By Yana KrasnolutskaSat. 01 Jun. 20243min Read

Full Review: Our Summary of The Folk of the Air Series

Discover Holly Black's The Folk of the Air series, a spellbinding tale of magic, betrayal, and romance in the enchanting world of Elfhame.
Full Review: Our Summary of The Folk of the Air Series

Just finished devouring Holly Black's enchanting series, The Folk of the Air, and I can't wait to recap it for those who might have gotten sidetracked! A word of caution though—spoilers for the entire Folk of the Air series ahead!


Summary of The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)


The Cruel Prince book cover

  • Book Title: The Cruel Prince

  • Author: Holly Black 

  • Year Published: January 2, 2018

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.04/5 

  • Availability: Purchase it from Amazon


Jude was seven when her parents were murdered by Madoc, a ruthless general of the High Court of Faerie. Along with her two sisters, she was taken to the treacherous land of Faerie, where she was raised as Madoc's ward. Ten years later, Jude yearns to belong in Faerie despite being a mortal in a world where humans are despised and treated as inferior beings. Among her tormentors is Prince Cardan, the youngest and most malicious son of the High King.

Determined to earn her place in the Court, Jude decides to defy Prince Cardan and his cruel treatment. She competes for a position of power and influence, knowing the risks involved in standing against someone as dangerous as Cardan. Her defiance sets off a series of events that force her to navigate the perilous politics and deceptions of the Faerie Court.

As Jude becomes more entangled in the intricate web of court intrigues, she discovers her own talent for manipulation and violence. Her ambitions lead her down a dark path where she must outwit not only her enemies but also her allies. With the stakes growing higher, Jude's capacity for cunning and ruthlessness is tested as she strives to secure her place in Faerie.

When betrayal threatens to plunge the Courts of Faerie into chaos and bloodshed, Jude is forced to form a precarious alliance to protect her sisters and the land she has come to call home. In a world where trust is a rare commodity and danger lurks at every turn, Jude must risk everything to save Faerie and those she loves.


How Did The Cruel Prince End?

Jude succeeds in her intricate plan to place Oak, her younger half-brother, on the throne of Elfhame. To achieve this, she manipulates events and forges unexpected alliances, including a precarious partnership with Prince Cardan. The plan involves crowning Cardan temporarily, as a means to secure the throne for Oak when he comes of age. However, the plan takes an unexpected turn.

During the coronation, Jude maneuvers to have Cardan accept the crown with the understanding that he will later abdicate in favor of Oak. However, once crowned, Cardan, now the High King, does not intend to step down easily. This turn of events leaves Jude with a complex mixture of triumph and uncertainty, as she has secured a position of influence and power but also faces the unpredictability of Cardan's true intentions and her complicated feelings towards him.

The story ends with Jude holding significant power as the seneschal to King Cardan, having navigated through betrayal, deceit, and her own dark ambitions. However, the future remains uncertain, with new challenges and power struggles looming on the horizon.

Summary of The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air, #1.5)


The Lost Sisters book cover

  • Book Title: The Lost Sisters
  • Author: Holly Black 
  • Year Published: October 2, 2018
  • Goodreads Rating: 3.39/5 
  • Availability: Purchase it from Amazon

As Jude struggles for power in the treacherous Court of Elfhame, her sister Taryn finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Locke, despite his ties to betrayal and deception.

Torn between loyalty to her sister and the allure of forbidden love, Taryn grapples with her own desires and the consequences of her choices.

In The Lost Sisters, Taryn offers readers a glimpse into her world, weaving a tale of secrets, desires, and the complexities of sibling bonds.

Set against the backdrop of Holly Black's captivating universe, this companion e-novella delves into Taryn's perspective, revealing layers of intrigue and emotion hidden beneath the surface.


How Did The Lost Sisters End?

In The Lost Sisters, Taryn ultimately confronts her feelings of guilt and longing. She reflects on her choices and the consequences they have had on her relationship with Jude and others. Taryn admits her own mistakes and acknowledges the complexity of her emotions, particularly regarding Locke and her desire for acceptance and belonging. The novella ends with Taryn seeking to reconcile with Jude, recognizing the importance of their sisterly bond despite the challenges they face.

