May contain plot details
|“||“The odd thing about ambition is this: you can acquire it like a fever, but is it no easy to shed.”||”|
– Jude Duarte, The Cruel Prince
Jude Duarte is the main protagonist of The Folk of the Air trilogy. She is a human and was a member of the Court of Shadows, she is also the High Queen of Elfhame and is the wife of High King Cardan Greenbriar
Jude has auburn hair, described as the color of a willow tree, which she tends to wear in up-dos. The most prominent hairstyle she wears is the horns shaped from her hair that is done by Tatterfell when Jude and Taryn go to Court.
She is also described as having softer features in comparison to the fae, such as her heart-shaped face. Jude's skin color is pale. Her eyes are described as the exact color of walnuts. Her face has been referred to as pretty by others, and she has been called beautiful by Locke. Cardan finds her mortal beauty unique. The top of her ring finger on her left hand is missing, for it was bitten by one of Madoc's guards when she was a child. Both Jude and Taryn have fuller breasts, and larger hips in comparison to their older sister Vivienne due to their human heritage. Jude is also implied to be of a medium height and taller than Vivi. Lady Asha reveals that Jude resembles her mother, Eva, very strongly.
In the official art of the characters in How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories Jude is depicted with a slim figure, walnut-colored hair, full lips, and a light skin color.
As a mortal girl raised with the Gentry of the Folk, Jude is determined to prove herself suitable for the Court. She a bold girl, pushing fear aside in all situations. Jude is often scared of things but always decides to remain cold and doesn’t let others see her fear. She is stubborn, and always works hard to get what she wants. She has ambition and thrives on strategies.
Jude is very smart. She enjoys the lessons she attends with the children of the Gentry. She likes answering the lecturers cleverly because it's something no one can take away from her. She successfully learns about strategy and war from Madoc.
She loves the faerie realm. She never gets tired of the spectacle and pageantry of the Court. She knows that as a human stolen from her world, she shouldn't love faerie, but she does.
As a human, she can lie, unlike the fey, an ability she tends to use to her benefit. She is very cunning. She is good at various forms of fighting, especially sword fighting. Jude is resentful of the people that have hurt her or her sisters and will protect either of them fiercely. Although denying it at first, Jude develops a thirst for bloodshed.
To Roach tells Jude that she likes playing games with the Folk, that she likes pulling their strings and seeing how they dance. He imagines that she'd like it as well with mortals, but the Folk are what she's practiced in, and perhaps some of them offer a particular savor. The Roach says he doesn't mean this as an insult.
Jude was seven years old when her parents, Eva and Justin, were murdered by Madoc in front of her. She and her two sisters, Taryn and Vivienne, were taken away from the human realm to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, as Madoc's responsibility.
When Jude was young, she used to sit at the bank of the Lake of Masks all day, staring at faerie countenances instead of her own, hoping that she might someday catch a glimpse of her mother looking back at her.
When Jude was nine, one of Madoc’s guards bit off the very top of the ring finger on Jude’s left hand. She was outside when it happened, and when she screamed, he pushed her hard enough that her head smacked into a wooden post in the stables. Then he made her stand there while he chewed the piece he’d bitten off. He told her exactly how much he hated mortals. When it was over, he explained that Jude better keep what happened secret, because if she didn’t, he’d eat the rest of her. Being so terrified by his threat she never told another soul.
When Jude was eleven, she was spotted hiding under the banquet table at one of the revels by a particularly bored member of the Gentry. He dragged her out by one foot, kicking and squirming. She did not think he knew who she was. He then compelled her to drink faerie wine. He danced her around the hill. Jude recalls, "It was fun at first, like the kind of terrifying fun that makes you screech to be put down half the time and feel dizzy and sick the rest." But when the fun wore off and she couldn’t stop, he was amused by Jude's fear. It was Princess Elowyn that found Jude at the end of the revel, puking and crying. Elowyn didn’t ask Jude a single thing about how she got that way, she just handed her over to Oriana like Jude was a misplaced jacket.
When Jude was fourteen and Oak was four, he glamoured Jude, which he didn’t mean to do. Jude wasn’t wearing any protective charms because she had just come out of the bath. He told her to play dolls with him, so they played. Then he commanded her to chase him, so they played chase through the halls. Then he figured out he could make her slap herself. Tatterfell found them hours later, and took one good look at Jude’s reddened cheeks and the tears in her eyes, and then ran to find Oriana. For weeks after, a giggling Oak tried to glamour Jude into getting him sweets or lifting him above her head. It never worked because Jude wore a strand of rowan berries everywhere after that. Jude found it hard for months not to strike Oak to the floor for what he did. Oriana has never forgiven Jude for that restraint because she believes that it means Jude plans to revenge herself in the future.
