Rereading the Folk of the Air Trilogy by Holly Black {Book Review}

If you’ve read my recommendations posts you’ll know at this point that Holly Black is one of my favorite authors. I got hooked on The Darkest Part of the Forest, binge read her Modern Faerie Tales Series, and fell hook line and sinker for the Folk of the Air. If you need a really fast, and addictive trilogy, this one is by far one of the easiest trilogies to binge read. This series also happens to get an award from me for the first series to get me to reread all of it. Yes, I reread the entire series, and I enjoyed every page.

I already said this in my last rereading post for A Court of Thorns and Roses, but me rereading a book entirely, or a whole series is rare. It never is based on the book being great or not, just my hesitance to read something I already have with a lot of books typically coming out. 2020 it would seem has changed quite a few things, including my reading habits. I just looked at my bookcase, saw the series just sitting there, and couldn’t help myself. I had only just finished the series last year when Queen of Nothing had come out! Since I’ve already read and reviewed all of the books back when they came out, I’ll just go into what rereading changed for me. There are spoilers ahead since I’m just going to fly through a discussion of three books, so ye have been warned. If you’d like to read the original reviews of the books you can find Wicked King and Queen of Nothing reviews here.

So what was the Folk of the Air Series like the second time around? Well, you know when you remember the bigger parts of a memory/dream but some of the details evade you? Rereading was a little like that. I remembered the gist of Jude’s backstory, and that she and Taryn were regularly harassed/abused (not sure what fits since they weren’t really attacked?) but reliving it with her, and her being very human/unprotected was nerve wracking. There are of course some really tense moments in the next two books, but when she can’t even protect herself from magical influence it is like 10x the danger, and I was tense all over again. I think I had blocked out the tension from my memories when Jude made it out of Cruel Prince, because I do not remember being this stressed. I seriously had to keep reading just to get to the point where she was fine, Cardan was fine, everything was fine. Well, at least relatively fine. I somehow also didn’t remember the abuse poor Cardan went through, or his struggles with his feelings for Jude. I kind of did, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks when she came across the paper with her name scribbled a million times, and saw him get punished. Those were some tough moments all over again. Rereading this first book, and getting caught up in it like I hadn’t read it in the first place just made me realize what got me hooked the first time; this book is like a drug. One read is not enough.

Book 2, Wicked King, was like a big tease. You know that Jude and Cardan have feelings for each other, and I remembered there was a big moment, but for some reason I thought it happened a lot earlier than it did. Hence, me saying it was a big tease. Regardless of me knowing what would happen, I was still just as hooked on this book as the first this time around, and as tense. I don’t think there’s a calm moment in these books, literally just Jude darting from one issue to the next, trying to handle it all on her own. Not that I can blame her, but the trust issues be causing issues. And then of course it came down to the ending where it felt like Cardan had tricked her, and it mimicked the ending of Cruel Prince, just reversed. That one still gets me, but of course we all know at this point that he was just tricking everyone else. This made the beginning of the Queen of Nothing pretty hard, I wanted to reach through the book and shake Jude. Pretty sure Cardan if he’d known would’ve wanted the same. I still loved the part where she showed up as Taryn, and Cardan knew almost instantly. It was just too great for words.

Queen of Nothing was amazing, even after having read it only a little while ago. I love the state of Cardan and Jude’s relationship at this point, and how they work with one another. No longer do you have Jude just thinking of taking care of things herself, well until Cardan turns himself into a big snake. If someone adapts this into tv/movie that scene will be hard for me; I really don’t like snakes or spiders, though spiders are worse (shelob ugh). This is the part of the book I struggled with, mainly because Jude really did get to a point where she had someone she could not only rely on/trust, but work with, and then that person got ripped away. Not even just ripped away, she’s being told to either control it forever, or kill it by everyone she would rather put in a nice big grave. The stress, heartbreak, and defeat going through these pages is a hard one to relive, but man does it make for a great ending when Cardan just walks out of the snake carcass. He might have been absolutely sans clothes, but the dude didn’t care one bit.

Returning to the Folk of the Air series was just as amazing as reading it the first time, which I guess every fan says when they return to their favorite books, but it’s not any less true. I guess if there’s one good thing that came out of 2020 it’s that I finally decided t reread some books that have been on my favorites list. Have your reading habits changed during these strange times? If you could reread one series which would you choose? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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