The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King, The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Of course, I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

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.

blurb from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Published: January 2018/ January 2019/November 2019

Publishers: Hot Key Books

Total Pages: 997

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Series Star Rating: 🌟🌟🌟


Warning: Some spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

I had seen this book so many times and I feel that I had no other choice but to dive into the trilogy. I borrowed these books from my library because I didn’t know for sure if I wanted to buy them.

This series does fall into the trope of enemies to lovers, and it does an excellent job of building it up to lovers, you could feel the intensity between Jude and Cardan from hatred to care to love. Cardan was such a typical bully and it reflectively mirrored his upbringing by his older brother, growing up he was mistreated by everyone around him, when he and his friends started to bully Jude, you knew for a fact that he was interested in her. Jude challenged him and it brought out the feelings that they both felt towards one another. I have to admit that Jude is not the best protagonist but she does try to fix and bend the mistakes that she had made, I admire her determination to find a place in the Elfhame whether it was to be a knight or a spy or even an advisor to the High King.

Personally, I feel that The Wicked King was the better book out of all three of them. But I cannot understand how short it was (It might be because I have read bigger books), I liked learning about the lore of the faire world and I was ok with the plot. But I wanted something more, something to bite my teeth into, if I had read this during the release period I probably would have not bothered continuing the series. The Wicked King had more of a story plot with the potential attack against Ursula (sorry, Queen Orlagh) and I liked the growing faction of The Court of Shadows, I wasn’t invested when I was reading TCP but in TWK I liked how Jude was able to take command.

There are a few problematic moments throughout the trilogy, one of them being how Jude was able to get more political in TWK and TQON, she just strode into the council and sat at the table as if she knew what she was doing. Another is how quickly Jude and Taryn were brought back together, I may have read the last two books back to back but it felt so easy to forget what Taryn did at the end of TWK and to allow Jude help her twin sister.

I also want to mention, how brilliant the symbolism with the covers of the books and how connected they are to the plot. The Cruel Prince, obviously referring to Cardan but the crown hanging from a tree branch because he doesn’t want to be King, The Wicked King, crown under water referring to the attack from the Queen Orlagh and The Queen of Nothing a tidbit joke from Vivi that Jude became Queen but can’t rule because she is exile, ice referring to the first part in the book when Jude is with Madoc and his troops, the broken crown that Cardan snaps and then he turns into the snake.

I can definitely understand how much hype there was because Holly Black does a brilliant job in creating the world and all the characters in it. It felt like a game of which one do I hate the most because this series made you distrust all of the characters, it felt very ominous when Nicasia told Jude that someone would betray her in TWK and pretty much all the characters did that not just one. Although I was not surprised about Locke because Locke = Loki the trickster in Norse Mythology, I wasn’t surprised about his antics in the first book and I was quite satisfied with what happened to him in the final book, even though we didn’t get to see it.

I didn’t know how long this review was going to be and I feel like I could write up more but I’ll leave it. I did enjoy the series and I stayed up until 4 am last Sunday to finish The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing (what? I couldn’t sleep and I needed to know what happened). I wouldn’t say I am a diehard fan but I can respect it at a distance.

I hope you are having a great day, I will be uploading my wrap-up soon and I have to admit it’s bigger than Januarys. I am 16 books ahead on my Goodreads Challenge, I wished it was like this in the first lockdown, I would have gone through a lot more books last year if I wasn’t on my laptop all day.

Happy Reading

2 responses to “Series Review | The Folk in the Air Trilogy by Holly Black”

  1. J (Midnight Book Blog) avatar

    Interesting thoughts! I remember liking the wicked king best too. My biggest complaint was the pacing in spots

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steph Burton avatar

      Yeah, I totally agree xx


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