(This summary contains major spoilers, please read at your own risk)
Jude and Taryn attend a monthly revel at the Palace of Elfhame as General Madoc's daughters. They witness Prince Cardan and his friends' cruelness in tearing the wings of a disrespectful faerie. Jude has come to the conclusion about Cardan's character and deems him "unworthy to rule."At their lessons the next day, Cardan kicks dirt onto Jude and Taryn’s food. He threatens to ensorcell Jude into eating the dirt. He tells Jude she doesn't belong in the Summer Tournament because it's not for mortals. He tells her to withdraw, or she will wish she had.
The following day, Jude sneakily puts salt in Cardan and his group's lunch in retaliation for kicking dirt on her lunch yesterday. After lessons they attack Jude and Taryn. Valerian grabs Jude and Locke grabs Taryn, throwing them in the river. Valerian tells them there are nixies in the river and that if they find them, they will pull them under the water and eat them. Valerian, Nicasia, and Locke take turns throwing their belongings into the river. Nicasia says, “This is just a game. But sometimes we play too hard with our toys. And then they break.” Valerian says, “It’s not like we drowned you ourselves.” Cardan tells Jude to quit attending lessons with them and abandon the Summer Tournament. He wants her to tell Madoc that she doesn’t belong with them, her betters. If she agrees to do this, he will save her from the nixies. When Jude refuses, Cardan tells Taryn that if she kisses him on both cheeks and doesn't defend Jude by "word or deed," he won't hold her accountable for Jude's defiance. To get the protection, she must leave Jude to drown in the river. Jude tells her to do it and that she'll be fine, but is still hurt when Taryn does it. Cardan continues to threaten Jude. He tells her that they will break her because she is mortal and fragile and that she should give up. Jude tells him she never will.
At dinner, Jude tells Madoc of her wish to fight in the Summer Tournament as an eligible candidate to become a knight. She is tired of being powerless and wants to become a respected member of the Court. Madoc refuses her, telling her that she is no killer and that the role does not suit her. At lessons the next day, Cardan is seen talking to a crying Taryn, and Jude slams him against a tree and warns him to stay away from Taryn. Cardan is shocked but plans to get revenge.
At the Summer Tournament's mock war, Jude fights mildly at first but after provocation from Cardan, who is on the other team, she fights with viciousness and wins the Tournament for her side. Afterwards, Cardan tells her kneel and beg for his forgiveness for defying him. She refuses, saying that she will shame him with her defiance, and that while he might win in the end, she will make sure to take everything she can away from him on the way down.
Locke comes up to Jude after her refusal to back down to Cardan and asks if she’s alright. When Jude asks why he cares, he replies that he found it funny. He tells Jude that he finds it funny that she gets under Cardan’s skin like iron and that no one bothers him quite the way she does. Locke then begins to clean Jude’s injuries from the mock war. Lock tells her to keep it up.
After the Summer Tournament, Prince Dain visit Jude at Madoc's estate. He tells her he finds it incredible to watch her lie. He asks how Madoc has used her ability to lie. When Dain asks her want she wants, Jude tells him that she wants to be able to resist enchantments. Dain tells Jude that he will never be cruel to her for the sake of delighting in it, and that if she swears herself into his service she will be rewarded. He asks her to be a spy for him and to join his Court of Shadows. In exchange, Dain puts a geas on her that protects her from all faerie glamour and enchantments except for any from him.
At the next day of lessons, Nicasia is bullying Jude for not being able to see at night and slaps her across the face. Valerian shoves faerie fruit down Jude’s throat. He begins choking her with the apple, watching with an expression of mild curiosity. Even while she is choking to death, the fruit is making her feel joyful. Jude stops fighting back because she doesn’t want to hurt him while feeling so happy. Suddenly, Cardan shoves Valerian off her saying that if she dies, his prank will be over before it begins. The other faeries begin laughing at her and they begin making her embarrass herself. Nicasia tells her take off her clothes. Cardan tells her to kiss his foot. But Locke interrupts him and tells him he is taking her home. Cardan stabs her finger making her bleed, as she sucks on her finger, she realizes the salt in her blood is stopping the faerie fruit.
As Locke takes her home, Jude asks how he can stand to be friends with them. He tells her that there “is a pleasure in being with them.” He tells Jude he wants to see her again because she is “like a story that hasn’t happened yet” and he wants to see what she will do and be “part of the unfolding of the tale.”
