Does Locke Die In The Cruel Prince?

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If you’ve been reading through Holly Black’s Folk of the Air series, you’re probably wondering whether or not Locke, one of the most polarizing characters in the books, ends up dead or not!

Does Locke die in The Cruel Prince? No, Locke does not die in The Cruel Prince. However, he does die in The Queen of Nothing, the third installment in the Folk of the Air series by Holly Black. 

If you haven’t read these books yet, be aware that this post contains spoilers for the whole series! If you want to hear my spoiler-free overall thoughts on the series, you can check out my Summer Reading Wrap Up!

Who Is Locke?

I recently finished reading the Folk of the Air trilogy, and for me, Locke went very quickly from being an interesting character to being a total pain in the butt!

In the first novel in the series, The Cruel Prince, Locke is introduced as one of the faerie classmates of our protagonist Jude Duarte and her twin sister Taryn.

Jude and Taryn, as the only human students in their class in Elfhame, are under constant torment and ridicule from the other faerie students.

Early in the book, we see Locke stand up for Jude and form a relationship with her. Locke does admit, however, that his true intentions are to be a part of interesting stories and that Jude fascinates him because of this.

“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.

We later find out that he is secretly betrothed to Jude’s twin sister, Taryn, and the rivalry between the two sisters begins!

Locke created his own story by forcing Taryn to keep secrets from Jude and letting her be punished by the other faeries for their secret relationship.

He also publicly embarrassed Jude by parading her around, all while everyone around them knew the truth about the relationship that Locke and Tarnyn were in.

We also later find out that Locke is the son of Liriope, a consort to the former High King of Elfham.

Liriope is also the former bestie of Oriana (Jude and Taryn’s stepmother), and it is LATER revealed that Liriope is the true mother of Oak (Jude and Taryn’s stepbrother), with Oriana fostering Oak as her own child after the murder of Liriope.

Yes, this does make Oak both the stepbrother and brother-in-law of Locke! Only in fairyland!!!!!

In The Wicked King, the second full-length book in the series, Locke is preparing for his wedding with Taryn and still causing conflict!

He is appointed to be the Master of Revels in Cardan’s court; however, he uses his position to continue to humiliate Jude, and he even attacks her in the woods the night before his wedding. 

Who Kills Locke? 

The Queen of Nothing, the third book in the series, picks up with Jude having been banished to the human world and living with her sister Viviane and her stepbrother Oak.

Tayrn travels to the human world to visit her exiled sister and reveals that she had killed Locke and that she is pregnant with his unborn child!

Why Does Taryn Kill Locke?

Taryn claims that before murdering Locke, he began to treat her poorly and was losing interest in her. It seems that this was due to her being all out of stories for him to use and that he had broken his promise to love her until his death.

She stabs him in the throat with a letter opener, stating that she did not plan to kill him, but that in one moment she was holding the letter opener and the next moment he was dead.

Because of his death, she is under investigation by the High Court, but is also able to flee with her unborn child without the fear of being hunted down by Locke.

Does Locke Love Jude? 

Locke’s truest love is stories; because of this, I read the character as never truly loving Jude but using her.

“I like for things to happen, for stories to unfold. And if I can’t find a good enough story, I make one.

If he ever truly loved Jude, I think it was for the fun of love itself and for the story it created of two sisters becoming rivals over him.

I don’t believe he ever truly loved Taryn either. Perhaps he’s a character who is not fully capable of love due to his traumatic childhood and lack of parents. 

Do I Need to Read The Lost Sister?

No, you do not need to! The Lost Sister is a novella that takes place between the events of The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King.

This book does take more time to develop the relationship between Locke and Taryn that is missing from the rest of the books, but you do not need to read it to understand the plot of the series overall. 

Have you read the Folk of the Air series? If so, I want to know your favorite characters and what you think of Locke! Should Taryn have to suffer any punishments for straight up murdering her husband?

Cause in my opinion, yes, Locke DOES suck, but also she did go after him with a dagger! Not going to lie, I was kinda rooting for him and Jude at the beginning of the book (but let’s be real, Cardan and Jude are the real OTP from this series)!

I also need to know if the whole Cardan-having-a-tail situation threw anyone else for a loop because it still messes with my mind and I read these books two months ago! 


Other Articles From PaisleyReads: 2022 Summer Reading Wrap Up

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