Book Review: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

5 out of 5 Stars!

The Blurb

An irresistible return to the captivating world of Elfhame.

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue.

Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone . Revealing a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan, tis tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan’s perspective.

This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old.

My Thoughts

Honestly, by this point anything Holly Black writes is golden in my eyes. This collection of interconnected short stories written from Cardan’s point of view was no different.

The literary style was completely different from the previous Folk of the Air novels. It’s told in third person and is laid out in a more traditional fairy tale storytelling style. I loved the voice, which manages to be sweet, heartbreaking, horrifying, and gorgeous in turns–very fitting for a king of the fae. Holly Black does such an amazing job painting the world of faeries with whimsy and mystery. And the sketchy and shadowed images accompanying each chapter were gorgeous!

With each story, readers are drawn into Cardan’s life and thought processes. Some of the stories are unique glimpses into his childhood, whereas others are scenes from the previous novels but from his vantage. Although these bits could have easily felt redundant, there was so much feeling and character, these re-tellings offer intriguing insight into the mind of the enigmatic cruel prince. Trigger warnings for violence, childhood neglect, drug abuse, and physical abuse.

Overall I loved this collection and give it 5 out of 5 stars! I’d recommend it for any fans of Holly Black’s modern fairy tale world.

Happy Reading!

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