Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Teen Tuesday and Audiobook Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King by Holly Black. The Folk of the Air series #2. Unabridged audiobook on 9 compact discs. 10.5 hours. Read by Caitlin Kelly. Hachette Audio, January, 2019. 9781549171314. (Review of purchased audiobook.)

This sequel to The Cruel Prince picks up five months later. Jude continues to narrate in the present tense. She has Cardan firmly under her thumb thanks to the oath she extracted from him, but maintaining hold and sussing out shifting alliances is not easy. She realizes she needs more than a year and a day. The queen of the sea is bent on taking control of Elfhame, preferably by marrying her daughter, Nicasia to Cardan, but by war, if necessary. And there are those within Elfhame who are not happy with Jude's power and position, including her "father," Madoc. (Please forgive character name misspellings.)

The Cruel Prince was an absolutely wild ride from beginning to jaw-dropping end. The betrayals and plot surprises were enough to give me whiplash. Holly Black's worldbuilding is magnificent. Faerie is a world both terrifying and fascinating. Her many characters are unique and distinct. I just love these books and am eagerly awaiting the next installment. 

I just reread my audio review of The Cruel Prince and realized that I did not comment on the performance by Caitlin Kelly. She embodies Jude - her determination, her love for her sisters, her passions and her hatred. She was a new-to-me narrator with The Cruel Prince but a quick peek at her past performances reveals she's a seasoned narrator. 

The series is rich, complex and utterly satisfying. It's an absolute first-purchase for high school libraries and all YA public library collections. 

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