imaginative and despite this being the first books of hers I read she has instantaneously claimed her place on my favourites shelf (which is no small feat as I am a tough to please).

If you haven't already picked up this series you are missing out on life.


Post Script: the narrator does a great job of bringing the story to life.

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  • Karrie
  • 12-01-2019

So so good!.....

This is the second book in the series and as good, if not better, than The Cruel Prince. It has you guessing, never expecting the twists and turns....Needless to say, I am waiting excitedly for the third book. This book deserves all the good reviews and the narrator is excellent.

4 people found this helpful

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  • FENARETI
  • 19-08-2020

too much plot

I love this series but I'm bitter by how this book ended. I however trust that there is a reason to this ending and looking forward to reading book 3! too much plot for my taste but that's just a personal thing. If you are looking for a romance set in fantasy with some plot this isnt it. This is a fantasy plot with some romance. Which is what most people would prefer anyway, I'm just trashhhh

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sasha Fletcher
  • 21-07-2020

Amazing

Great story and the reader is exquisite, you really feel the personalities of the characters by the tones and infections she uses, no character sounds the same and there are a lot of characters, really looking forward to listening to the final book as the story os so unpredictable, yet satisfying!

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  • Phoenix Rose
  • 30-06-2020

The Wicked King is wicked!

Liked the first book of the series, this one was even better. Quite a few twists and turns throughout the story and can't wait to finish the series off.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Arman
  • 05-06-2020

One of my few 5/5 books

I thought I'd read all the best sci-fi/fantasy already but damn. so glad I stumbled onto this series, twists and turns of politics, intricate and nuanced magics, characters and connections that bring it all to life. Such great momentum from beginning to end (and beyond) all with a very powerful performer that really manages to capture the depths of passion and pain in the protagonist's ordeals.
As with the first, I'm enraptured by a bittersweet ending that has me eager to discover what will happens next.

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  • Clare Tunilla
  • 25-05-2020

The hight of unlikeable characters

I put this off for ages. I'm kicking myself because now I'm so desperate for Queen Of Nothing, I dunno what to do with myself.

All these characters are horrible. Truly ghastly. But you know what, I'm living for this drama.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Emma (Star Crossed Reviews)
  • 26-01-2019

I have no words

Erm. Well. Huh. I am struggling to put into words how I feel. Holly has completely outdone her self in this book. The Cruel Prince was one of my favourite books last year but The Wicked King is on another level!

After the way The Cruel Prince ended, I thought that Holly couldn't shock me again. Well, clearly I was wrong about that! This book has everything you need. It's got betrayal, new alliances, love, hate and a good old wedding.

I love the relationship between Jude and Cardan. The love/hate thing they have going on is so intense. I could quote so many many lines from Cardan that made me just fall deeper and deeper for him. He is everything you think he is but also nothing like you think he is. He is a very complex character.

This book is full of characters who are torn. They are fighting not only with each other but with themselves. It makes for very interesting reading but makes it very difficult to predict what will happen next.

Although I have just finished this book and I only recently read The Cruel Prince I feel like I need to reread the series again. I feel like there are intricacies I likely missed the first time around. I think this is one of those stories that you would learn something new everytime you read it.

This story was epic and I have so many theories and thoughts on the ending that my mind has been whirring for days! I don't know how I am going to wait a whole year for The Queen of Nothing!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carla Aston
  • 25-12-2021

Good but not what I expected

I think because I am used to these kinds of series going from strength to strength I was maybe a little disappointed in this book. I felt like I was waiting for Carden and Jude to fall fully for each other rather than hinting at it right through the book then when it looks like they’re going to finally get together he exiles her and they’re all laughing at her. It feels like we haven’t got much further along, she is right back where she started, in the mortal realm and alone. I’m still not sure who the bad guys are and who is good. Book 1 was really good but I am hoping book 3 is better.

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