Are The Cruel Prince & The Wicked King Worth The Hype?? (collab with Kerys!)

As you MIGHT know, I am obsessed with The Folk Of The Air series by Holly Black.

Jude and Cardan fill me with so much love I cannot even begin to explain how much they entirely own my heart!!!

So in celebration of how much I LOVE these characters (as well as the world, the dynamics, the writing, the…uhm everything), I decided to re-read both books with my awesome friend Kerys.

After the re-read, we thought it’d be cool if we asked each other questions about both books to serve as reviews and post them on our blog. I’m so excited to be collaborating with Kerys today because she is truly a light in the blogging community and I appreciate her and her blog SO MUCH!

Check out Kerys’ post for the collab here!

Also, is this post just going to be a love letter to this series? Yeah. (spoiler: yes, both books are worth the hype)

Click here to jump to my review of The Cruel Prince (no spoilers!)
Click here to jump to my review of The Wicked King (spoilers for book one)

THE CRUEL PRINCE

Holly Black // 4 STARS.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

If you were any character in The Cruel Prince, who would you be?

I forgot how intensely I relate to Jude’s character. I mean, I’m not a murderer OF COURSE. But how she makes a list of all the times that show she was vulnerable and how she never talks about them? Me. How she knows she shouldn’t mess with Cardan and all his mean friends but can’t stop herself because she doesn’t care? Me. How she hates everyone and hates herself? Me. How she is seen by weak as everyone and is desperate to prove that she’s not? ME.

I don’t know if I could BE Jude – she’s so terrifying, never cries, and is determined to a point that is beyond my understanding – but her perseverance to not back down even though it’s the easier thing to do hits so close to home for me.

Which side character is your favourite?

First of all, I find Vivi and Heather’s romance so cute and adorable?! But I think in this book probably Vivi because her just wanting to piss Madoc off at all times is SO FUNNY and makes me laugh. I would genuinely read a spin-off series about Vivi because she seems so complex and intriguing and I lowkey wish her character was fleshed out more.

Do you think you could survive in Faerie?

We all know that I’m a useless mortal and would probably forget to wear a charm that one time and die. If I was trained from birth to like sword fight and be cool, then MAYBE. But let’s be real, I would probably die as soon as I stepped foot into Faerie.

If Jude and Cardan were dying and you could only save one who would you save?

THIS IS THE MEANEST QUESTION. But look, Cardan is my entire life and I love him okay. OKAY?! And Jude is more likely to survive than Cardan since she trains more and is just bad-ass overall. Cardan is secretly soft and is bad at fighting and surviving in general, so I’d rescue him.

Also is this a good time to say that I LOVE Cardan. Like…how he askes Taryn to kiss both his cheeks as he watches Jude standing there helplessly…Am I A Horrible Person Because I Love Cardan…probably.

And Cardan getting beaten and punished breaks my heart. And Jude just watching,, I’m a mess. I love that Cardan’s not getting a redemption arc, but it’s showing, just like Jude said, that’s he’s real. Not good. But real.

What was your favourite aspect of this book?

Apart from Jude Duarte, the romance in this book is suffocatingly good and I am thoroughly obsessed. Every time Jude and Cardan are in the same room and b r e a t h e, I will have a heart attack. I LOVE THEIR DYNAMIC WITH MY WHOLE SOUL.

Click here to read about why I love JudexCardan so much!! (spoilers)

Jude pressing a dagger to Cardan’s throat as they kiss and her LIKING the thrill of kissing him and Cardan being reluctant at first but then giving in? Yeah sorry about that mess on the floor, THAT’S ME CRYING AWAY
BECAUSE of MY FEELS!! This is one of my favourite fictional kisses EVER!!

There are just countless things I love about them and some of my favourite scenes include; Jude dancing with cardan, Jude watching cardan basically shirtless with two girls kissing him. Also JUDE AND CARDAN KISSING. Jude finding Cardan’s page with her name written over and over again. I don’t know how she hasn’t figured out how obsessed he is with her??!
Click here to read my bonus rant about Taryn and Locke (spoilers)

Okay look, I don’t know how I tolerated Locke last time but reading about him now makes my blood boil. He’s manipulative in a very sly way. At least Cardan is outright mean to Jude but Locke is playing Jude in this game with her and Taryn and JUDE DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING. Jude is trusting Taryn and Locke and they’re both cheating her and it makes me angry. I hate Jude Jude feels special because a faerie is looking at her as something good, not as less, but it’s not real and no one deserves that.

