Sequel to: The Cruel Prince
Part of Series: The Folk in the Air (Book 2)
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Gore, Strong sexual themes, Violence
Booklist starred (October 15, 2018 (Vol. 115, No. 4))
Grades 9-12. Jude Duarte is no stranger to uneasy alliances. Raised by the man who killed her parents, a liar in a court of faeries compelled to speak only the truth, and recently betrayed, for love, by her twin sister, Jude long ago learned to keep her motivations a secret and her heart safe. In a deft play in The Cruel Prince (2018), she both allied with and manipulated Cardan, the prince she’s always had a dangerous relationship with. To keep her younger brother, the heir of Faerie, safe, Jude placed Cardan on the throne instead; now she and Cardan rule together through their tenuous, volatile partnership. But Faerie is a dangerous world, and Jude has never truly belonged there. Someone is working against her, endangering her life and the lives of her family, and Jude will need every ounce of cunning and every bit of hardness she’s learned to make it out intact. This second in a series neatly avoids the second-book slump; readers of the planned trilogy’s first volume will be expecting plot twists, so it’s even more impressive that this manages to stay one step ahead of its readers. Black expands the reaches of her brutally beautiful world and the depths of her deadly, vulnerable characters, and the employ of yet another cliff-hanger ending will leave readers agonized. A sinister, singular thrill.
Kirkus Reviews starred (October 15, 2018)
A heady blend of courtly double-crossing, Faerie lore, and toxic attraction swirls together in the sequel to The Cruel Prince (2018). Five months after engineering a coup, human teen Jude is starting to feel the strain of secretly controlling King Cardan and running his Faerie kingdom. Jude’s self-loathing and anger at the traumatic events of her childhood (her Faerie “dad” killed her parents, and Faerie is not a particularly easy place even for the best-adjusted human) drive her ambition, which is tempered by her desire to make the world she loves and hates a little fairer. Much of the story revolves around plotting (the Queen of the Undersea wants the throne; Jude’s Faerie father wants power; Jude’s twin, Taryn, wants her Faerie betrothed by her side), but the underlying tension—sexual and political—between Jude and Cardan also takes some unexpected twists. Black’s writing is both contemporary and classic; her world is, at this point, intensely well-realized, so that some plot twists seem almost inevitable. Faerie is a strange place where immortal, multihued, multiformed denizens can’t lie but can twist everything; Jude—who can lie—is an outlier, and her first-person, present-tense narration reveals more than she would choose. With curly dark brown hair, Jude and Taryn are never identified by race in human terms. A rare second volume that surpasses the first, with, happily, more intrigue and passion still to come. (map) (Fantasy. 14-adult)
About the Author
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.
She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.
Her website is www.blackholly.com.
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