The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Queen of Nothing
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Panda Rating:

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

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…

WELL. I closed this book with a lot of new, mixed and surprising feelings for many characters that I honestly didn’t care all that much about to start with. This was a pretty good conclusion although it was really nothing mind-blowing. Honestly, if I had been more invested in the characters from book one, I might even go so far as to say that I might’ve been disappointed with this ending. But if you like clean happy endings (and I mean who doesn’t?), then I think that The Queen of Nothing will tick all your boxes and leave you feeling satisfied.

Continue reading “The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black – #BookReview”

#WWWWednesday: 01 January!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, BOOK LOVERS AND FRIENDS!!!
The last decade has been a helluva journey that’s been full of both high-highs and low-lows. I still can’t believe that we’re already starting a new decade, but I hope that it’s brilliant for all of you. I hope the year ahead is full of light, love, happiness and peace. And of course, all the very bookish things!

So it’s time for December’s last WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

With all the family time and holiday festivities fully under way over the last week, it’s not surprising that I haven’t been able to read much. I think I ended the year on a pretty good note though. I finished The Folk of the Air series and I surprisingly enjoyed The Queen of Nothing the most in the whole series.

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 01 January!”

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

Yes, I’m well aware it’s no longer Sunday but wow, this weekend went by so quickly and didn’t feel like a weekend at all… So we’re back with another SundaysMondays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

Today I spent the day in bed with Queen of Nothing. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first two books in the series, although I still did enjoy them well enough to continue on finishing the series. I’m looking forward to seeing how this series wraps up. It’s also time to mention again: I hate Taryn. The end! 😊

The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.

When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Wicked King
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Panda Rating:

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 younger 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.

3.5 stars for that pre-epilogue ending! And just when I thought that things were turning around and I’d like this newly established alliance, that ending had to go and happen! I’m shook but also angry? But also, I get it too? This seems to have really messed with my feelings (of which I thought I didn’t have many of for this series) 🤣

The Cruel Prince: ★★★½ – ★★★★☆
The Wicked King: ★★★½
The Queen of Nothing: ???

Continue reading “The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black – #BookReview”

#WWWWednesday: 25 December

HAPPY TROPICAL CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS! I hope that you have the most beautiful day with your family and friends. May your day be filled with so much love and happiness. Lots of love from the other side of the world!

So it’s time for December’s last WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

Since last Wednesday I managed to read four books! My reviews for these are in the works but see my mini-reviews below:

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 25 December”

Friday Favorites: Unfinished Series!

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favourites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: unfinished series (either you haven’t read all the books or the series is still incomplete)! So after talking about books I’ve been avoiding for this week’s TTT, we’re now going into unfinished series territory, eh? I feel slightly attacked at having to confront the series I’ve left hanging! 😅 For many of the same reasons I’ve been avoiding books on my shelves, I’ve left these books unfinished not because I don’t want to read them but because I’m scared I won’t be satisfied with the ending or because I don’t want this series to end or because… Well, too many books to read, too little time, right? 😬I do feel guilty about leaving these series unfinished, especially since I keep starting new ones, but I’m determined to catch up with as many of them as possible for #SequelSeptember!

Villains: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
I loved Vicious and was so excited to get my hands on Vengeful (so excited in fact that I now have two copies of the book!) but still it sits untouched. I’ve heard that it’s not as amazing as the first, although still good. I haven’t been disappointed by Schwab yet, so I really hope I enjoy it!

The Nevernight Chronicle: Godsgrave and Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
To be fair, I only started this series two weeks ago. I’m listening to Godsgrave right now and I’m speeding through it like a demon assassin! I’m hoping to read Darkdawn before September ends. Kristoff’s writing style has grown on me and I’m absolutely loving this gorey and humorous series.

Folk of the Air: The Wicked King and Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
The release date for QoN is quickly creeping up (seriously, where does the time fly?!) and I’m kind of tempted to read TWK closer to its release date. I re-read The Cruel Prince just two weeks ago, so it’s still fresh in my mind, but… If TWK ends in a cliffhanger, doesn’t it make sense to wait until I’ve got the QoN in hand so I don’t have to torture myself with waiting? 🙂

Caraval: Finale by Stephanie Garber
I feel like you either really love or hate Caraval and I fell in love with it. There are tons of negative reviews, but I really enjoyed getting lost in the games and the characters; and actually I liked it much better than the famed Night Circus (don’t come for me)! But I’ve heard so many mixed reviews, even from people who’ve loved the series, about Finale that I’m TORN! I don’t want to hate it because it’s the last book but also, what if I end up loving it? Do I pick it up already?! Torn, I tell you!