In her room, Jude finds servant's clothing and instructions for her first mission from Dain: she is to sneak into his brother Prince Balekin's stronghold Hollow Hall as a servant and bring back evidence of treason. In disguise she blends into the human servants of Hollow Hall, wandering in search of such evidence. She stumbles into Cardan's room and realizes he lives with Balekin. She takes his copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as she remembers her mother telling her the story. She then finds her way into Balekin's office and copies a letter of suspicious content about blusher mushrooms from Queen Orlagh, of the Undersea. Before she could make her retreat, Balekin and Cardan come in and she has to hide beneath a leather chair. She sees Balekin physically and emotionally abuse Cardan. She realizes that Cardan has come by "his cruelty honestly in Balekin's care. He has been raised up in it, instructed in its nuances, and honed through its application."
Jude visits Dain in the Palace of Elfhame. Dain takes the copied letter and suggests that she research mithridatism. He summons the Roach and he brings her into the secret passages and chambers inside the palace to meet the other members of the Court of Shadows, the Ghost and the Bomb.
Exhausted, she rides back to Madoc's estate and sees Vivi, Taryn, and Locke chasing Oak around the grounds. Locke confronts her in the stables about returning to school and flirts with her, almost kissing her before Taryn interrupts them. After Locke's departure, Taryn visits Jude in her room and tells her that she is seeing someone and that the person is going to ask for her hand at Prince Dain's coronation. Jude is skeptical of Taryn's mysterious lover but is willing to believe her twin when she says Jude would like him.
When Jude wakes up, she discovers a folded note that had fallen from Cardan's copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Her name is written all over it, rendered in forceful strokes and smeared ink.
Over the next few weeks building up to the coronation, Jude learns spycraft from the other members of the Court of Shadows and goes on two more missions to steal information for Dain. She trains in swordsmanship and strategy with Madoc and begins engaging the mithridatism, which she's learned is the process of poisoning yourself in order to build up immunity. She begins a relationship with Locke. He sits with her and Taryn during lunch and occasionally he walks Jude home through the woods, stopping to kiss her. She doesn’t understand why he likes her, but finds it exciting to be liked. She overhears Nicasia ask Locke if he’s enjoying himself, telling him that Cardan won’t forgive him for what he's doing with Jude.
A few days before the coronation, Jude falls asleep in class and Valerian pushes her to the floor. She wakes up and he shows her that he took her necklace of rowan berries, thinking that now he can compel her. He tells her to call to Cardan and tell him that he has won, and then to jump from the tower. He says, “After all, being born mortal is like being born already dead.” Jude is shocked by the violence and finality of his command. She realizes he’s been planning her murder since the day he choked her. Because of the geas from Dain, she is able to refuse. He becomes furious and yells at her about being mortal and how little her life matters. She doesn’t let him bait her. He begins to choke her, and she stabs him with the cold iron knife she’s started carrying, escaping.
Locke brings Jude to his estate to cheer her up and shows her around the empty and lifeless manor. He persuades her to stay for a party and to pick a dress from the wardrobe of his deceased mother, Liriope. Jude feels uneasy when wearing the dress to the party. She finds a golden bauble in the shape of an acorn inside the dress and pockets it. Jude sees Cardan at the party and notices he is drunk and that two female faeries are all over him. He can't stop staring at her. Locke and Jude spend most of the party kissing and she spends the night. Before leaving his estate, Jude runs into Nicasia who tells her that "he ruins everything." Jude thinks she's talking about Cardan.
She catches up with an upset Taryn in class. They head home and Jude inspects the acorn. It contains a message from Liriope to a friend telling them to take care of her son when she dies. Liriope had died of poisoning from blusher mushroom. Jude immediately thought about the letter that mentioned blusher mushrooms in Balekin's study and wants answers so she goes to Hollow Hall again, but she finds no evidence of Balekin's role in Liriope's poisoning. However, she does come across some letters from Madoc to Balekin about coronation security, but she think they are unimportant. Frustrated at the lack of information, she is about to leave but impulsively rescues an overworked and glamoured human girl named Sophie. She asks Vivi for help returning her to the mortal world. But the girl cannot accept reality and throws herself into the sea during her ride back to the human world.
Disheartened by the girl's death, Jude sleeps fitfully. The following afternoon she wakes to a summoning from Dain. He is furious about what happened with Valerian. He uses the geas to compel Jude to pick up a dagger and stab herself through the hand. He removes the compulsion so that she will stab herself willingly. He wants Jude to prove her devotion to him with blood and bone. She is furious at being in this situation. She decides that if she can't be better than the fey, then she is going to stop being afraid and become something to fear instead.
On the night before coronation, Valerian sneaks into Jude's room at Madoc's estate. He is clearly drunk and is furious with her. He attempts to kill her, but Jude manages to kill him instead. Jude buries Valerian near the stables, but outside the paddock, so that even the most carnivorous of Madoc's sharp-toothed horses are unlikely to dig him up and gnaw on his bones.
