I set off the year with this series not knowing that it would end up being one of my favourite Fantasy series of all time. It was one of my most anticipated read from my TBR. Let’s just say that, even though I am personally not a Faerie novel fan, it has turned me into one in the end.
This story is about a girl named Jude, who had witnessed her parents being murdered by her mother’s first husband at the age of seven along her twin sister and older sister, who then had taken them to live with him in the High Court of Faerie as the older sister is his only successor. After living there for a decade, going to school, being considered an outcast, always on the lookout to not get killed and bullied even just for the pleasure of it as she and her twin sister are mortals living among the folk. Most of the fey despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King and Jude’s nemesis, whom she tackles every opportunity to defy and then face the consequences.
Jude is in conflict with herself for wanting to stay in Faerie, when she has the choice of going back to live in the mortal world. She invests her time in practicing swordplay and strategy in hopes of finding herself a position in the High Court in order to belong with the other folk. To her, Faerie is her home and all she has ever known.
The book is set at a time where the High King of Elfhame is stepping down and wanting to choose one of his heirs to be his successor, and Jude gets tangled up in the politics, intrigues and deceptions of the palace. She uncovers her talents and capabilities for trickery and bloodshed. As the Courts of Faerie are surrounded by violence and betrayal, she discovers herself in a situation where she has to venture her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
A number of people might consider this book to be too dark for their taste, but for me that was one of the aspects that drew me to the story, in addition to the many unexpected turn of events. Holly Black’s writing is simply a masterpiece, giving us the exact amount of details and descriptions of the surroundings and the people to visualise the scenes to the best. These books will keep you on your toes, never anticipating what is to come next, and even when you think you do, it’s never what you guessed! Not even close!
The Cruel Prince
And no matter how eager you are for it, you cannot make the moon set nor rise any faster.The Cruel Prince, Holly Black
I was not disappointed, I went in with high expectations and they didn’t falter. The story kept me breathless to the point that I had to take a break between the first and the second part because of the intensity of the plot. Holly Black did an amazing work with this one.
I ended the book with these three questions: Do I think Jude found the best talent? No. Do I still love her anyway? Unquestionably. Do I hate Cardan? Arguably not.
The Wicked King
Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.The Wicked King, Holly Black
The story continues, and let me tell you, if you assumed the first book was intense, wait until you read this one. Amazing progressions, all the betrayals, the fact that we get to see more of the Merfolk, you learn more about the characters and fall deeper in love with them. It is such a brilliant sequel. I literally finished the book screaming. This is how shocking of a cliffhanger it ended on.
If you weren’t a big fan of the first book, I would still recommend for you to carry on with the sequel as it is on another level. By this point I was certifiably obsessed with this series.
The Queen of Nothing
A king is not his crown.The Queen of Nothing, Holly Black
I needed to find out what happens next after the way things ended in the second book. I couldn’t even imagine what would come about, so I went in blindly and it was remarkably intriguing to see what Holly Black had in store for us and she did plan our deaths with this one!
Absolutely loved it. I enjoyed the growth of the characters from the first book, which you can envision through their actions and decisions. Truly one of the best series I’ve encountered!
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories
Having a heart is terrible, but you need one anyway.How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, Holly Black
I am not an admirer of short novellas as from experience they have lessened my hype over the series. But I fell in love with The Folk of the Air badly, and I wanted any sort of additional content and this book did not let me down, especially with the wonderful graphics. Through this book I’ve gotten the much needed background story to Cardan’s journey throughout his childhood to when he got older and after being with Jude.
It is not obligatory for you to read this one, but if you were as curious as I was then go ahead and give it a read.
I would undoubtedly recommend this series to anyone who’s interested, I was not a fan of Faeries and still adored it. I will surely re-read these in a couple of years as I want to experience it all over again when it’s not as vivid in my memory as it is now.
My guilty pleasure is enemies to lovers novels, and Jude and Cardan’s relationship is too enchanting that it checks all the boxes for me. They have grown to be one of my favourite characters of all time.
Would I consider Jude a role model? Yes and no. I mean her talent is murdering people for starter. However, she is such a powerful character, who fights for what she believes is right and to keep her family and loved ones safe.
Let me know below if you are a fan of this series and what you like most about it. I’m very excited to hear your thoughts!
I’m extremely regretful that I have joined this fandom so late and missed my chance at securing the B&N exclusive editions which include additional content, especially Cardan’s letters in The Queen of Nothing, which have brought me unimaginable intense feelings when I read them online. Nonetheless, I still would like to get my hands on the physical copies, so if you know where I can find them, leave a comment below with the details, or you can simply send a DM on any of our social media accounts.
Would I have wanted this series to have a fourth book? Unquestionably yes! I want to know more about the future of Jude and Cardan. However, I suppose I can now move on to explore the other series on my list.