Early copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
1.) The Cruel Prince ★★★★★
2.) The Wicked King ★★★★★
“I can show you a version of yourself, Taryn. One you’ve never imagined. It’s terrible to be a girl trapped in a story. But you can be more than that. You can be the teller. You can shape the story. You can make all of Faerie love you.”
Please let it be known I do not want to read another book if it isn’t part of the Folk of the Air series. Have you ever fallen so completely and utterly in love with a story you find yourself unable to focus on anything else? That all you want to do is shout at strangers about how life changing it is and you feel like you will burst because no words or actions can capture how ardently you love this story and how you are a different person having read it? That’s me with The Folk of the Air books, and more specifically, The Lost Sisters.
Connecting the gap between The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, The Lost Sisters is an e-novella told in a letter from Taryn to Jude chronicling her love affair with Locke while revealing some secrets more delicious than faerie fruit. I was nervous, to say the least. I didn’t like Taryn, nor did I really want to. Going into this story, I was ready to unsheathe my own sword and defend Jude’s honor. The last thing I’d expected was to be completely sucked into the story, crying nine pages in (over Taryn of all people!), and find myself sympathizing and rooting for her.
“You were bold and daring and breathtakingly stupid.
Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart’s blood should run cold.”
Told in a letter to Jude, it’d be too easy to say The Lost Sisters is Taryn’s defense. It’s so much more than that—it’s an apology, a love story, a tragedy, a story of a mortal girl trapped in a fairytale-nightmare trying to control her own story and have a semblance of power. Taryn’s narrative has a way of doing what Taryn does best: holding up a mirror to Jude. Except this time the reader has access to that mirror and we are confronted with a very uncomfortable question: why do we love Jude, but hate Taryn who has the same motivations, desires, fears, and ambitions as her and truly believes she is doing what she thinks to be best?
“I never thought it would come to anything bad for anyone but me.”
With a narrator as unreliable as Jude and with a story that delves so deeply into family dynamics, The Lost Sisters is a necessary addition to the series and completely changed my perception of Jude and Taryn’s relationship. After having read, I’m left with a much deeper appreciation of Jude and Taryn, their positions in Faerie, how they view one another in this land of monsters, and how much they ultimately love each other. Jude makes us believe Taryn is fine wherever she goes and that she’s adaptable, but Taryn is not fine, she’s arguably even more not fine than Jude is—something The Lost Sisters finally allows us to understand. I don’t necessarily agree with what Taryn did, but I get it, and after learning everything that led her to that point, I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing in her situation. Taryn might be one of the most complex and compelling characters I’ve ever encountered—her narrative is gripping and entirely un-put-downable. Locke famously tells Jude she is a story and he wants to see what she will do, but Taryn is a story too, and I want to be part of the unfolding of her tale.
Be sure to pre-order The Lost Sisters (available OCTOBER 2) if you haven’t already (https://www.thenovl.com/cruelprince), because this story is so completely entrancing and important to The Folk of the Air series!!! I’ve never been so grateful and in love with a novella before. Thank you so much Novl and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for an early copy in exchange for an honest review ♥
“‘How does it feel?’ he asked. ‘To be stuck in a fairy tale?’”