Author: Holly Black (Page 1 of 3)

REVIEW: The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black

REVIEW: The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly BlackThe Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A powerful curse forces the exiled Queen of Faerie to choose between ambition and humanity in this highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy from a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

He will be the destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan's betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her twin sister, Taryn, whose life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict's bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity . . .

Review:

The Queen of Nothing was a breathtaking conclusion!  With so much up in the air, the story felt as though it moved faster, so I wasn’t able to put this book down.  Especially when pieces of the puzzle came together that I never even knew belonged to it in the first place.  So while I guessed a few things right, like the ending, others took me by complete and utter surprise.  If you’re a fan of fantasy, you definitely need this series in your life.  Some of my favorite things were…..

It’s okay to want something that’s going to hurt, I remind myself. I move toward him, so we are close enough to touch.

Jude had come so far.  I laughed, I cheered and I rooted for Jude every step of the way.  She was capable of doing the unthinkable many times and proved why she was a heroine we could look up to and respect.  I loved Jude with every fiber of my being!

“Mock me all you like. Whatever I imagined then, now it is I who would beg and grovel for a kind word from your lips.” His eyes are black with desire. “By you, I am forever undone.”

Then there was Cardan.  He will forever have a place in my heart.  Even if he tortured it a time or two…or more, he made it so happy.  I loved the moments that showed how much he cared.  I loved that he could be sweet.  I was shocked when the words perfect left my mouth to describe him.  Because that was exactly what he had become to me by the end of this trilogy.

“I never wanted to be your enemy,” I say. “But I didn’t want to be in your power, either.” With that, I take off through the snow. I do the one thing I told myself I would never do.

Relationships were pivotal in this story,  and they all had their personal struggles.  So I loved watching many push through hardships, heartache and get past where they were even comfortable.  I loved even more watching them each find their way.  So the fact that many relationships were mended by the end of this trilogy made me ecstatic.  My heart was so happy, I didn’t expect as much as we were given.  Especially the redemption arc of a certain character.

We stare at each other for long moments, breathing hard. His eyes are bright with something entirely different from anger.
I am in over my head. I am drowning.

The stakes kept getting higher and higher.  I was so nervous for them and actually gasped out loud.  I cried.  And this story gave me the chills.  With tricky riddles, life and death situations, and huge risks, this story felt larger then life.  But there were also quieter moments that resonated with my soul.  Every part of this story was a favorite to me.

“It’s you I love,” he says. “I spent much of my life guarding my heart. I guarded it so well that I could behave as though I didn’t have one at all. Even now, it is a shabby, worm-eaten, and scabrous thing. But it is yours.” He walks to the door to the royal chambers, as though to end the conversation. “You probably guessed as much,” he says. “But just in case you didn’t.”

With twists and turns, The Queen of Nothing held me in the palm of her hand.  With a HEA for those we love and a HFN for others I’ve come to care for, I absolutely loved this book.  Trust came to be.  And caring did too.  Two words that seemed to not exist between Jude and Cardan back in the beginning of their story.  And those letters at the end?!  Oh my.  They were everything and ended their story beautifully!

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly BlackThe Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.
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Review:

It seems hopeless to fight something so vast. It seems ridiculous to believe we can win.

Traps are set, plays are made and so much is shrouded in shadows.  The Wicked King was a fabulous follow up to The Cruel Prince and I couldn’t put this book down!  I would feel giddy one moment and terrified the next, I was constantly left reeling with my thoughts and emotions.  With traitors, tricks and betrayal cutting deep into the pages, this book was a fabulous addition to this series!

“For a moment,” he says, “I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.”
I make a face at him. “And what made you decide it wasn’t?”
He grins up at me. “They missed.”

Jude had to use blood, sweat and tears to survive in the world of Fairy.  So of course I loved the fight and fire within her!  She went on so many times when others wouldn’t.  But at the same point, she had her limits.  So I was cheering her on when she would take a stand against Cardan and the others, I loved that she refused to be controlled.   But I also loved that Jude was smart and cunning.  As she slowly started putting pieces of the puzzle together, I was terrified what would become of her.  Because even when the odds were against her, she was brave, true to herself and fought like a warrior!  She did not back down.  In some situations, she had to play along with their deadly games just to survive.  And my heart felt like it was cute open and bleeding for her.  I just wanted her to have allies.  But most of all, I wanted that allie to be Cardan.  Yet I never truly knew where he stood.

