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  • Writer's pictureParmita Dubey

I Regret Not Reading THE FOLK OF THE AIR Series Sooner | book review

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

the cruel prince by holly black book cover

In an interesting turn of events, I decided to continue reading the FOLK OF THE AIR series by Holly Black. I’d originally dropped this trilogy after finishing CRUEL PRINCE, the first book in the trilogy. Maybe it was the hype or perhaps the timing just didn’t click when I first started the series.

This series continued to gain readership days after it concluded. I was still apprehensive to pick the second book. As fate would have it, some of my favorite booktubers mentioned this series citing that the series gets better with the second book and they weren’t particularly in love with the first book either. With a bit of reserve, I decided to give this series a second chance. (This series is also free on Kindle Unlimited and since I’m a subscriber, I didn’t have anything to lose.)

I’m so glad I gave the FOLK OF THE AIR trilogy a second chance. As it turns out, it’s now one of my favorite fantasy series ever. I would recommend it to every fantasy lover – be it a beginner or a veteran fantasy reader.

The characters grew on me even though I found them contrite and tiring in the first book. I loved how the protagonist, Jude, handled situations. She actively made choices and chose to act rather than sit and wait for things to happen to her. I empathized with her fears and understood her insecurities. The love interest, Caden, appeared to be bratty and obnoxious in the beginning. However, as we got glimpses of his past and the reasons behind his actions, he turned out to be an endearing character. The side characters played their parts well. Although, I do think they got away with some misdeeds without much of a consequence.

The storytelling is easy to follow and the writing is simple. Readers starting out with the fantasy genre will find FOLK OF THE AIR a comfortable read sans the complex world-building elements. We’re so familiar with the fae-story setup that you wouldn’t find anything missing even without the descriptions. Readers who prefer atmospheric stories with beautiful and newer worlds won’t find much to relish in this aspect.

The plot twists keep you glued to the pages and the action sequences make the narrative interesting. Although there are predictable events in the series, the anticipation isn’t diluted. You want more. Fortunately, I resumed this series when it was complete. Hence I didn’t have to deal with the gut-wrenching wait after a cliffhanger of an ending in the second book, WICKED KING. This particular book in the series is by far the best one. It’s action-packed with characters surprising you at every point. This book and the following one also show excellent character development for the main pairing. Jude and Caden are definitely one of my favorite OTPs now. <333

The series ends satisfactorily with QUEEN OF NOTHING (oh, I love this title!) leaving you wanting more in an I’ll-miss-these-characters way. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading WICKED KING and QUEEN OF NOTHING, the second and the third books in the series respectively. Had I read CRUEL PRINCE this year, maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more than I did back when it was newly released.

I totally recommend this series to fans of the SHADOW AND BONE series and GRACELING. It has one of the best female protagonists ever and a couple you would want to root for. It’s a fun fantasy series that’s quick to read and a great past-time. Gift the box set to yourself or your acquaintances this festive season (I probably will get one for myself since I unhauled the first book and read the rest of the series on Kindle.)

Let me know what your thoughts are on this series. If you haven’t picked it up yet, are you going to after reading my review? You can check out all my book reviews here and find the next book to read.

Till next time…

Happy Reading!

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