Later that night she and the Ghost intercept a messenger sent by Balekin to the palace, only to learn that they were tricked by Balekin. Jude recognizes the messenger is one of Madoc's spies. She does not tell the Ghost, as she does not believe in Madoc's involvement with Balekin.
After little sleep, Jude is woken up for the preparation for the coronation ceremony. At the palace, she dances with Locke, and he asks her whether she loves him enough to weep over him when he hurts her. She replies that if he hurts her she would not cry, she would hurt him back. Cardan steps between them and chides Locke, but Jude does not understand his meaning.
When the ceremony starts, the entire royal family stands behind the throne except for Cardan, who is nowhere to be seen. Eldred, the High King, gives up the power of the crown and prepares to crown Dain. However, Balekin stages his coup with the support of Madoc. Balekin kills Princess Elowyn and Madoc kills Dain. Balekin beheads Taniot and runs his sword through Eldred. The High King can only be crowned by someone of Greenbriar blood, so Balekin turns to his two remaining sisters and tells them to crown him. Princess Caelia is willing to do it in order to stop the bloodshed, but is shot with a bolt from the Ghost. Princess Rhyia kills herself rather than make Balekin High King. Balekin is given three days to become High King by Lord Roiben, or the courts will leave without pledging loyalty to the crown.
The revel continue as if the slaughter did not happen. To her luck, Jude encounters a drunk Cardan under the long banquet tables. He reveals to her that his father despised him. She lets him lead her up to the palace floors before threatening him with a dagger. She forces him to come into the lair of the Court of Shadows and ties him to a chair. The Roach and the Ghost arrive, and with a prompt from Cardan, the Ghost admits that he was the one who poisoned Liriope with orders from Dain, because there was a prophecy saying if the child of Liriope was born, Dain would never be king. It was known that the child Liriope was carrying had been sired by Dain. She leaves Cardan in the Ghost and the Roach's care while she returns to Madoc's estate.
In her room, she changes into a tunic and straps on her father's sword, Nightfell. Going downstairs, she hears that Locke is in Madoc's study asking for Taryn's hand in marriage. She pieces the story together. Locke is the faerie that Taryn is in love with and who was going to ask Madoc for permission to marry her. Everyone except for Jude knew what Locke was doing. Locke told Taryn that if she could endure what he was doing with Jude it would be a test of love and prove to him that she was like the fey and not like mortals. The day Jude saw Cardan making Taryn cry was when Cardan was telling Taryn that it was her fault he kicked dirt onto Jude's food. Locke had tricked them into thinking it was Jude who stole him away from Nicasia. So, it was Jude they were punishing. Cardan told Taryn that Jude was suffering in her place and that if Jude knew why, she'd back down to him, but Taryn couldn't tell her. Jude is disgusted and feels betrayed by Locke and embarrassed that everyone, even her sister, was in on the joke at her expense.
Jude challenges Taryn to a duel and even allows her to fight with Nightfell. In the middle of the duel they are stopped by Vivi who uses a glamour to make them freeze. Jude is not affected due to the geas from Dain, but manages to pull back before harming Taryn. Madoc speaks with Jude and Taryn, while the girls refuse to speak to each other. Madoc tells Jude that he is willing to broker a trade between him and Jude for Cardan, because Madoc thinks she knows where he is.
The next afternoon Jude tries to talk to Taryn but she is not in her room. Jude goes to Oriana's room to ask about Taryn's whereabouts but notices the golden acorn identical to the one she found in Liriope's dress, lying on Oriana's dressing table. She deduces from all the clues that Oriana is the friend Liriope mentioned in the acorn message and has the answers she needs. Jude asks her if Oak was Liriope's son and Oriana tells her the story of happened over eight years ago. Liriope and Oriana were both Eldred's consorts and had a deep friendship. When Liriope started her relationship with Dain, she did not expect to get pregnant with his child. Dain heard of Liriope's pregnancy and poisoned her because of a prophecy that claimed he would not be king if the child was born. Oriana got Liriope's message and cut Liriope's child, Oak, out of her body to save him. She married Madoc to hide Oak's identity as a descendant of the Greenbriar line.
Once she understood Oak's origins, Jude sees through Madoc's plan to rule Faerie by putting Oak on the throne and ruling himself as regent. Jude does not want this to happen because a Faerie ruled by Madoc will be full of war and bloodshed, and Jude wants Oak to have a chance to grow up and be what he chose to be, instead of a political puppet of Madoc's. Jude starts to formulate a plan to beat Madoc at his own game.
