This is the sequel to The Cruel Prince. The review for that is here if you missed it.
Rating: A ruby dagger straight to the heart
Highlight of note: This line: "There was no assassination. It was a romantic misunderstanding... The king is bad at romance."
Will you read the next book in the series? As soon as I can get my hands on it.
This is the second of a series focusing on a human named Jude who lives in Faerieland. It picks up a few months after the first book and ends in a way that makes me desperate for the next installment. It's one of those series where I'm torn between saying "Everyone should read this!" and "Everyone should wait for the conclusion to be available and then read this!" because the wait for book three is going to be excruciating.
It's hard to say much about this book without spoiling at least the first installment. But the plot is gripping, particularly in the second half, which I read in one sitting, and the interpersonal connections between the characters are complex and vivid.
Jude is highly intelligent, but makes mistakes. And she and I have very different takes on the Wicked King of the title, so I'm anxious to get to the third book and see which of us is right about him.
This is a story of court politics, of personal pain, of outright cruelty, and of reluctant love. It has a painful beauty that I can't recommend enough.
Below you'll find the notes I took as I read. Clearly, they contain major spoilers.
25% "There was no assassination. It was a romantic misunderstanding... The king is bad at romance." Lol. That line makes this whole book.
30% She says she wishes she'd asked Cardan his true name when she had a crossbow trained on him. But he'll do anything she commands for the next seven months, so why doesn't she just command him to tell her now?
47% I love the way he makes her say she hates him. She doesn't seem to have caught the implications of his response. "I want to tell you so many lies." He doesn't say he hates her, because he can only tell the truth. Also, this is a great line: "Of all the things he's ever done to me, making me like him so much is by far the worst."
53% Vivi has not told her human girlfriend the wedding they're going to is in Faierieland. Or that Faerielands exists. Or that she's a faerie. Is she trying to cause a psychotic break and then get her ass dumped?
53% The human girlfriend actually came. So that went better than I would have thought. Although there's still time for psychological trauma.
58% I wonder if Cardan knows Jude's lying about not wanting him anymore. I hope he does.
60% Points to Cardan for handling his brother so well.
67% Yeah, human girlfriend isn't going to take being turned into a half-cat well... Holy shit. Vivi glamored her. I had wondered if she ever had before, but now I'm assuming she has. That's not going to end well if the girlfriend ever learns about it.
68% And Locke was the one trying to kill Jude. Which explains both motive and why the soliders were so inempt.
70% Ghost served Dain, not Jude. I wonder if the rest of the Shadow Court feels the same way or if the Bomb and the Roach are looking for her now.
72% Nicasia seduced the smith. I had wondered why they were hanging out.
100% Holy shit! That ending! Wow... Just... Wow. That was really well done. And Jude clearly doesn't understand Cardan's motive in exiling her. She'd be dead within days if he didn't. She thinks he was just trying to get rid of her, but I think he was protecting her. He could, after all, have just used his brother's death as an excuse to execute her.