Throne of Glass: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
I started ToG long before I joined the book community so I really had no idea how popular Maas and her novels were. I LOVED it and it quickly became one of my favorites. When I finished Tower of Dawn I immediately pre-ordered KoA and I even counted down the days until it arrived! But then it came, I put off reading it, and the longer I put it off, the less I remembered about the series. Oops? Now I feel like I need to re-read the whole series before touching this one? Am I crazy? Maybe 🙃

Strange the Dreamer: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
I love Strange the Dreamer. Taylor’s prose is a mildly purple but it was beautiful and swept me away! I got lost in Lazlo’s dreams and the City of Weep. As much as I loved Strange, the ending CRUSHED me. I’m pretty sure I howled into my pillow in anger. So I’m kinda scared to read Muse. What happens next? I’m dying to now but also… Call me a coward coz I might let it sit for a while more?

Arc of a Scythe: The Toll by Neal Shusterman
THE TOLL IS COMING but not nearly soon enough! I’m aching to get my hands on the third book of this series. I didn’t expect to love this dystopian series as much as I did but wow, it was intense and so, so good. I love the Thunderhead and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Will we pick up where we left off? Will years have passed by? What is going to happen!? Eeee… I hope I don’t put off reading this once it comes out. I’ll kick myself if I do 😂

The Kingkiller Chronicle: The Wise Man’s Fear, The Slow Regard of Silent Things and Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss
Doors of Stone still has no release date. I raced through The Name of the Wind and tale as old as time, I couldn’t wait to read Wise Man’s Fear but it’s been sitting, waiting for me. I started a re-read of TNotW last week, in prep to reading TWMF but I’ve put it on hold since WHO KNOWS WHEN book three will come out. Rothfuss, how long are you gonna keep your fans waiting, mate?

The Dark Artifices: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I hadn’t read any of the Shadowhunter books and hardly knew anything about this world that Clare built before picking up The Dark Artifices. Honestly, the cover drew me in and continues to draw me in! I surprised myself by how much I’ve really enjoyed this series. It’s full of teenage angst but I’m still hooked on the mystery. I haven’t picked it up yet because have you seen it? It’s chunky AF. Is scared.

The Oremere Chronicles: Heart of Mist, Reign of Mist and War of Mist by Helen Scheuerer
I actually can’t remember when I read the Oremere Chronicles. It must have been soon after the first book came out, so probably 2017? But I remember loving it, though this was before I started writing reviews, so with my memory as bad as it is, I actually can’t remember any of it 😅 Yet I continued to buy the two other books in the series because of the covers, but also because I want to see this series through. So, I’ll start from the top again!

And that’s it friends! There are 10 unfinished series on my list today, but there’s probably more that I can’t actually remember. Hah. Do you have any unfinished series to get to? What are your favorites?
Leave me a comment below and let’s chat!

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
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.

I read this book for the first time last year and I remember reaching the end and thinking HOLY HELL WTF JUST HAPPENED. Then I realized I had to wait a year to get The Wicked King. Fast forward to now, over a year later, I’ve got TWK in my hands but I haven’t read it yet because I wanted to do a re-read of The Cruel Prince first. In all honesty, I didn’t remember much about the characters or what happened in the story since a year passed. Having finished my second read, my rating is around 3.5-4 stars.

TCP was a fast, engaging read and I found myself flipping through the chapters in record time. I loved the faerie world depicted by Black. It’s full of dark, twisted and evil creatures and it’s almost completely unforgiving, especially if you’re a human. There are so many magical and astonishing creatures that my mind was scrambling to imagine, and THE FOOD! The way that Black describes the food in faerie was mouth-watering. I don’t know how any human could resist it because I would’ve been all over that faster than you can say stop! I really enjoyed the world building, and the thought of a magical world of faerie existing just beyond our sky’s edge and just out of our reach, is always an exciting thought for the kid and fantasy lover in me.

The story was told through Jude’s perspective and I can’t quite make up my mind on how I feel about her. I don’t like her much but I also don’t hate her? She’s selfish and destructive, often makes really questionable decisions, but at the same time… I can’t fault her for being the way she is for having grown up in a world like faerie. She’s consumed by fear 100% of the time, but she turns that fear into something more and it’s really admirable because she’s doing what she needs to survive. She’s gone through some hella traumatic shit, including having to live with her parent’s murderer, and she grows to love him despite what he’s done and despite his violent and calculating nature. If all of that doesn’t mess a person up, I don’t know what will. I grew to like her more in the second-half of the book though. Her ruthlessness and her very twisted relationship with Cardan was a delight to watch play out. Cardan started out as the typical bully and asshole of a prince, who was especially cruel (hence, Cruel Prince) to everyone who displeased him. But as we learn more about his character, we see there’s a lot more than meets the eye, and I did feel for his character (although that doesn’t justify his cruel bullying actions).