She returns to the Court of Shadows and interrogates Cardan. When she asks him why he hates her so much he avoids the question, until Jude threatens to shoot him with a crossbow. He tells her that he envies her because Madoc loves her despite her being his step-daughter when Cardan’s own father despised him. He also envies her because she doesn’t have an abusive older brother. Another reason for his hate is because he believed that she stole Locke from Nicasia, making her cry.
Jude asks him about the piece of paper she found on which he wrote her name over and over again with such intense hatred, but he hesitates to answer. After a little more pressing from Jude, he then admits that he is attracted to Jude and thinks about her often and hates himself for wanting a mortal. Jude then kisses him and he kisses her back.
Cardan proposes a bargain where Jude will tell Balekin that Cardan will crown him, and in return, Balekin shall give Cardan lands and gold and give to Jude whatever she wants. They form a sort of friendship. He tells her he does not want to be the High King. Jude ponders her options and decides on what she will do. On the third day after the royal massacre, Balekin is going to host a feast at Hollow Hall. With the courts gathered at the feast, someone of Greenbriar blood will have to be crowned before the courts leave without swearing fealty.
Jude tells the tale of how Oak came to be of Greenbriar blood to the Court of Shadows and Cardan. She tricks them into thinking that she is going to make Cardan crown Oak, then whisk the young boy to the mortal world where he'll grow up without faerie cruelties. She persuades Cardan to swear himself into her service because she tells him she cannot trust him with the crown of Faerie in his hands. Cardan pledges himself grudgingly, giving Jude the power to command him to do anything she wishes and which he cannot refuse, but only for a year and a day.
Jude tries to persuade different courts to support her plan. She convinces Severin, son of the Alderking, to back her during the plan which will happen at Balekin's banquet on the following day. She then makes a deal with Roiben the lord of the Court of Termites, trading a promise of any one thing to obtain his support during Balekin's banquet.
At dawn, Jude briefly visits Madoc's estate to pack necessities from her room and tell Vivi her plan and asks her to prepare Oak for his role in the coronation of the new High King. She tries to talk to Taryn but she shuts her bedroom door in Jude's face.
At the feast at Hollow Hall, Jude walks in on Cardan’s arm, shocking everyone present. Balekin does not immediately seize Cardan as he now knows the importance of a willing participant in a coronation. Madoc walks up to the pair with a disapproving look. Jude pours two glasses of wine, both laced with poison, and holds them up for Madoc to choose between. Madoc downs one and Jude drinks the other. Jude lures Madoc to a secluded hallway and they fight. Jude had been taught swordsmanship by Madoc, so she is quickly overpowered. However, the poison starts to take effect on Madoc. It makes him unconsciousness, but Jude stays on her feet due to her mithridatism. Jude and her fellow spies tie him in one of the rooms upstairs, where he will wake in a few hours when everything is over.
Jude returns to the banquet sporting a few bruises. She joins Cardan at the dinner table and gets ready for the explosion the Bomb is about to create. When it happens, the Roach shoots bolts at Balekin to distract his guards while the Ghost steals the Crown of Faerie amidst the chaos. The Ghost mistakes Taryn for Jude and throws the crown to her. Jude wrestles the crown from Taryn and gives it to Oak. Jude tells Cardan to show Oak what he should do as the one being crowned, and Cardan kneels, beckoning Oak to do the same. However, Jude commands Cardan to stay completely still in his kneeling position. Oak performs the coronation ceremony and places the crown on Cardan’s head, as he had practiced with Vivi, and Cardan becomes the new High King.
Now Jude has absolute control over the most powerful being in Faerie for a year and a day. Cardan is furious at her betrayal, as he does not want to be High King. Oak is sent to live with Vivi and her girlfriend Heather in the mortal world. Cardan appoints Jude as his seneschal while also telling her that he has not yet forgiven her.
It has been five months since Jude tricked Cardan into becoming High King. She is at a revel advising Cardan on various matters brought before him. Grimsen the Smith asks Cardan for an end to his exile, which Cardan grants. Then a hag named Mother Marrow attempts to trick Cardan into marrying her daughter, but Jude catches her. Locke asks Cardan to make him the Master of Revels. Jude wants to command Cardan not to, but can't risk revealing her power over him. Cardan agrees to Locke's request and Locke announces that he has plans for a Hunter's Moon Revel full of "glorious debauchery." Jude turns away and speaks with the Bomb who has intercepted another message from Balekin to Cardan. Jude decides to visit Balekin to find out what he wants.
