Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air
Ok, I know it took me WAY to long to get here. But I have loved Holly Blacks books since I was 14 years old and read Tithe. And that made me a bit apprehensive about reading The Folk of the Air since it is from the same world. What if I would not like it and it would taint my love for the Modern Faerie Tales Series? But I finally took courage and read The Cruel Prince, and here’s what I thought;
As children, Jude, her twin Taryn and their older sister Vivienne witnessed the murder of their parents and was taken to the High Court of Faerie by Madoc, Viviennes biological father. Ten years pass, during which Madoc has doted on all three of the girls as he sees them as his responsibility and has raised them all as his children. Jude has come to love Faerie and wants nothing more than to be a part of it. But humans are mostly despised by the fey.
So she has to fight to earn a place there only to be met with obstacles, ridicule and hate at almost every turn. Most directly by her fellow classmate Cardan, youngest son to the High King, and his friends. Taryn wants Jude to be docile and give them what they want so they will leave them alone, while Jude wants to show them that they are not so superior.
And one day, when she gets a chance to serve below one of the royal princes of Faerie, she jumps at the chance to prove herself and earn a place at High Court. And as she struggles on, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed.
Really intriguing and new. I have not come across many books even near this kind of situation that has been created and definitely not with this army of characters. With one knock on a door I was well and truly hooked. And it was a wonderfully eventful ride with a main character who will not give in to anyone.
It is set at a great pace where it is not high speed or a slow speed. It’s both by varying between the two depending on the situation and what needs time to be understood and what does not.
It is also a nice change with a YA book that does not focus on a romantic relationship. It’s in there, but it takes the sidecar and the focus is more on Jude herself and what she wants in life. And that is a kind of story we need more of in YA.
Is it weird that what I love most about it is its limitation? Or maybe it is just me who’s usually picturing Faerie as a more magical Wonderland.. Anyhow, I loved that it was not that. There is magic everywhere but it always has limits and simple things like salt or wearing your socks inside out can counter spells.
Other than that it’s just good. Can’t think of anything else that stands out to me, good or bad. I just know I liked it.
Jude: Strong and prideful are her main traits I’d say. Which is neither good nor bad, it gets her into trouble but saves her as just as much. I really enjoyed reading about her! It’s always nice getting to know a character who’s not the strait-laced hero type.
Cardan: Weak and strong at the same time. Sometimes I want to hug him and others punch him. Mostly punch though. But he is really a surprisingly complex guy with lots of issues.
Taryn: I have so many words, non of them good. I did not like her from the start. Such a simpering, weak, stupid, can’t do anything, spoiled… I can go on for ages, and it will end in a bad word starting with C that I will not spell out. She’s just an embodiment of soooo many traits I hate in people.
Vivienne: Can I order her to be my friend IRL anywhere? Seriously, I love kindhearted, strong rebels! Even if they are a bit stubborn at times.
Madoc: He’s a warrior fey trough and through. He loves and honours loyalty the only way he knows how with his thirst for war, and live with the mindset kill or be killed.
This is a mess that I loved to explore! So many people, so little time. But we got the most out of it. Almost every persons action have a reason and explanation. And if it does not, it still makes sense.
I was especially intrigued by the relationship between Jude and Madoc. Loving your parents murderer as a father figure, that’s seldom seen in literature or anywhere else.
We get romance, complicated family, love hate relationships and so much more! There is just so much that I can’t get my mind to focus on one or two. Loved how well this web was created, written and executed!
I truly loved it and read the whole book in one day, just could not stop reading it! The only thing that I found negative was that I saw some plot twists coming and therefore was not surprised or moved by them. But that was almost balanced out by Jude who’s actions I had a hard time predicting, but the others moves and motivations was just a tad a bit too easy to predict sometimes. But a strong 4,5! And I will move on to The Wicked King with high spirits!
You guys who has read Tithe; It’s fascinating that Jude is more Faerie than Kaye! What society you grow up in really can make up a huge difference. I wonder if Holly Black thought about this while writing. What do you think?