Huge thanks to @feb_books and @yourstrulyjulietta for getting me on board The Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black. This series is really hyping on bookstagram and booktok, and with hype books I usually keep my expectations in check. In my opinion though, this series is worth the excitement. Although, I do have some beef with the last book…
The Cruel Prince
Superior to the follow-ups by far. Perhaps it’s because this is the first time we meet the world Holly Black builds so it starts off with a real bang. Worldbuilding is rich and lush, and I really enjoy all the animals and cultures of the Fae. It reminds me of Nancy Springer’s Book of Isle level of worldbuilding. Character wise Jude Duarte is such a bad-ass I don’t even have words. I think that her character comes off strongest in the first book so I suggest to enjoy it here. The “evil twin” trope plays out really well with Taryn, who aggravates me completely. UGH. Our main guy Cardan Greenbriar is really a riot. Sure he’s the badboy with a sad past trope but I still think it’s a very refreshing male character. I have so much fun bashing on Cardan with twitter and tiktok memes.
The Wicked King
I just think it’s really funny how the author kind of spoils her own plot with the titles of The Folk of the Air books, the descriptions, and also covers of the books. Aside from that, I liked the second book because it has some great Cardan and Jude relationship development. There is also a really cool part where Jude is trapped by the Queen of the Undersea and has to stay in the underwater court – dang! This was intense!
The Queen of Nothing
Alright, I’m slightly disappointed with the third book of The Folk of the Air because there is barely any Cardan and Jude moments. In the meanwhile, the political game isn’t as interesting as it is in the first book, so what kept me going was the euphoria of the previous installments. My main beef is that I find it very hard to belief that a Jude who is as kick-ass as she was portrayed in the first book just doesn’t realize the loop around Cardan’s sentence to exile her. Seriously? There are several more moments like this in The Queen of Nothing where I’m like really? Come on, you all were much more interesting before.
Despite the disenchanting third book I still enjoyed the series as a whole and am looking forward to the companion novella How the King of Elfhame came to Hate Stories. If you like this series, definitely consider Book of Isle by Nancy Springer.