Also, I HATE TARYN. Why would she even want someone like Locke when he would do something so evil to her own sister? EH?! I don’t get it. I hate her whole “oh they’ll never treat us nicely so we might as well go along with them.” attitude. It’s rubbish and i don’t understand it at all. I understand Jude’s motives MUCH more which is why I LOVE JUDE SO MUCH.

SPOILERS FOR BOOK ONE BELOW!

THE WICKED KING

Holly Black // 5 STARS.

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.


How were the plot twists and the pace of this book?

First, can I just say this book was mind-blowingly GOOD? Like the twists and the turns, everything is so genius and stabby and I just fell in love. Whew.

This book just levels up from the cruel prince. The pacing is a lot better here or maybe the events were just WAY more interesting. Whatever it was, I was gripped the whole time.

I was kinda left,,, DEAD after that last-minute plot twist at the end. Like I KNEW something was coming because HOLLY BLACK but still. I didn’t expect my heart to be shattered completely!! Basically, this book was SO ENJOYABLE and I want to scream about how good it was forever. (i’m a mess)

What were your thoughts on the romance in this book?

OKAY, SO IT’S CONFIRMED. 
HOLLY BLACK IS TRYING TO KILL ME BY WRITING THE MOST INTENSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JUDE ARE CARDAN BECAUSE WHENEVER THEY’RE IN THE SAME ROOM I CANNOT BREATHE. 


Iconic Jude and Cardan scenes (spoilers)

-Cardan stealing Jude’s ring while he kisses her hand. 
-Cardan sleeping in Jude’s bed and saying “Kiss me until I’m sick of it” I SCREAMED. 
-THE REVEL THING where Jude takes off her dress and Cardan describes her as beautiful. 
-Then they dance…and they’re both aware of how close they are. How do i breathe again? 
-chapter fifteen 
-CHAPTER FIFTEEN 
-”how should i come to her? Like this.” 
-”THIS IS A BAD IDEA.” 
-CHAPTER FIFTEEN 
-”Are you afraid of me, Jude?” 
-”I hate you.” 
-WHEN CARDAN ASKS HER ABOUT LAST NIGHT AND SHE SAYS INNOCENTLY, “just to get it out of her system.” what a liar. 
-cardan sacrificing his reputation to get Jude out of the undersea 
-cardan worrying about Jude and realising how he is mean to everyone he loves. 
-cardan’s cheeks going pink and asking what Jude likes about him 
-Jude just sitting there SHOCKED. I would be too 
-”crawl to me” 
-Cardan saying “nice dress” to Jude. 
-cardan being poisoned and kissing Jude in front of everyone and Jude not knowing how to react. 
-OH 
-GOSH 
-Cardan and Jude getting married. 

Which character did you change opinion on over the two books?

Vivi becomes annoying. I expected to like her more in this book, but she doesn’t treat Heather with respect AT ALL. There’s nothing even interesting about her character anymore and I’m just starting to really dislike her. I think she had potential but ugh, no.

Thoughts on the side characters?

Nicasia –> I actually am so interested in her. I lived for her and Jude’s interactions – because they were so well-written and the hatred is REAL. She’s super unlikable and that’s exactly why I like her, oops.
Taryn –> We all know that Taryn is the ultimate traitor and I just, hate her.
I know she sometimes tries her best but most of the time? She’s trash.
Locke –> I really wouldn’t mind if this guy dies. However, he DOES make the story very dramatic so I have to give him that.
Cardan –> ugh he’s SO DEVELOPED in this book and seeing more of his backstory pains me so much?? how dare??
Madoc –> DUDE HE’S SO SNEAKY. But also dumb. He underestimates Jude way too much and like, mate, USE YOUR BRAIN.

Someone’s just read the Wicked King – What would you suggest they read/do now?

Scream with me.