Balekin is imprisoned at the lowest floors in the Tower of Forgetting. He greets Jude and tells a guard of the Tower, Vulciber, to slap her pretty face. He does, quick and stinging, and Jude bears it. Balekin dodges Jude's questioning and outright refuses to confess his motives in trying to meet Cardan. He says Cardan would soon know of the messages the Court of Shadows intercepted, then tells Vulciber to escort her back. Jude walks past the cell of Cardan's mother Asha on her way out. Asha recognised Jude for her resemblance to her mother Eva and catches her leg through the bars of her cell. Jude slips on the stairs and freaks out, climbing up and away hastily. At the gates, Jude tricks the guard Vulciber into being alone with her and pricks him with a sedative needle.
Jude brings the subdued guard into the lair of the Court of Shadows and interrogates him with The Queen of Nothing childhood dolls and offers to send Jude's old gowns and jewels from Madoc's estate. Jude assumes that she does it in place of an apology of how both she and Locke deceived her. Taryn left, on good terms with Jude once more. Jude sleeps fitfully because of her mithridatism.
She is woken by the Ghost and the Roach, and they tell her Cardan got into trouble again.She makes her way to his chambers,where he already has company.Somebody shot him through the side and he has set fire to his rooms.
We first see Jude in Vivienne's apartment where she mostly spends her mornings dozing in front of daytime television, watching cooking competitions, cartoons and reruns of a show where people have to complete a gauntlet by stabbing boxes and bottles plus cutting a whole fish. Madoc tries to recruit her several times, but she always refuses, and ultimately Madoc's attempts stop.
In her afternoons, she trains her brother Oak and in her evenings she runs errands for the local faeries. Jude mentions that she misses Faerieland a lot and wishes for a way to break her exile. She watches her brother use glamour on the local schoolchildren unknowingly and later chastises him for it. That evening, she is hired to kill a faerie that is killing and eating other fae. She later learns that this faerie is Grima Mog, the legendary general of the Court of Teeth. Grima Mog, recognizing Jude, offers to tell her information about Cardan if she wins a duel between them. Jude is curious, so she accepts, and they fight on the roof of the building. Jude eventually prevails, but she is very severely injured. Grima Mog tells her that the Court of Teeth, along with Madoc, have created a plan to dethrone Cardan, and that this plan will be put in action before the next full moon. Jude returns home with the bus, when she arrives she sees Heather sitting on the steps. Heather tells Jude that she is trying to work up the courage to go inside. Jude sits outside with her, but then Heather insists that Jude needs to tend to her injuries, so both of them go in and Jude is shocked to find Taryn talking to Vivienne. Taryn explains how she needs Jude's help, Jude is furious and at first refuses, but then Taryn tells Jude how she killed Locke and that she needs Jude pretend to be her and lie about what happened to Locke (since Jude cannot be glamoured because of her geas). Jude agrees and leaves the next morning.
She goes to Taryn's estate to get ready to go to court. When she enters the brugh, she is questioned by Cardan Greenbriar, but when Jude (posing as Taryn) denies killing Locke, Nicasia demands that they check her for any charms that could allow her to resist glamours. Cardan, who unbeknownst to Jude knew she was Jude and not Taryn since the moment she first stepped in the brugh, announces that he will personally search her in his rooms. Jude is furious but she can't resist otherwise her cover would be blown. The guards begin to escort Jude to Cardan's rooms, but on the way a servant crashes into Jude and secretly hands her a knife, telling her not to worry because her father (Madoc) has a plan to get her out. Jude realizes this is because Madoc believes she is Taryn. Jude goes to Cardan's rooms, and the guards stay outside. When they're alone, Cardan reveals to her that he knows who she is, he asks her why she didn't reply to any of his letters. Jude, confused and afraid of what Cardan will do, steps away from him when he tells her to come closer. They're both very confused and Jude starts to pull out her knife, before any explanations can be given, there are explosions and Madoc's people begin to attack. In the chaos, Madoc drugs Jude and she falls unconscious.
