Exciting New Worlds

Category: Book Reviews

These posts are about book reviews. The genres vary from young adult fiction, fantasy fiction, and romance fiction to business information non-fiction.

The Lost Sisters – Book Review

The Lost Sisters book Cover

The Lost Sisters by Holly Black

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.

Book Reviews

Fav Quote by Cardan to Taryn. “You’re awful.” He said it as though he was delighted. “And the worst part is that you believe otherwise.

So, The Lost Sisters is an apology or an explanation Taryn gives to her twin sister Jude. There are terrible happenings that occur between the two. A betrayal that Taryn does her absolute best to explain in this book. In the end, I consider her a victim of circumstance and desire. The fight to fit in is hard to ignore. The difference in how people approach this fight is what defines a person.

Taryn is this, “Once upon a time, there was a girl named Taryn. She suffered many indignities at the hands of the magical people called the Folk, yet she never was anything but kind, no matter how they despised her. Then one day, a fox-haired faerie boy looked upon her and saw her virtue and her loveliness, so he took her to be his bride. And on his arm, dressed in a gown as bright as the stars, the other Folk saw her for the first time. They knew they’d misjudged her and…” But she treated her sister poorly to get there.

This is a side story from the main one. Read it after The Cruel Prince and before The Wicked King.

The Queen of Nothing – Book Review

The Queen of Nothing Book Review

The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black

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 deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal 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…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Book Review

Jude is no longer living in the Faerie Kingdom. Only her big sister, Vivienne, and the King, Cardan, know her role as Queen.  She has decided to do her best to exist in the human world where she was born. Her new life is fairly working out until her twin sister shows up with a strange request. Taryn’s life is in danger. She asks Jude for help, and Jude decides to give it.

Jude returns to the faerie kingdom where war is brewing. She does her best to move among the enemy and people who want her dead. Jude’s bravery grows with each chapter until her luck runs out, and she must face the one who betrayed her. Cardan, the King of Elfhame.

This final book has a lot of action I love. Jude’s fragility plays a huge role as she faces her father, and even Cardan and the people who would take his crown from him. I admire the fact that despite Jude’s fragility, she somehow manages to seem the strongest, the least frail despite her obvious weakness.  Her determination to live through so much bullying has given her a hard shell. She has learned how to stand up to the worst and come out of it with a positive outcome.

The romance between Cardan and Jude is a very interesting bond to explore. It’s surprising to discover. Cardan has a serious reliance on Jude’s ability to handle the crap that comes at them in the palace. Jude on the other hand grows dependent on Cardan’s trust. She doesn’t acknowledge it at first, but she does view him as one of her people. As the last book ended, when Cardan betrays her, Jude does have this moment of feeling the loss of him. Which is where The Queen of Nothing starts out. Jude won’t acknowledge this loss, but it lingers in the way she looks at him, thinks about him, in what she does. The relief is immense when they find each other again and I love the surprise of finding hints of their romance.

In the end, I feel that The Queen of Nothing is a great conclusion to a story in which a mortal girl becomes the queen of the Faerie. Despite her fragility and her weaknesses, she emerges as the strongest in a kingdom filled with the strongest creatures.

The Wicked King – Book Review

The Wicked King Book Review

The Wicked King by Holly Black

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 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.

Book Review

The love/hate thing going on with Cardan and Jude is hitting the limits in this book. Jude remains this human creature doing her best not to drown in a world of wicked faeries. Her family bonds are frayed, and her relationship with Cardan is ridiculously annoying. Cardan has a need to punish even when he likes, it’s awful. I kept reading and that makes me wonder about myself, hahaha.

Still, the love/hate relationship trope comes to life in The Wicked King, it grows into this monstrous elephant until the very end, where it surely breaks Cardan and Jude. I loved Jude’s relentless need to win even when she is outmatched. I so did not love Cardan’s passive aggression. Though, he does have his shining moments.

The Cruel Prince Book Review Banner

The Cruel Prince – Book Review

The Cruel Prince Book Cover

Book Title: The Cruel Prince
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Author: Holly Black


Jude was seven 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.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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.

Book Review

Jude Duarte is human. She is a twin. She is mortal and is therefore the weakest in the Faerie Kingdom. A world she did not choose but was forced to live in by, Madoc, the man who murdered her parents in cold blood. Her bond with her twin sister is filled with its fair share of love and strife. Her eldest sister, Viviane is a true faerie and strong-willed. She chooses not to like or follow the ways of the Faerie Kingdom. While Taryn, Jude’s twin sister, chooses to submit to their ways. Jude is caught between the two, and her sense of pride leaves her in a place where she must or can only fight for her own right to live in this new world.
And so, Jude must find a way to survive in a world where the weakest are the most bullied and hated. In this world, there is the strongest, Prince Cardan. He hates humans and Jude the most. He shows it and she fights back as much as he chooses to bully her.

“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. 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 is the least of what I can do.”

The Cruel Prince, Holly Black

In all senses, this book is not for the faint of heart. It’s a dark fairytale exploring the magical world of faerie creatures and their intolerance toward the weak, mortal human. I enjoyed following Jude’s progress in this harsh world. The Cruel Prince does read like the start of a journey. Because it is a journey, by the end of the book, Jude finds herself in a strange new position that she did not anticipate herself. A position that might get her into more trouble than she anticipated. It is a great catapult to the next book, The Wicked King.

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