Our eyes meet, and something dangerous sparks.
He hates you, I remind myself.
“Kiss me again,” he says, drunk and foolish. “Kiss me until I am sick of it.”

Months later of Cardan being High King, he still tried to hurt Jude with his words.  With partying and not seeming to take his job seriously, he could be such a little shit.  But at the same point, he wasn’t.  So while I didn’t always understand the meaning behind his actions, many of them still made my heart happy.  Like when he would stand up to someone for Jude, or put someone in their place or even when he was training and learning tricks from the Roach.   Because so much of Cardan seemed like a facade.  And underneath it we saw that he could be sensible and logical.  We saw that he could be loyal.  So some of his sacrifices brought me to tears.  He slowly grew into someone that I not only loved but respected.  And I didn’t think respect and Cardan would ever go together after how he was in The Cruel Prince.  But regardless of whether Jude wanted to acknowledge it or not, Cardan always seemed to be thinking about her.

I hate you,” I whisper before he can speak.
He tilts my face to his.
“Say it again,” he says as the imps comb my hair and place the ugly, stinking crown on my head. His voice is low. The words are for me alone.

So many times when Jude and Cardan were together, they made me smile, laugh and feel giddy.  Yes they both tricked the other.  But it was almost the nature of their relationship at this point in their story.  And while he did try and help, Jude was overcautious.  In Fairy words could always be seen in another light, and so much could not be trusted.  But as the story unfolded, so did their relationship. Things changed. Even when he spoke to her, it felt as though each word was coated with so much emotion. He had her and my full attention. And I loved their moments together. Their stolen kisses. Their ability to try and build trust. Even though they still stood on such shaky ground. But underneath it all, they had a common enemy. The Queen of the Undersea who was a threat to the both of them. And I held my breath over what would come of it.

“You can take a thing when no one’s looking. But defending it, even with all the advantage on your side, is no easy task,” Madoc told her with a laugh. She looked up to find him offering her a hand. “Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”

Something else continued to pull at my heart, and that was Jude’s relationship with her twin, Taryn and her surrogate father, Madoc.  I wanted to find redemption with Taryn, but it was so hard to unearth.  From the very beginning of this series I was leery of her, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Jude and Taryn can mend their tattered relationship.  And Madoc?!  He treats Jude as his own.  He took care of her even though he murdered her parents.  And he didn’t have to raise her or treat her how he did.  Yet he did.  And I feel messed up respecting how protective he could be and how much he cared for Jude, but I couldn’t help how my heart felt. Because while Madoc was such a grey soul, I still cared for him.  Call me crazy, because I know that Madoc had evil in him, yet I couldn’t bring myself to hate him. I desperately wanted to find every single drop of goodness in him that I could.

I keep thinking of the steady way he looked at me when we were both naked, before he pulled on his shirt and fastened those elegant cuffs. We should have called truce, he’d said, brushing back his ink-black hair impatiently. We should have called truce long before this.
But neither of us called it, not then, not after.

Traitors, liars and cheats…there were so many that I hated within these pages.  But with Cardan and Jude, my heart beat strong for the two of them.  And with the requests that seemed impossible, the debts that were called, and all of the political intrigue, it made this book impossible to put down!  The Wicked King definitely did not suffer from middle book syndrome and I can’t recommend this series enough!

Our eyes meet, and the odd smile on his face is clearly meant for me. I remember what it was to hate him with the whole of my heart, but I’ve remembered too late.

PS I want the Bomb and the Roach together please!

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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 years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

Review:

The Cruel Prince was a magical tale that swept me away. With deceit, lies, and personal motives swirling through the pages, there was so much unknown within this story. I loved the characters, I loved the way everything unfolded and I have a feeling this series is going to be one of my favorites! If you’re a fan of YA fantasy or enemies to lovers, then you definitely need this series on your tbr if you haven’t read it already!

