Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
This book by Holly Black is the first in a new YA series, The Folk of the Air, set in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. I haven’t read anything by Ms Black previously, but I’ve been in a reading slump for a few months and this book looked promising when I saw it in the hot titles section at the library. The first chapter jumps right into action, and I was hooked immediately into the storyline.
Jude and her two sisters were living a peaceful mortal life that is violently shattered by the appearance of a strange man who murders their parents and spirits them away to the faerie world. There they learn that the eldest sibling, Vivi, is the daughter of Madoc who had been married to her mother before her mother faked her own death and escaped back to the mortal world. Jude and Taryn had a mortal father, but Madoc claims them as his own and they have to do their best to fit into the fey world. Of course, many of the fey aren’t very welcoming, making life miserable for Jude. After 10 years, Jude would like to fit in but the nastiest group of fey that she attends class with is not making things easy. (Think of the clicque-ist high school kids ever in this case.) One of these is the young son of the current High King – Prince Cardan is one of those characters that you instantly hate because he’s insolent and arrogant but at the same time too handsome for his own good. And naturally you know that he and Jude are destined for some sort of relationship.
The meat of the story revolves around the impending change in the succession of the High King, who is stepping down. He is able to choose which of his heirs takes the throne, and Jude is soon sucked into the political intrigue. Ms Black takes the reader on a wild ride of danger, back-stabbing, double-crossing with some romance mixed in for good measure. To be honest, all of the characters are flawed in some way – no one is perfect, or above reproach. Jude is especially prickly more often than not, but she is a strong character that wants to do the right thing. The ending of the book is surprising, and definitely left me wanting more of the story – too bad I have to wait until next year for that!