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Review of The Wicked King

The Wicked King [Folk of the Air]
by Holly Black
High School     Little, Brown     325 pp.     g
1/19     978-0-316-31035-2     $18.99
e-book ed. 978-0-316-31033-8     $9.99

A mortal raised in the realms of Faerie by the devious General Madoc, Jude Duarte has learned to play games of politics and intrigue quite well. By manipulating her onetime nemesis, Cardan (the titular Cruel Prince of the previous book, rev. 1/18; and Wicked King of this one), onto the throne and binding his will to hers for a year and a day, Jude has bought time for her young foster brother, Oak, whom Madoc would have thrust into power and controlled from the shadows. Using all of her resources — her spy net work, her inability to be glamoured, and her innate physical and intellectual talents — Jude manages to keep Cardan’s numerous rivals in check. The growing trust between Jude and Cardan blossoms into an unlikely romance and ultimately a clandestine marriage — but one final betrayal threatens to undo all of Jude’s plans. The plot itself twists, turns, and dovetails perfectly with the assured character development; in this way, Black proves herself a master storyteller writing in the tradition of Megan Whalen Turner.

From the January/February 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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