Series Review: The Folk of the Air (Holly Black)-Favbookshelf

One of the best-written fantasy romances that deliver well on all fronts, The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black is a beautiful, engaging miracle for all fantasy lovers. In this article, we will be giving a spoiler-free review of the whole Folk of the Air series.

About The Folk of the Air

The folk of the air series review
The Folk Of The Air Series Review

Title: The Folk of the Air

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Type: Series

No. of Books: 3

Books in it: #1 The Cruel Prince, #2 The Wicked King, #3 The Queen of Nothing

When Jude was seven, her’s and her sister’s lives changed. They were taken from the world they knew and were brought to the Court of Faerie, land filled with beautiful, enchanting, and deceptive immortals. It’s been ten years since then, and Jude wants nothing more than to belong to this world. But the cruel creatures constantly remind her that she is mortal, beneath them all. Jude hates it, but it’s Cardan, the young prince, the evilest of them all, whom she hates the most. But an opportunity to make a place for herself arrives for her, and as she finds herself a key player in the inner court conspiracies, she starts to realize her knack for betrayal and manipulation. Maybe there isn’t much difference between her and them after all.

If you are a fan of books like Shadow and Bones by Leigh Bardugo, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and The Selection by Kiera Cass, you would adore The Folk of the Air Series.

The Folk of the Air Series Review

I loved this series so much that I don’t even know from where to start.

The titles are very straightforward in who they depict, but it’s still interesting that Holly Black made them sound symbolic. And. the covers are a genius nod to the themes of that book. From crown stuck on a branch to a crown that’s broken in the middle, all represent the central conflict of a particular novel.

The book starts pretty fast, but the pace alternates according to the situation – it’s slow and fast wherever it needs to be, and I found it pretty cool as it gave me time to find some reprieve from all the mounting tension and angst.

The world-building is immaculate, and all the creatures we got to meet felt well researched before their creations. The characters were wonderfully complex, with almost every character hiding something behind the mask.

Black’s writing style is easy to understand, but at the same time, pretty lyrical. Every paragraph flows naturally, and the emotions of one chapter automatically blend into another. The story is narrated in the first person pov, so we get to notice all the characters’ feelings through Jude’s eyes even when she is oblivious, and I think that’s the charm of Holly Black’s writing.

My favorite part of this series was Jude and her growth. She was so flawed and weak at the start, but she was also so intelligent, and she knew how to use her shortcomings as her strength which I thought was badass.

The ending was a nice tie-up for all the loose ends, except it left lots of potential for other side characters’ stories to be explored. My only flaw with this series lies with the last half of the third book. It was too predictable. It wasn’t bad, but I was a little disappointed because the first half of this book was perfect.

Overall, it was a perfect fantasy read.

If you want to read the first book in the series, The Cruel Prince, click on the link below:

And below, we have given a mini-review of each book in the Folk of Air Series:

The Folk of the Air: #1 The Cruel Prince

About the Book

The Cruel Prince by Holly back
The Cruel Prince by Holly back

Title: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 370

Goodreads rating: 4.1/5

The first book in The Folk of the Air series follows Jude’s journey from a ridiculed and bullied mortal human in the faerie world to the tactician behind the shadows who plays with the fate of the entire kingdom. As Jude willingly participates in court politics and tries to find a place to belong, she realizes that if she can’t make the faeries respect her, she would have to become someone that they would fear. Maybe then she would finally be able to out-win her eternal rival, the arrogant and beautiful prince Cardan.


Love, love, loved it! All characters were so interesting, and by the end of the book, I fell for Jude and Cardan so hard. And to think I hated my boy so much at the beginning. But in my defense, he was horrible to Jude throughout the book. But his character was fleshed out gradually, and for the first time in my life, I found myself cheering for a bully to get a happy ending. I am not even ashamed of it, and that’s the beauty of this book. 

Rating: 4.5 / 5; Our Rating Guide

Recommendation: YASSS. Even if you don’t like it much, the next books will totally change your perception.

Buy the First Book, The Cruel Prince Now:

The Folk of the Air: #2 The Wicked King

About the Book

The Wicked King by Holly Black
The Wicked King by Holly Black

Title: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 336

Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

As a mortal in the faerie world, Jude suffered greatly to get where she is. She is now the main force behind the throne, but only from the shadows. Dealing with her new position in the court would have been a lot easier if Cardan could be in control. But every day, he spirals more and more out of Jude’s grasp even as his infatuation and attraction to her appear clear to everyone. But there is someone close to her gearing up to betray her, and the more she tries to save the people she loves, the more she risks losing herself.


Oooof, the romance, the politics, the palace intrigue, and the beautifully complicated family dynamics! Almost everything about this book was perfect, minus the ending, which was just one big cliff-hanger. It would have indeed ended me if I had read The Wicked King while the last book wasn’t yet out. I am so glad I binge-read this series. Jude got more competent, but she also suffered from her growing feelings for her mortal enemy, and their relationship development left me with butterflies. 

Rating: 5 / 5; Our Rating Guide

Recommendation: Yuh-uh. It’s more fast-paced than the first book.

Buy the second book, The Wicked King now:

The Folk of the Air: #3 The Queen of Nothing

About the Book

The Queen Of Nothing by Holly Black
The Queen Of Nothing by Holly Black

Title: The Queen of Nothing

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 300

Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

After the betrayal Jude suffered, she’s left with her wounds in the mortal world. But when her sister comes to her for help, it’s an opportunity to return to Elfhame and get the answers she deserves. But her kingdom isn’t the same place as she left it. And a war is brewing on the borders. As she gets swept away in the conflict, again, she soon realizes that there is more to this land than she thought. Then, as a deadly curse is released, Jude is forced to choose between her life and her heart.


The first half of this book is straight-up what dreams are. Literal perfection. The last half of this book suffered quite a lot regarding both the pace and the plot. There was a war, a curse, power struggle, alliance formations, and quite honestly, too much for my brain to make sense. I still loved it, but it could have done without a lot of its arcs.

Rating: 4 / 5; Our Rating Guide

Recommendation: Totally! Just keep your patience and you will have one of the most beautiful endings you have ever read.

Buy the Third Book, The Queen Of Nothing now:

Conclusion of The Folk of the Air Series

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Recommendation: Absolutely recommended.

There’s an afterword book in the series ‘How the King of Elfhame learned to Hate Stories’, that has got bits and pieces of some scenes from the series in addition to other things, told from Cardan’s point of view, and that’s quite obviously a gift we never thought we needed (we did, totally).

By you, I am forever undone. Tell me how anyone is supposed to not fall in love here?

Buy the Folk of Air Series(Box-set) Now:

About the Author

Holly Black
Holly Black

Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling fantasy writer and editor. She has written over 30 books for children and young adults. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award and has been awarded Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor, both for her book Doll bones. Her most popular books include The Folk of the Air Series, Modern Faerie Tales, and The Darkest Part of the Forest standalone. Born in New Jersey, she currently lives in New England with her husband and son.

Buy The Folk of Air (box-set) now:

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