Two hardcover copies of the The WIcked King on top of a navy and green crocheted blanket

16. The Wicked King by Holly Black

Happy Spring, listeners! In Episode 16 we discuss The Wicked King by Holly Black, the much-awaited sequel to The Cruel Prince.

Content warning: emotional and physical child abuse.

ChildHelp – Child Abuse Assistance – Call 1-800-422-4453 if you or someone you know is the victim of child abuse

Below you can find links to all of the topics and references that came up in our conversation. And 10 points to Gryffindor if you can count the number of times K say the word “fascinating”. Is it the shiny, new replacement for “interesting”?? Only time will tell.

  • If, like us, you’ve ever had a hard time distinguishing between an anti hero and a villain, you can refer to this informative post.
  • K mentions all the drama from the February 2019 Cohen hearing. This NYT Opinion piece captures the essence of Mark Meadows’ playing the “victim card” and derailing the proceedings with some white fragility bs. Also, this Vox article is a pretty good take on the entire debacle.
  • If you have a few hours (and a desire to do intense intellectual gymnastics), here’s the passage of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) where the Lord/Bondsman dialectic appears. But maybe if you don’t have time or energy to read Hegel you’d prefer this more accessible Philosophy Bro piece (it’s funny). Or heck, we’re not above Sparknotes sometimes.
  • Money is confusing. So are bitcoins. Thank goodness for informational youtube videos.
  • Jameela Jamil often talks about enthusiastic consent and other general patriarchy-destroying topics (huzzah!). See her witty and poignant speech at the 2019 Makers Conference.
  • K brings up Professor Jennifer Nash’s book The Black Body in Ecstasy (Duke UP, 2014). Other contemporary voices talking about the importance of pleasure include adrienne marie brown in her new book Pleasure Activism (AK Press, 2019).
  • J enthusiastically recommends books by Jasmine Guillory!
  • The poem that K references and can’t remember the name of is “Goblin Market” (written 1859, published 1862) by Christina Rossetti. It’s a great read if you have a few minutes!
  • Brené Brown’s work on shame and guilt is straightforward. This Ted talk provides a good overview of the challenges of confronting shame. But there are so many resources out there about the difference between the two.
  • We talk about parenting for a bit in this episode. K recently read an incredible article about Inuit parenting techniques. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Transcript to come Spring 2021

As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical folx. Post or tweet about the show using #criticallyreading. Let us know what you think of the episode, anything we missed, or anything else you want us to know by dropping a line in the comments or reaching out to us on twitter or Instagram (@thelibrarycoven), or via email ( You can also check out the show notes on our website,

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JK, it’s magic is recorded and produced on stolen indigenous land: Arapahoe, Cheyenne, and Ute (Kelly) and Chickasha, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Mascoutin, Miami, Mesquaki, Odawa, Ojibwe, Peankashaw, Peoria, Potawatomi, Sauk, and Wea (Jessie)

You can support Indigenous communities by donating to Mitakuye FoundationNative Women’s Wilderness, or the Navajo Water Project. These suggested places came from @lilnativeboy