A Quick Look At… The Wicked King by Holly Black

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 . . .

What it is: Dark YA fantasy. The sequel to 2018’s The Cruel Prince.

What it’s about: A human girl who grew up in faerie, a world of schemes, cruelty and power, and becomes embroiled in the fight to control the throne. Also, hate shipping.

Who it’s by: YA fantasy veteran Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles and The Darkest Part of the Forest, among many others.

Best bits: Rich world building, interesting and complex protagonists, its moral greyness and anti-heroes, and the romance.

The protagonist is: a liar in a world where no one else can lie.

The love interest is: a cruel prince with dark secrets schemes of his own.

The villain is: pretty much all of the characters, tbh, including the two above.

Read if: you love darker gothic- fairytale-esque fantasy, assassins and political scheming. Also hate ships. The hate shipping is strong.

Skip if: you want happy romance, you don’t like stories about the fae, or YA isn’t your thing.

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