The Stolen Heir by Holly Black Review

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black is the first part of a new duology in the Folk of the Air series which takes place years after the events in the original trilogy. This novel focuses on Lady Suren, who escaped the Court of the Teeth after her family lost the Battle of the Serpent. Now, Lady Suren lives as Wren, hiding away in the mortal world. When she is chased by a storm hag, Prince Oak comes to Wren’s rescue and recruits her on a mission to save his father and to destroy her mother.

I was excited, but nervous for the release of The Stolen Heir. While I loved the original Folk of the Air trilogy, I am always skeptical of new releases in the same world as they may not live up to the other books in the series. Although The Stolen Heir did have some successful moments throughout the book, it did miss the mark in several areas for me.

In The Cruel Prince trilogy, I enjoyed the many twists and turns driven by the characters and politics of their court. However, I found this area to be lacking in The Stolen Heir. I found that this novel takes more of an adventure-based approach which results in most of the novel being event-driven as opposed to character-driven. While there are some strategical elements throughout the book, readers are mostly kept in the dark as Wren, the main character, is not directly involved in most of the scheming compared to Jude, who narrated the original trilogy. The Stolen Heir lacks many of the twists and turns which made The Cruel Prince so fun to read. I predicted the major plot twist of this book fairly early on in the story, so the reveal at the end wasn’t as surprising for me. While the end does promise an interesting premise in the second book of this duology, it wasn’t entirely worth what I put into reading for me.

Another aspect which made The Cruel Prince so successful were the dynamic characters. Often times, Jude and Cardan weren’t necessarily likable, but they were very true to their characters and this was very clear in their words and actions. In The Stolen Heir, many of the characters remained flat throughout most of the novel. The choices they made weren’t extremely dynamic and didn’t raise the stakes as much as I would have wanted. Throughout the novel, I felt like I was being told who these characters were instead of being shown through their words and actions. For example, readers are told by many characters frequently throughout the novel that Oak is extremely charming and manipulative, but I don’t see it to the level that I have seen it previously in this series. Ultimately, Wren and Oak came across as watered down characters of other characters which readers have previously seen in this series.

That being said, there were some aspects of The Stolen Heir which I enjoyed. In the original series, readers spend most of their time in Elfhame. While other places and people are mentioned, they aren’t fully explored. In The Stolen Heir, readers learn a lot more about the fae world, including different monsters and courts. Another reason why I’m such a fan of the Folk of the Air series is that I typically enjoy Holly Black’s writing. I think she often does a great job of selecting precise words which clearly describe ideas and places. At the same time, I don’t think the writing as smooth in The Stolen Heir. Sometimes, it felt like there were strong quotes surrounded by weaker writing in order to have a memorable line.

Overall, The Stolen Heir was a decent book with potential. Unfortunately, most of this book felt like a set-up to me for the next book in the series and lacked many of the elements which I enjoyed from the original trilogy. I give The Stolen Heir three out of five stars.


Blogmas Day #12: Three Gifts for Three Young Adult Books


If you’re a huge fan of books, often times you’re a huge fan of bookish merchandize. Below, I found three gifts for three series in young adult fiction that would make great gifts any time of the year for fans of these series.

If they’re a fan of… The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I love merchandise that looks like it could easily fit into a room’s decor without people knowing right away where it comes from. This scroll map of Elfhame on Etsy would be the perfect gift to decorate your room without sticking out among other decor.

If they’re a fan of… To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 

Another interesting piece of merchandise that I found online was a hoodie that mimics Peter Kavinsky’s from the Netflix adaption on Etsy. This hoodie features a school logo on the front, as well as Kavinsky’s name and number on the back. I think this would be perfect for a fan of the books as well as someone who is a huge fan of Noah Centineo, who plays Peter Kavinsky in the movie.

If they’re a fan of… Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Candles are a popular gift in subscription boxes, and these candles inspired by the Renegades series would be a great gift for a fan of the series. This set of two candles includes a blue candle named Renegades and a red candle named Anarchists.


What are your favorite bookish gifts?

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Blogmas 2019 Day #6: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black


There’s nothing I love more than a good series conclusion.

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, the third book in the Folk of tThe Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)he Air series, picked up where The Wicked King left off. After Cardan exiled Jude to the human world, she takes up work running errands for the faeries who live there. When Jude’s sister arrived with some troubling news, Jude finds herself pulled back into Elfhame. When a devastating prophecy is revealed, Jude must decide how to save the crown, and Cardan, before it is too late.