Summary of The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

The Wicked King book cover

  • Book Title: The Wicked King
  • Author: Holly Black 
  • Year Published: January 8, 2019
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.30/5 
  • Availability: Purchase it from Amazon

Jude, having bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, finds herself maneuvering through the intricate and treacherous politics of Faerie to keep her brother, Oak, safe as he emerges as the heir. Despite her newfound power behind the throne, Cardan remains a volatile and unpredictable force, constantly challenging her authority with his cunning and charm.

As Jude grapples with the complexities of ruling Faerie from the shadows, a looming betrayal threatens to unravel everything she has worked for. Someone close to her is conspiring against her, putting not only her own life but also the lives of those she cares about in jeopardy.

To uncover the traitor and maintain control in the midst of chaos, Jude must confront her own conflicted feelings for Cardan while navigating the dangerous alliances and deadly machinations of the Faerie court. With each move she makes, the line between friend and foe blurs, leaving Jude to question whom she can truly trust in a world where deceit and deception reign supreme.


How Did The Wicked King End?

In The Wicked King by Holly Black, the story concludes with a series of shocking revelations and betrayals. Jude's intricate web of deception begins to unravel as her enemies close in, and Cardan's true feelings for her become increasingly apparent.

In a climactic showdown, Jude discovers the identity of the traitor in her midst, but not without significant cost. Lives are lost, alliances are shattered, and Jude is forced to confront the consequences of her actions.

Ultimately, Jude's reign as the power behind the throne comes to a tumultuous end as the true extent of Cardan's manipulation is revealed. Despite their tumultuous relationship, Jude and Cardan find themselves bound together by fate and circumstance, setting the stage for further intrigue and betrayal in the sequel, The Queen of Nothing.


Summary of The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

The Queen of Nothing book cover

  • Book Title: The Queen of Nothing

  • Author: Holly Black

  • Year Published: November 19, 2019

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.36/5 

  • Availability: Purchase it from Amazon


After being exiled from Faerie and stripped of her power, Jude is determined to reclaim everything that was taken from her, especially by her former lover, Cardan, the wicked king. But her plans are complicated when her twin sister, Taryn, seeks her help as her mortal life is endangered.

Reluctantly, Jude returns to the treacherous Faerie Court, where she must navigate political intrigue and confront her unresolved feelings for Cardan. Meanwhile, tensions escalate as war looms on the horizon.

As Jude delves deeper into enemy territory, she becomes entangled in the conflict's bloody politics. Amidst the chaos, a powerful curse is unleashed, threatening everything Jude holds dear. Now, she must make a choice between her ambition and her humanity as she fights to save herself and those she loves.


How Did The Queen of Nothing End?

Jude is able to outsmart her enemies and secure the throne for herself, becoming the Queen of Faerie. Throughout the book, she grapples with her feelings for Cardan, the former High King, and eventually, they reconcile their relationship.

The book ends with Jude embracing her role as Queen, alongside Cardan by her side as her equal. They solidify their bond and prepare to face the challenges ahead together, marking a satisfying conclusion to their tumultuous journey.

Summary of How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air, #3.5)

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories  book cover

  • Book Title: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

  • Author: Holly Black

  • Year Published: November 24, 2020

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.19/5 

  • Availability: Purchase it from Amazon


In How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black, readers are drawn into the enigmatic world of Elfhame once more.

Set before Cardan became the cruel prince or the wicked king, the story delves into his past as a faerie child with a heart seemingly made of stone.

As the narrative unfolds, readers are treated to a deeper understanding of Cardan's character, exploring his life before the events of The Cruel Prince and The Queen of Nothing.

Through Cardan's perspective, familiar moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy take on new meaning, offering fresh insights into the complexities of his motivations and actions.

This new installment in the series promises heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama, captivating both new and returning readers alike.

Accompanied by lavish and luminous full-color art, the book becomes a collector's item, enhancing the immersive experience of diving back into the world of Elfhame.


How Did How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories End?

In How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black, the story culminates in a revelation of Cardan's growth and transformation. Through his journey, readers witness Cardan's evolution from a faerie child with a heart of stone to a more nuanced and empathetic ruler. The narrative provides closure to his character arc, offering insights into his past, motivations, and relationships. While specific details of the ending are not provided here to avoid spoilers, readers are left with a deeper understanding of Cardan and the world of Elfhame.

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