Mini-Review | How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

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, his 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.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories is a collection of beautifully-illustrated short stories connected by a common thread: a fairytale that changes slightly to reflect Cardan’s circumstances at each stage in his life before coming full-circle in the final story. Each story was quite short; aside from the last one, which takes place after The Queen of Nothing, I didn’t feel they added much beyond what we already knew from the series.

Overall, How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories made for a quick and enjoyable read, though I don’t see myself reading it again. It’s a good companion to The Folk of the Air series but it didn’t add as much depth or as many novel insights as I was expecting.

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