While I have enjoyed all the books in the Folk of the Air series, there are some that I love more than others. After reading The Wicked King, which I preferred over The Cruel Prince, I went into The Queen of Nothing with high expectations. Although I wasn’t disappointed by The Queen of Nothing, it still ranks below The Wicked King for me.

My biggest gripe with The Queen of Nothing relies in the story’s beginning. Compared to The Wicked King, I felt that the beginning of this book moved a little slow for me. While I finished both The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King in one sitting, it took me a few days to read The Queen of Nothing because I continuously picked up and put down the book as I read the first half. Luckily, the second half was more interesting to me and I couldn’t put it down to see what twists and turns that Holly Black had up her sleeve.

My favorite aspect of the series as a whole are the twists and play on words that Holly Black comes up with. You never know whether to take her words figuratively or literally or there may be some little pieces of the puzzle that you may miss completely the first time around. This is especially true in the second half of this book.

Overall, The Queen of Nothing is a satisfying conclusion to an overall solid series. I give this book four out of five stars.


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Blogmas 2019 Day #2: November Wrap-Up


This year has been difficult reading-wise for me. However, one exciting November release encouraged me to finish one book in November, which I consider a victory since I was also working on National Novel Writing Month at the same time. Here is what I read:

  • Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (★ ★ ★ ★)

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

I had highly anticipated Queen of Nothing since I finished The Wicked King earlier this year. While I enjoyed the second half of Queen of Nothing much more than the first half, I overall enjoyed this book and series as a whole. To see my full thoughts on Queen of Nothing, check out another Blogmas post later this month.


What books did you read in November?


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Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

book review

Second book slump? The Wicked King’s never heard of her. 💁

The Wicked King by Holly Black picks up after the events of The Cruel PriThe Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)nce, the first book in The Folk of the Air series. Jude and Cardan navigate the politics of the faerie world, but Jude worries that someone may betray her. Jude investigates to discover the person before it is too late.

I read The Cruel Prince after it was released last year (see my review here). After finishing A Court of Thorns and Roses, I was eager to read more fantasy books set in a faerie world. While I was impressed with Holly Black’s writing style, I was disappointed that the book did not feature as much politics as I expected. Additionally, the characters, which is a major hook for me into a story, did not manage to stand out amongst other YA fantasy books. However, the cliff hanger ending convinced me to carry on with the series.

I am glad that I continued on with this series because, in my opinion, The Wicked King was much more enjoyable and interesting than The Cruel Prince. While I do stand by some of my claims (which I will get into later) from the first book, I found the areas that were lacking in the first book for me were much improved in the second installment. Overall, this was one of my favorite books of the year thus far and I am eagerly anticipating the third book in this series. Now, onto the review!

As for the main characters, Jude and Cardan, I found them much more complex and fun to read about than in the first book. With Jude, I found there was a lot more telling than showing with her intellect regarding politics in the first book. However, this was the complete opposite in The Wicked King. As for Cardan, I found that we saw a lot of his awful actions in the first book, but did not see as much of his true manipulation abilities. Since Jude is closer to Cardan in this book, readers see that Cardan’s cruelty extends far more than his actions, which leads to an incredible cliff hanger at the end of the story.

Regarding the “relationship” between Jude and Cardan, it’s a little complicated. For me, Jude and Cardan are by no means “couple goals” due to the way they manipulate each other which one of my biggest gripes with The Cruel Prince because I felt like that wasn’t clear. However, I think this book makes it more clear that Jude and Cardan are very manipulative people who are not going to change by simply being in a relationship as their personalities are much more developed in this book than The Cruel Prince. While Jude and Cardan are not an OTP for me, how they act in this “relationship” is true to character. That being said, if you do not like seeing unhealthy relationships in this book, it may be one to skip.

Looking at the pacing and writing style, I could not put this book down. Holly Black has a writing style that is clear and concise with her word choice. So many times, I found myself using the dictionary feature of my Kindle because I loved the word choices she used. Her pacing was also spot-on. There were so many twist and turns, sub-plots, and surprises that kept me turning the pages. You see so much for of the faerie world and customs in this story, but it is woven so well together that nothing feels like an info dump. Plus, THAT CLIFFHANGER! How can I wait one more year to find out what happens next?

Overall, I really enjoyed my reading experience with The Wicked King. The characterization, world-building, and pacing were all that I was looking for when I picked this book up. I give The Wicked King five out of five stars.


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