YOUR GIRL WANTS MORE FOLK OF THE AIR!! Alright, I know we never shut up about this series – I mean, can you blame us though?! Holly Black is queen of the faerie for good reason! She understands fae folklore like nobody’s business, never mind her skill in crafting political intrigue and an enemies-to-lovers arc that said TENSION all the way through the series. But you know what, I can read other books. I can do hard things. So here is a list of books with big Folk of the Air energy!
Enemies-to-lovers romance? Check. Espionage? Check. Magical world-building? Check. Zoraida Córdova’s Hollow Crown duology is the perfect pair for Folk of the Air. It’s got world building on an epic scale rife with courtly intrigue, blood thirsty villains, and magical espionage. Lucky for you, both books are now out which means you won’t have to suffer the cliffhanger I did! Because let me tell you, the spice level of book two goes way up! Our main girl Renata is a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria. The King’s Justice used her power to enact a reign of terror that killed thousands of other Moria, but now she has escaped and works against the crown as a rebel soldier. But when Dez, her unit commander and the boy she loves, is taken by the notorious crown prince, Renata will have to infiltrate the court to complete his mission. Secrets will be revealed, the past uncovered, and there will be – wait for it – steamy kisses!!
Enemies-to-lovers romance with espionage on motorcycles! It’s 1956 and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, they host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their combined continents. The prize? An audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball in Tokyo. And Yael is going to make sure he doesn’t leave alive. Yael is a former death camp prisoner, a survivor of painful human experimentation that has given her the incredible ability to skinshift – to change her appearance at will. She will have to impersonate the 1955 Axis Tour’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe, and win to get close enough to complete her mission and execute Adolf Hitler to bring the Reich down. It’s a high-octane race to the finish, and the consequences will have to be paid in book two!
Wouldn’t you know, it’s more magical espionage, but instead of trying to rule the world this girl wants to burn it down. Alka Chelrazi was born into a world where Wizards rule with an iron grip. Taken in by an underground rebel group after the murder of her parents, Alka is now on her most dangerous mission yet: to infiltrate Blackwater Academy and burn it to the ground. Think Harry Potter if Hogwarts were evil and Harry was a girl looking to raze it all to the ground. And if that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will!
Oh, did someone order enemies to lovers? You’re welcome! Also, Apollo is just like Cardan only blonde, athletic, and slightly less drunk. Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior in hopes of being accepted by the unyielding people of Sparta (sound familiar, Jude?). But when the goddess Artemis takes Daphne’s bother hostage, Daphne will have to do the goddess’s bidding to save him. Namely she is tasked with returning nine stolen items to Mount Olympus before the gods’ waning powers throw the mortal world into chaos. With the help of the entirely too self-assured Apollo, Daphne’s journey will take her across the Greek isles and pit her against the gods themselves.
If you loved Folk of the Air for the blood-thirsty politics, look no further than The Winter Duke. It’s almost like if The Cruel Prince was told from Cardan’s perspective – only Cardan as a girl in a dukedom of ice above a frozen magical lake. When Ekata’s brother is named heir, she can finally escape her home in Kylma Above and her murderous family. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness. In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and the ever-encroaching dangers from without and within her own ministry. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly learn how to wield it.
I mean, do I even need to explain this one? It should be pretty obvious by now, right? Well if you haven’t been turned on to the gloriousness that is Kingdom of the Wicked, I’ll just tell you right now that it’s like if Folk of the Air were about demons instead of faeries and if you turned the enemies-to-lovers up to eleven. Plus, there’s Wrath who, let’s be honest, is like if Cardan was less drunk and way more buff.
Two magical girls, one dead prince, and a Kingdom that hangs in the balance. Politics, betrayal, magic, and romance. What more do you want? Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control. While Evra is a country girl without any magic at all – or so it seems. Everything changes the night when Annalise loses control of herself and Evra begins experiencing debilitating visions of a once-in-a-generation clairvoyant meant to serve the crown. Thrown together at court, these two girls find they have the same goal: to protect their kingdom from powerful men who are slowly trying to destroy it. But Evra’s visions suggest a threat to royal rule and Annalise worries her darkest secrets will be revealed. As the two girls circle one another, their magic at odds, the kingdom stands on a knife edge. Will they save their world, or destroy it?
If you’re into Folk of the Air for the fae lore, might I suggest the Bone Houses? Based upon Welsh mythology, The Bone Houses is equal parts original fairy-tale and classic horror novel. Ryn is a gravedigger in the village of Colbren, a remote settlement at the base of a harsh mountain range once home to fae creatures known as the Otherfolk. But being a gravedigger in Colbren is no easy job, especially since the dead have a tendency to return as risen corpses known as “bone houses.” When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker, arrives in town the bone houses attack with new fervor. Together Ellis and Ryn will embark on a journey to the heart of the mountains that will reveal long-buried truths and a curse terrible and deadly. And don’t worry if you’ve already read this one! Emily Lloyd-Jones has a new book coming, The Drowned Woods set in the same world as The Bone Houses with the same amount of Otherworld magic and dark fairy-tale energy!
If you came to Folk of the Air for the stabby bits and loved it when Jude was acting like a villain, may I suggest Beyond the Ruby Veil? Emanuela’s confidence reminds me of Cardan while her bitter willingness to do absolutely anything she must (and I mean anything) to win reminds me of Jude. It’s like if Jude never had a moral compass, which is really saying something. Anyway. In the city of Occhia, the only source of water is the watercrea, a mysterious being who uses magic to make water from blood – the blood of Occhians as it turns out. When their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin, all Occhians must surrender themselves to the watercrea to be drained of life. But not Emanuela. She’s kept her omen hidden for years. Besides, she’s too busy with socialite schemes and acquiring power. But just as she’s on the verge of obtaining everything she wants, the watercrea takes her to be sacrificed. I won’t give anything else away, because half the fun in this thrill ride is seeing what Emanuela will do next! Just know there will be blood and a WHOLE lot of it.
The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
by Holly Black
And finally, if you just can’t get enough of the fae queen herself, Holly, I suggest you check out The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The Darkest Part of the Forest is actually set in the same world of Folk of the Air and you may just recognize some characters (hint hint, Remember Severin?). And The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is Holly’s take on vampires – and not one to miss!