7 Weleful Things about Holly Black’s “The Wicked King”

“The Wicked King”

The Folk of the Air #2

by Holly Black

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Jude Duarte, kingmaker, has been secretly ruling Faerie for five months. Five months of politics, meetings, parties, correspondences, petitions, training, and banquets all while keeping the reluctant High King Cardan, in line and trying to find a way to extend their bargain so she can keep her power. But then Jude finds herself in the Undersea and captive to Orlagh, Queen of the Undersea. With no means to escape, Jude must hope that Cardan tires of ruling without her help and comes to rescue her before he loses the kingdom to his murderous brother Balekin.

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7 Weleful Things about Holly Black’s “The Wicked King”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Characters

Characters in The Folk of the Air series are complex, believable, and relatable. Not one character is absolutely good or evil. The main protagonist Jude is power hungry and manipulative. Taryn, her good-natured, well-behaved sweet sister betrays her for a boy. And even Balekin, who is mostly an evil bastard, has some redeeming qualities.

2. The Undersea

Faerieland in The Folk of the Air is enchanting and magical. Filled with countless beings of all shapes, sizes, and colors, it is apparent that Holly Black was inspired by many different myths, legends, and folklore about faeries. In “The Wicked King” readers get to experience more of the land of Faerie and get to see the world of the Undersea and more of Orlagh’s merpeople and selkies.

3. Writing

Holly Black keeps a fast pace in “The Wicked King” with political intrigue, deceptions, and manipulations. Readers are left not sure on who to trust and trying to figure out who is pulling the strings on whom. With a fantastic imagination, Black blasts us through this Faerieland adventure that is hard to put down.

4. Cardan

Cardan really starts to grow into a more likable character in “The Wicked King.” Not only is he embracing not being cruel but he begins to understand that as a king, he does have some responsibilities to his people. And thankfully, it seems that the land accepts Cardan.

5. Jude & Cardan

Probably this readers favorite aspect of The Folk of the Air series as she is a sucker for romance, the relationship between Jude and Cardan is exhilarating and frustrating. Both of them have feelings for each other but are both so afraid of rejection and getting hurt that they are constantly denying their feelings and are pretty volatile towards each other. And then without talking about their feelings they just went ahead and got married. Idiots.

6. Balekin

This reader would like to take a moment to celebrate that this asshole is dead, hoorah! Manipulative, sadistic, murderous, deceptive, abusive, the list could go on. Balekin was clearly a villain and yet, Cardan couldn’t bring himself to have him executed. This shows how unmonstrous Cardan actually is and that for all the outward appearance of being cold and uncaring, he is actually soft-hearted and feels deeply. It also reminds readers that it was Balekin who took Cardan in when he was abandoned by their father because of a prophecy.

7. The Queen of Nothing

Jude’s adventure concludes in Book 3 of The Folk of the Air series, “The Queen of Nothing.”


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Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

4 Heroic Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Chaos”


Hearts of Chaos

Deadglass Book 3

by Kira Brady

Nikki’s Rating: 4 out of 10

Summary:  While Emory rules with an iron-fist and expects a dutiful, compliant, dainty wife, his betrothed Lucia is defiant, outspoken, and challenges Emory at every turn. Destined to save their world and the Kivati, a race of shapeshifters, Emory and Lucia must find a way to each other’s hearts and destroy the ancient goddess Tiamet before its too late.

4 Heroic Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Chaos”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Babylonian Myths

The Deadglass series features a lot of lore from the religion of ancient Babylon and in “Hearts of Chaos” we finally get to see the Babylonian Goddess of Primordial Chaos, Tiamet. She has an interesting backstory and learning about unfamiliar lore, myths, and religion of other cultures is always fascinating.

2. Adventures

“Hearts of Chaos” follows Lucia and Emory through the Land of the Dead. Like a tale of old, they must complete tasks set by the gods to test different strengths. It was most intriguing to find out what the trials were and see how the characters overcame them.

3. Lucia and Emory

The best part of “Hearts of Chaos” was watching Lucia and Emory find respect, friendship, and then eventually love with one another. While some of their traits were drastically different, they were able to find common ground in their values, and realize that they really weren’t that different.

4. Happy Ending

“Heart of Chaos” concludes Kira Brady’s Deadglass series and thankfully while the world at large experienced drastic changes and all were affected by loss throughout the novels, there is a happy ending and hope for the future.

What are your favorite things about “Hearts of Chaos”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

4 Hopeful Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Shadow”

Hearts of Shadow

Deadglass Book 2

by Kira Brady

Nikki’s Rating: 4 out of 10

Summary:  Grace Mercer must fight wraiths every day now that the world has plummeted into chaos due to the Unraveling. Caught in the middle of the war between the Kivati shapeshifters and the Drekar, dragon shifters, Grace is simply trying to survive like all other humans but Leif Asgard is convinced she is more than that. As Leif and Grace hunt for answers to save the world, something ancient begins to hunt them and the only way to save each other is to embrace the love they’ve been desperately denying.

4 Hopeful Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Shadow”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Grace Mercer

Grace reminds me so much of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium series. Both women are abrasive and downright rude but love deeply and are extremely loyal. Like Lisbeth, Grace kicks some major ass and takes shit from nobody.

2. The Lore

While novels featuring supernaturals are nothing new, I appreciate Kira Brandy bringing different elements into her universe. In “Hearts of Shadow,” the incorporation of runes to protect and actually use in battle was very interesting. And the Deadglass series features dragon-shifters, which is totally awesome!

3. Sweltering

Things heat up in “Hearts of Shadow” as Grace and Leif give in to their desires.

4. Hearts of Chaos

While Grace and Leif got their happily-ever-after, their world is in deep shit, Tiamat has awoken. The Deadglass series continues in Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Chaos.”

What are your favorite things about “Hearts of Shadow”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.