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.

The prologue started off with a burst of action, bloodshed and I couldn’t help but be glued to the pages. After Jude, her twin sister Taryn and her older sister Vivi witnessed something horrific, they were whisked away to Fairie. The world they were brought into could be so cruel and twisted. And even though Madoc, Vivi’s father, treated Jude like his own, the others in Fairie weren’t so kind to them. Jude and her twin were bullied at school. And Prince Cardan and his friends were the worst of the tormentors. But Jude refused to be backed into corners or made to feel less by others.

I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

I loved Jude with my whole heart! She was smart, cunning, fierce and stood up for others and what she believed in. Jude always worked so hard to try and make herself stronger. So we got to witness as she persevered time and again, I had so much respect for her! I loved that she could get away with lies, since the Fey couldn’t lie. And while that may sound awful, she lived in such a ruthless world. She needed every advantage she could get. But I loved most of all that Jude had no problem standing up to Prince Cardan. Jude was loving, relentless, passionate and in the end she played a dangerous game that had me clapping out loud!

“You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this”—I throw his own words back at him—“this is the least of what I can do.

Cardan was deliciously complex. Him and his friends came across as ruthless and had no qualms with taunting Jude. Or asking her to back down, surrender, or put her into situations that felt dangerous. I didn’t know what to think of Cardan, other than I was obsessed. I loved that he saw so much and how he spoke. Even if his words were cruel. And when we got a tiny peak into Cardan’s life, it was not the wonder I thought it would be. My heart bled for him. So of course I looked deeply into any moment he seemed to help Jude, even if he had just hurt her. I tried to find his redemption. And in the end, I loved that Cardan was clever and my newest book boyfriend!

If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.

But just like Cardan, Jude was also complex, and so were their relationships with others. I tried my best to figure out who I should like. Who I should trust. Because in Fairy, nothing was as it seemed. Taryn, Vivi, Madoc, Locke, Dain, and so many others left me feeling conflicted. And on top of that, I had so many questions. Looking back, there were lots of answers. It was amazing how much sense moments and words, from the past, made sense. At the time they were shrouded in puzzles, or made to seem like something else. And as those little pieces started to come together, the pictures it showed were shocking. I gasped out loud quite a few times. And while I did guess the ending, so much going into it was unknown.

His hand slides lower on my hip. I narrow my eyes at him.
“You really hate me, don’t you?” he asks, his smile growing.
“Almost as much as you hate me,” I say, thinking of the page with my name scratched on it. Thinking of the way he looked at me when he was drunk in the hedge maze. The way he’s looking at me now.

The Cruel Prince enraptured me with its intricate tale. They all lived in such a dark and twisted world, filled with bloodshed and death, where anything was possible. So whether it was a bargain that was made with the devil or a moment that reminded me of a scene from The Princess Bride, this book played out like a movie in my head! And the betrayal in these pages?! Oh my. It cut so deep. Too deep. But I rooted for Jude every step of the way. And when her plans started to play out, you couldn’t stop the constant smile on my face. I’m officially obsessed with this book and I have such high hopes for the next book in this trilogy!

I take a deep breath and decide that if I am really going to do this, I could use some help. “What do you think about stealing a crown? Right in front of the kings and queens of Faerie?”
Her grin curls up at the corners. “Just tell me what I get to blow up.”

PS I loved the Bomb, Roach & the Ghost!

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly BlackThe Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

“Carda—” I remember myself and sink into a bow. “Your Infernal Majesty.”

I honestly feel like I am one of the last people on GR to have read this book. I want to commend all of you, though, because even though I did skim a lot of reviews and saw a million different versions of the sentence “WTF THAT ENDING, THO” I never once was spoiled! Do you know how rare that is?!?!? I think you all probably do. So great job, everyone. I really appreciate it because even though I was dreading/terrified of finding out what the ending was, I really thought I might have figured it out before I did. Hahahahahah nope. What a sucker punch. You better believe I have loads to say about it under a spoiler tag later on…

Cardan gives me a look up through his lashes that I find hard to interpret and then rises, too. He takes my hand. “Nothing is sweeter,” he says, kissing the back of it, “but that which is scarce.”