When she wakes up, she is in woods she doesn't recognize, covered in heavy blankets with Oriana, who thinks Jude is Taryn. Oriana kindly explains why Madoc took her away from court. Jude asks what happened to Cardan, and Oriana tells her that Madoc was unable to get to him, and Jude is secretly relieved. Jude weighs all her options, and thinks about the letters Cardan claims to have sent her, and how he was treating the topic of her exile as a joke. Later on, Madoc joins them in carriage and tells Jude that three days have passed (Madoc also thinks that Jude is Taryn). He also tells her how he lost half of his knights; Cardan was fighting hard to keep her. They arrive at the Court of Teeth, and Oriana helps Jude get settled in their tent. Jude washes her face and changes her clothes, Jude walks around camp and decides to stay so that she can learn about Madoc's plans and trade the information for the end of her exile. Jude, Madoc, and Oriana dine with the Court of Teeth, where Jude meets Lady Nore, Lord Jarel and Queen Suren (a changeling that grew up in the mortal world so she wouldn't have to pledge herself to the Blood Crown). Jude is horrified by how the young Queen has been bridled by her parents. No one pays Jude much attention, not thinking she is important because she is mortal. Grimsen is also present, and Jude talks to him, flattering him so that he will tell her details about Madoc's plans. Grimsen is pleased by Jude's flattery, and invites her to visit his forge the following day. Jude is frustrated because she wanted the information right away. The next day Jude wakes up and decides that she would escape that very same day. Oriana suggests that she goes foraging in the woods instead of doing needlepoint with the Court ladies. Jude agrees and as she begins to leave, Oriana warns her against visiting Grimsen. Jude goes to the woods, where she can finally relax and think through her options. She hikes through the woods until she is on high enough ground that she can see the whole camp. There she can see the forge, the pavillions, and the hub of activity. She also spots a cave faraway from camp, at the base of the mountain; there are two guards guarding it.
Jude goes to visit Grimsen, asking to see his work. He is pleased that she is interested and invites her inside. Jude then learns that Grimsen is rather annoyed at Madoc because he doesn't appreciate the work that Grimsen is doing. Jude uses this to her advantage and manages to get Grimsen to tell her how he curses everything that he makes; the Blood Crown, the earrings that Jude is wearing, even the gift that Grimsen gave to Cardan when he came back to court. This causes Jude to be angry, but she hides it for the sake of her facade and asks if she can visit him again tomorrow. Grimsen agrees.
Jude goes back to the woods to actually do some foraging. She takes her pent up anger out on the berries, wood, mushrooms, and rocks. When she is calmed, she goes back to camp where Madoc spots her and invites her to sit with him. Jude (obviously still posing as Taryn), converses with Madoc; he tells her he thinks he can win against Cardan and that he will do it via a duel for love and duty. Jude is perplexed, and Madoc explains that there is a prophecy stating that Cardan would be a bad king, that this prophecy hangs over Cardan's head and that he thinks he can charm his way out of it.
- Taryn Duarte
- Main article: Jude and Taryn
- Main article: Vivienne and Jude
- Vivienne is Jude and Taryn’s older sister. Before Madoc came for her, she was a caring child, gentle and loyal to her family, but after moving to Faerie she became a rebellious and resentful girl, dedicated to bothering Madoc and her faerie family as much as she was able. As the older sister, she still tries to protect both of her sisters at all costs, inviting them to live in the human world with her and her girlfriend. She always gives them advice and helps both of them with anything they need. In The Cruel Prince, she even helps Jude in driving Sophie out of Faerie, and then, searching for her body in the water. In the end, Jude confides Vivienne for her mission.
- In The Cruel Prince Jude confess her relationship with Madoc to be an odd love. Madoc was like a parent for the twins, although he was the murderer of their real parents. Madoc raised them out of obligation, out of honor and duty, but still, he raised them with caring love and compromise. He teaches them how to fight with the cutlass, dagger, the falchion, and fists. Madoc helps Jude in improving her technique in combat. Jude knows he is thirsty for power and is cunning. His plans get ruined by Jude, letting the reader know how Madoc pretended to rule over Faerie while Oak was being prepared to be king, and even after that.
- Oak was always like Jude’s little brother. For both of them, it wasn’t important that Oak was a faerie and Jude mortal, she loved him the same. When they were both young, Jude was glamoured by Oak, and although she knew he didn’t do it on purpose, she still holds a bit of resentment towards him.
- Oriana was Jude’s foster mother after their arrival to Faerie. Oriana was normally rude with the three girls, and she usually reminded Taryn and Jude of how careful they had to be during revels because they could be enchanted and she didn’t want for them to abash Madoc. She insisted on taking Oak away from either of them, an action that infuriated Jude a lot. When she erroneously suspects that Jude is Dain’s consort, she tries to give her advice to retire, telling her that being a consort is to always be a pawn. In The Cruel Prince after the coronation banquet, she trusts Jude to take Oak to somewhere safe, where he can be away from Faerie corruptions and cruelty until he is ready to be king.
