2019, Books, reviews

The Folk of the Air Trilogy

Book #1 – The Cruel Prince
Originally published: 2018
Author: Holly Black
Country: USA
Genres: Young Adult/Fantasy

Synopsis: A human girl, her twin and her half-fae sister are kidnapped and taken into a magical world. Growing up is difficult but Jude wants to be accepted and will do whatever it takes to be taken seriously.

Book #2 – The Wicked King
Originally published: 2019
Author: Holly Black
Country: USA
Genres: Young Adult/Fantasy

Synopsis: Sequel, so I won’t spoil it. More entertaining than the first.

Conclusion coming 2020

This is a much loved series that I unfortunately don’t care for. Here’s why:

Writing style: I’ve learned that I don’t like Holly Black’s writing style (I didn’t like it in The Darkest Part of the Forest) and her characters annoy the shit out of me. However, I liked the political intrigue and backstabbing, which drove the plot in the last part of the story.  Also, ensorcelled is a stupid word and it annoyed me she used it like 10 times in the first half of the first book. Get a thesaurus already! I couldn’t stand it and it pulled me out of the story every time, contributing to my dislike of her writing style. Luckily the story was interesting enough or else I would’ve DNF’d.

World building: I don’t believe this Faerie world. Nothing about it is appealing and it truly grosses me out. The foods, the people, the ambiance is just nasty to me and idk why Jude wants to stay. I understand fae aren’t supposed to be good and the world is to be magical. But for some reason, her descriptions and and word choices just felt like she’s trying to throw some medieval feel, coupled with some magic and madeup words, to make us believe this is a fantastical (or ensorcelled?) world that just wasn’t believable to me. On that note, on to all the shitty characters!

Characters: I really can’t stand Jude. She is immature, dumb, naive and just annoying. I think she deserves everything she gets, especially because she thinks she’s so sly and smart. I didn’t think Taryn and Locke could be worse, but they are. But it just makes me laugh. And Madoc…oh boy. But Cardan is pretty clever, I’ll give you that! This is definitely not a story with any redeemable or likable characters, which is fine to me. However, the relationships/friendships are all toxic and backwards and everyone truly is horrible. Which makes for good drama but this definitely felt like Black just took every high school cliche out there and threw them into a faerie setting. Also, if you’ve read The Darkest Part of the Forest, you’ll recognize some characters (Severin for example) or references (the swords), which is cool.

Now on to some good things…it wasn’t all bad!

The covers and hardbacks are beautiful. There are also other editions

The fanart for the series is pretty badass. These are all from PhantomRin that I pulled via the Wiki page for the series:

Final verdict: I didn’t enjoy either of these books. I am curious about what will happen in the third installment, due 2020. However, I am not holding my breath and I don’t understand all of the hype. While I understand that I am in the minority, I’ve also discovered I am not alone and that plenty of other’s didn’t like this series. Perhaps it’s a situation of “It’s Me, Not You” but then again, you can’t polish a turd, no matter how much pretty foiling you put on it.

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