The majority of the characters in TCP were (very) morally grey and I think that’s what made the book all the more exciting. Faerie land is nothing like a fairy tale. Everyone is cunning, looking out for themselves, weaving magic with words to avoid telling the truth without outright lying. I was surprised by how political the story was. There’s a lot of royal faerie family drama, including a slew of deaths that reminds me very much of the infamous Red Wedding scene from GoT. It kept me on my toes though! The moral greyness of the characters only proved itself as the second-half of the book progressed and that sneaky ending was just perfection! Oh, I remember how shook I was when reading it the first time. SO SNEAKY!

I enjoyed TCP but it wasn’t my favorite fantasy or the best I’ve ever read. I’m glad that I read it the first time without the hype because if this was my first read of it, I would’ve been pretty disappointed considering how big of a deal it is. That said, I’m really looking forward to finally starting The Wicked King and to see what happens next in this cutthroat fairy world.

Have you read The Cruel Prince? What’d you think of it? Live up to the hype or nah? Leave me a comment below and let’s chat!

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

Can someone tell me how it’s already the first of September? Like… How? 👀 So we’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday, I wished I were in bed with two of my current reads: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff and The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black. I’m re-reading TCP because I remember jack-nada from when I read it last year. Elements of the plot are coming back to me and while I found Jude slightly annoying at the start, she’s really growing on me? I’m listening to Nevernight on Audible while following along to it on my Kindle and I’m honestly LOVING this book so much. It took a little while to grow on me, but it’s really grown on me (at 16%). This book is surprisingly hilarious (although maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because Kristoff) and it’s making it such a pleasure to read alongside the darker and more murder-y stuff!

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
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.

What are you currently reading?

Did I already mention how baffled I am that it’s already September? I honestly don’t know where time flies to, especially on weekends! It’s like the more relaxed I am, the faster time goes? I had grand plans to bring my bookshelves/TBR carts to some semblance of order on Saturday but ended up spending all day under my doona, lost in a book. I realized at around 9pm that I had yet to eat or prepare any of my Saturday blog posts. Oops! So I sprang out of my cocoon, whipped up dinner while finishing up the audiobook for Naturally Tan, and then proceeded to write my blog posts while eating and watching Back-to-Back Chef with Carla Music on the Bon Apetit channel on YouTube. I was multitasking like a boss last night 😏 By the way, this cooking show is AWESOME (basically celebrities of all cooking abilities come on and cook with Carla with only vocal instructions from her and they can’t peek at each other’s stations)! It’s actually hilarious and I’d 100% recommend! I’ve also still been listening to Lover on repeat all week and I just can’t get myself to stop. I think my new favorite is Daylight because of how it ends on such a sweet, fresh and positive note! Contrary to what my last two posts may indicate, I’m not obsessed with Taylor Swift, but with her last two albums I’ve found that I have a great appreciation for her pop music, and Lover has certainly solidified that appreciation for me!

I think this week has been a pretty good one for reading! I managed to finish five books, including one audiobook that I’ve been listening to for a while, and I ended up having one 5★, one 4½★, one 4★, and two 3★ reads! It’s also been pretty freaking awesome on the blogging front this week! I actually didn’t realize how much I’ve posted this week and looking at the long list below, I think I’ve set myself up for failure if I want to do the same next week 😂 I also have to say sorry to everyone who has engaged with me and left comments on my blog this week. It’s been a pretty weird week in terms of my mental health and I’ve been wanting to retreat big time at the end of every work day, so even though I’ve been posting, I haven’t been engaging and I’m sorry about that! I just needed a bit more time off the laptop and the interwebs. That said, I’m hoping to catch up on more blogs and on comments in the coming week, so I’ll be getting back to you all soon 😊 On that note, here’s a recap of my posts from this week, in case you missed any:

August Monthly Wrap Up!
Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Top 5 Saturday: Road Trip!
Friday Favorites: Books Read in School
First Lines Friday: 30 August
Graphic Novel ARC Review: The Avant-Guards Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes
Wrapping Up: Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge & ARC August
The (Double) Liebster Award!
Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
#WWWWednesday: 28 August
ARC Review: Pillow Thoughts III: Mending the Mind by Courtney Peppernell
#TopTenTuesday: Books I Want In My Physical Library
Review: Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
Goodreads Monday: 26 August

How has your week been? Hope everyone has/had a great weekend!
Let me know how you’re doing in the comments and let’s chat 🙂