Soooo basically this book was WAY better than the first. I liked the first, I liked the characters, but looking back I hadn’t connected like I should have. I was sucked into this one immediately. It seemed like we hit the ground running with Jude, right on the very first page. She already had so many schemes going on and I was so nervous for her. Honestly even though Cardan is the appeal factor in this series, Jude makes the entire thing. SHE IS SO BAD ASS. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now and I think Black went above and beyond with her character. There were points in both books where I would…get annoyed (?) whenever she mentioned being frightened when she was around a certain character or her life was being threatened. I kept thinking, ‘Jude, you’ve lived in this place all your life and look how far you’ve made it! Why are you scared??’ BUT. YOU GUYS. That is so dumb of me because she’s human! And mortal! And her body is relatively so fragile. And…I honestly think that all of those facts make it that much more impressive that she tricked Cardan into taking the crown and became his seneschal and literally every other plot she’s put into movement. And the fact that she’s tricked faeries that have been alive for probably centuries is just….it’s so good. I love her. And I also love that even though she’s accomplished all of those things, she’s completely clueless when it comes to feelings involving Cardan. I’m leaving that subject alone though haha. That’s for the reader to enjoy alllll on their own.

“You made me the High King, Jude. Let me be the High King.”

AND SPEAKING OF CARDAN. I fell so much deeper in this book. My interest was certainly piqued in the last 25% of CP but in this one we get to know him so much better and find out that he has so much more to him than you initially would think. He’s funny AF. SO FUNNY. He *cares* about Jude. He has what it takes to truly be a really great king. I mean, wow. I was glued to very single interaction between him and Jude. Like she just didn’t get it and that can’t be more funny to me (while also wanting to hug her and then let her know) hahaha. How could he have been more clear??!?! 

Now it is time for me to spew spoilers under a tag below this SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW, DON’T LOOK!

Maybe I wouldn’t have to be afraid to love him. Maybe it would be okay. Maybe I wouldn’t have to be scared of all the things I’ve been scared of my whole life, of being diminished and weak and lesser. Maybe I would become a little bit magic.

View Spoiler »

BOOK REVIEW: The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly BlackThe Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . .

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.

Let’s start with a love story.
Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes.

LOOK. We all know this girl is OBSESSED with her boy Cardan, her homegirl Jude, and this wonderful world of twists and turns, lies and betrayals. Is it really so shocking to know I loved this story, too? Even if it was about that-that-Ugh, That GIRL Tarryn? I did like Tarryn-frankly, I still do. Especially since I get what it’s like to be enraptured by a guy and all the stories he’s woven around you. I get that part-even sympathize.

Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.

HOWEVER. HOWEVERRRRR. I hate Locke-and I HATE something about WK to do with Tarryn. I know. I KNOW. That’s not fair to this story! But, alas, life is not fair and I didn’t get this review done before finishing WK, so SUE ME OKAY. I HAVE FEELINGS, OKAY.

Fairy tales have a moral: Stay on the path. Don’t trust wolves. Don’t steal things, not even things you think no normal person would care about. Share your food but don’t trust people who want to share their food with you; don’t eat their shiny red apples, nor their candy houses, nor any of it. Be nice, always nice, and polite to everyone: kings and beggars, witches and wounded bears. Don’t break a promise.

SO, I was debating giving this a 5 because…well, why not? I really enjoyed it. It kept me satiated while I waited to get back to the main show, Cardan and Jude. But what I WILL NOT and CANNOT forgive is what is in book three, and I have to say that this book only slightly helped her plight…in that sense. Before WK, I was kind of extremely sympathetic. Now I’m like…burn in Hell with Locke, B****.

Be good, but not too good. Be pretty, but not too pretty. Be honest, but not too honest. Maybe no one got lucky. Maybe it was too hard.

So. Yup. My feels are, once again, scattered across the wind and spread across faerie where my heart truly lies. Cardan <3

************

Annnndddd who’s finally ready to DEVOUR Wicked King tomorrow??

Guiltyyyy.

I’ll probably write a small review on this one…probably ha I don’t much care to read anything more on Locke, so eh

View all my reviews

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