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How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

Written by Holly Black

Illustrated by Rovina Cai

Part of the The Folk of the Air Series

Books of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Mysteries / Mythology

LoveReading View on How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

A gloriously illustrated novella, filling in the details of the early life of King Cardan of The Folk of the Air Trilogy

December 2020 Book of the Month

Holly Black writes amazing fantasy set in the land of Faerie. She has thrilled us with The Folk of the Air Trilogy – but this delightful novella takes a deeper look at the early life of the cruel King Cardan from the trilogy – offering some insights as to why he becomes the adult he is and how his early influences contributed.  


For such a short book (only 173 pages) it is filled with high romance, terrifying danger and touches of humour that will appeal to both established fans and new readers alike. Starting in Cardan’s childhood - where he is a faerie child with a heart of stone and an eye for wicked mischief - the story takes us through his various meetings with the Troll Aslog of the West and the variations on the “boy with the stone heart” story and how these contribute to his eventual character.   


Pair this with Rovina Cai’s amazing illustrations and this is a jewel of a book. Using a wonderfully earthy, shadowy palette Cai creates a marvellous picture of the world of Faerie. The generous number of illustrations, with detail and depth to them, draws the reader further and further into the story. Definitely a book not to be missed!

Tricia Adams

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories Synopsis

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

Before Cardan was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone. In this sumptuously illustrated tale, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame's enigmatic high king.

This tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar but pivotal moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan's perspective.

This new instalment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humour and drama that enchanted readers everywhere.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories Press Reviews

'Lush, dangerous, a dark jewel of a book. Black's world is intoxicating, imbued with a relentless sense of peril that kept me riveted through every chapter. This delicious story will seduce you and leave you desperate for just one more state' - Leigh Bardugo

'Holly Black is the Faerie Queen' - Victoria Aveyard

'Complex, nuanced characters, frank sensuality, and thorn-sharp intricate storytelling all conspire to ensnare' - Guardian

'The Wicked King is an exhilarating, heart in your mouth blend of murder, magic, desire and betrayal - an unputdow nable book that doesn't just live up to the brilliance of The Cruel Prince but exceeds it.' - CultureFly

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471409981
Publication date: 24/11/2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471409981
Publication date: 24th November 2020
Author: Holly Black
Illustrator: Rovina Cai
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 192 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Mysterys / Mythology
Recommendations: Books of the Month

About Holly Black

Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for children and young people, with global sales of over 12 million copies. Her titles include the Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and the Folk of the Air series, which begins with The Cruel Prince in 2018, nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019, and winner of the Silver Inky for best International YA book. Holly has been a finalist for an Eisner and a Lodestar Award, and the ...

More About Holly Black

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