I honestly don’t know!! Like, all I can do is wail about how FAR AWAY Queen of Nothing’s release is and remember that Holly Black really Did That. I haven’t been obsessed with a series in so long so I am just at a loss about how much of a mess I AM over this series. Right now I’m just uh, anticipating the third book and hoping that everyone gets a happy ending (please).

Have you read The Folk of The Air series? What’s one OTP that has your heart racing? Have you checked out Kerys’ post? And let me know about a series you are OBSESSED with? Talk to me in the comments!

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28 thoughts on “Are The Cruel Prince & The Wicked King Worth The Hype?? (collab with Kerys!)”

  1. I agree with everything, and I am STILL screaming about all of those iconic Jude and Cardan scenes! You made a perfect list, and I’m a mess! I loved The Wicked King so much more than The Cruel Prince, and I don’t know if I can handle waiting for the last book!

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  2. I am so with you on Jude and Cardan’s relationship. At the end of Cruel Prince, I was thinking it would get all spirally and great but I couldn’t have expected how much I would absolutely fall IN LOVE with their relationship. It’s just such an amazing hate-to-love arc that is so difficult to get right but every scene with Jude and Cardan together is my favorite scene. (also, side note, still screaming about the ending because WHAT WAS THAT) I’m also getting a little tired of Vivi’s attitude. Like she didn’t think to prepare Heather AT ALL for meeting Madoc and everyone. She says she just wants a normal life in the mortal world and she cares so much about Heather but she doesn’t think to tell her what to do in Faerie. I just cannot with her.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. Agh every minute passes and grow more in love with their relationship!! It’s just SO well written. The angst, the drama, their every moment together. AGH. I like them so much because it’s not hate-to-love, it’s hate AND love and I adore that so much. AND I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HOLLY BLACK did that??!

      and oh gosh same. I liked her at first but in book two she was UNBEARABLE! she’s too reckless for my liking 😦

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  3. While I wasn’t sure about the romance in The Cruel Prince, I fell in love with them COMPLETELY in The Wicked King 😌💖 Also, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who disliked Vivi in TWK, I thought she was terrible, especially the way she treated Heather was so bad! Heather deserved so much better, and I don’t even feel like she truly felt bad about it? Anyway! I loved this blog post, it was super interesting and fun!

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  4. I love this post, great collaboration! I just finished Wicked King (and my own review) so I was intrigued when I saw the title of this post.
    I think we are in argument re many of the aspects of Cruel Prince/Wicked King. Oh my gosh! I loved all those romantic moments in Wicked King, particularly chapter 15. I love how he gives up so much to rescue her from the Undersea.
    Am I right in thinking you enjoyed Wicked King more than Cruel Prince?

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  5. These books sound SO SO GOOD! Now I want to read them even more!! The characters sound amazing 😍😍
    You honestly have the best recommendations! I’m currently reading ‘This Savage Song’ and I’m LOVING it!
    I’ve really missed reading your blog! Can’t wait to catch up on everything!
    ~Sasha xx

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  6. *tumbles into the comments to scream with you* Whyyyyy is Holly Black here to KILL US ALL THOUGH. I’m sobbing and like wrecked and also in love and entranced by the whole thing?! I love that Cardan is so so much more real but I want to know what he’s thinking. Like did he do You Know What AT The End to protect her because he loves her??? Or is this whole thing a game to him to actually win against her? jafkdlsad I love Jude so much. She is powerful and also needs a nap so bad. Agreed about Vivi though. I did lose a lot of respect for her.😭I HATE Taryn and Locke argh. And I like Madoc but in the way that I like that he’s complex and that he underestimates Jude so then she can get back at him. 😏They have such a messed up relationship and it’s so interesting to read. Ugh this whole series is messed up and I CANNOT LOOK AWAY.

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    1. WHERE IS QUEEN OF NOTHING. this whole series requires very strong vocal cords bc SCREAM. and also can we get cardan pov in book 3? IT’S WHAT WE DESERVE FOR SUFFERING THROUGH SO MUCH PAAIIIIN. everyone has the most messed up relationships what is going on i don’t know but i love it and a mess HJGSHFGDHFGHDGF

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