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Presented by State Library Victoria

Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black

Hello! Post #3 of mine for the BTBR! I recently finished listening to the audiobooks of the Folk of the Air series (obviously) and I quite enjoyed it. As I listened to the audiobook I might spell things wrong, so sorry in advance if that happens.

But first – a couple of details! My ending date is February 29th (this year) and I will donate my raised money (even though not much so far…) to the CFA! Yay!


Now, back to my review! Here follows a blurb (from Goodreads) of book 1, The Cruel Prince.


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.



  1. Storyline
  2. Fey lore
  3. Characters and their character arc

+ a few minor points

So, of course, I like the storyline, but the crazy things that happen (looking at Cardan the giant serpent there) really keep the storyline going for me. Jude having to overcome challenges such as stabbing herself in the hand or getting Cardan under her power are a couple of very enjoyable and sometimes stressful things to listen to.

From my (limited) knowledge of fey lore, I can tell that Holly Black has done her research. Redcaps are, of course, real, in terms of traditional lore, as well as all fey not being able to lie and their ability to deceive and trick amongst other things. I’m sure she added her own twist on things, but the fact that this book followed some real fairytale ideas without filling itself with characters from said fairytales (sometimes that is a bit overdone in my opinion) was cool.

Cardan I think had the largest character arc, going from “I hate Jude” (at least on the outside…) to being very openly liking and perhaps not so openly infatuated with Jude. of course, Maddock (Madock?) had a character arc in a way, though perhaps it was his attitude towards Jude that changed. In fact, in the last book the whole (or most of) faerie went from hating, tricking and being generally cruel to mortals to openly showing their closeness to them. The characters such as Aurianna and Tarryn had very cool personalities and dynamics with Jude. Aurianna trusted Jude with some secrets but did not like Jude very much for her disobedience (kind of??) and lack of similarities to her, or at least her not getting back at Oak, which grew into a general dislike. Tarryn had a classic sibling relationship with Jude pulled into weird extremes because of their lives in faerie. She betrayed Jude for their father-ish but came to Jude for help, which I liked because it does reflect how lots of siblings operate.

Now for minor points time!

  • Thanks, Holly Black, for having Vivienne in a gay relationship, it is cool when authors add representation.
  • I like how originally Jude wanted to be a knight and then want power, I did not expect that of a faerie book, I would have thought it would have been about something much more stereotypical.
  • I have to say I really liked the way she phrased things and even though I don’t have any examples, I hope other people get what I’m saying.



I loved how you had both major and minor points! Great review! :)

28th Jan, 20

Thank you!

28th Jan, 20