- Cardan Greenbriar
- Main article: Cardan and Jude
- For the most part of The Cruel Prince whenever Jude thinks of Cardan she feels two things: hatred and rage. She hates him for being a spoiled prince, for bothering her and her sister, and his relentless power over her. She knows Cardan’s hatred for her is deep, and he shows her in every one of his actions towards her. In her mission infiltrating Hollow Hall, where she sees Cardan being tortured by his brother Balekin, Jude begins to pity him a little. Throughout the book, Jude grudgingly remarks upon Cardan's beauty and every once in a blue moon he shows a softer side for her. After the coronation in which Jude gets full control of Cardan and his future, he admits that his hatred for her is caused by jealousy and envy of the way Madoc tries for her to fit in, even though she doesn’t belong there. With a little more pushing from Jude, Cardan admits he desires her, and how he loathes feeling that. After that, Jude and Cardan’s relationship becomes odd, they are obviously involved with each other and become somewhat friends/"lovers". At the end of The Cruel Prince, Jude betrays Cardan and in the epilogue, we learn that he has yet to forgive her.
- In The Queen of Nothing, Jude is left in the mortal world and spends most of her time longing for and grudging against Cardan. She partly admits to herself that she loves him but due to his betrayal, she ignores those feelings. She considers ways to take over the crown and to get back at Cardan. Later, she has a nightmare that involves Valerian and Locke during which Cardan shows up and tells her that it is only a nightmare and that he will always love her but proceeds to tell her that her mortal beauty will fade and that she is nothing. Jude then wakes up crying and confused. After some events occurring in the book, Cardan and Jude meet again and he tells an angry Jude that her exile was only a trick. She then realizes her error in overlooking the the exile's wording. Although the two don't make peace with each other immediately, they both show mutual affection and longing towards each other. Cardan admits he's been in love with her for a long time and goes out of the room before Jude can respond. When Cardan becomes a serpent after incurring a ancient curse, she spends most of her time feeling extremely regretful because she didn't tell Cardan that she loved him too.The Court of the Teeth give her a bridle that will bind the serpent to her so she will have Cardan forever in exchange for being given positions of power.When Jude is faced by the serpent,it becomes obvious to her that she can't do it so she cuts her sword through the serpent's neck. While she is telling Madoc she won‘t fight him, Cardan steps out from the serpent's corpse and Jude and him are reunited. She tells him that she is in love with him as well but he thinks she is saying it out of pity. However, after she explains why she loves him, he realizes that her feeling are genuine. They both end up ruling Elfhame as the High King and Queen.
- During The Cruel Prince Jude’s relationship with Locke was always unclear and confusing, even for Jude. Locke was charming from the beginning, he confesses he loves drama and stories, and that he wanted to stay near Jude so he could be part of hers. He never stands up to defend Jude, until the apple incident in which he stops the rest to take her home. When their romance begins everything goes well, until the coronation, in which he begins to act weird making strange questions to Jude. After he plays Jude, she declares her disgust towards Locke, who ended up being only in it for the dramatics. Locke had promised to marry Taryn before courting Jude.
- Tatterfell has cared for Jude since she was a child. It was Tatterfell who smeared a stinging faerie ointment over Jude’s eyes to give her True Sight so that she could see through most glamours. Tatterfell also brushed the mud from Jude’s boots and kept her clean. Tatterfell was the one to give Jude the string of dried rowan berries that Jude wears around her neck so she might be able to resist enchantments. Tatterfell used to wipe Jude’s wet nose and reminded her to wear her stockings inside out so she’d never be led astray in the forest.
- Dain Greenbriar
- At first Dain appears to Jude as someone who wants to help her. He offers her a position in his Court of Shadows, and although that wasn’t what Jude wanted, she accepts the offer and the geas he gives her to resist enchantments. As the most likely heir to the throne, Jude knows Dain has a lot of power and that he would be able to protect her. She describes him as "honored and honorable." However, when Dain makes her stab her own hand willingly to prove her devotion to him, she is furious with him and begins to wonder if he is as really honorable as he appears. After his death, Jude continues to learn more about what Dain did and what he was really like and her opinion of him changes and she no longer views him as an honorable person.
- Jude’s favourite food is cheese and bread roasted over a fire. 
- Jude is the younger twin.
- According to the author, She has some Latin ancestry in her background, through her dad who is of mixed white and Latin American descent.
- her skin color and full ethnicity/race, have not been officially confirmed by the author although she is described with pale skin.
- While proving her lying skills to Prince Dain, it is stated that her birthday could be November 13, 2001.
- She is said to look exactly like her father in the prologue, and also to resemble her mother very heavily when she looks into the Lake of Masks. Jude is also told by Cardan's mother that she "resembles her (Mother) very strongly."
- She has a scar on the center of her left hand from when she was forced to stab herself to prove her loyalty to prince Dain.
- The top of her ring finger on her left hand is missing.
- Jude has a nervous tic: she rubs the tip of her missing fingertip with her thumb when feeling anxious.
- Locke describe Jude's beauty as beautiful as wintry forest