It’s Christmas Eve Eve, I’ve been drinking, and I don’t have anything planned for today, so it’s a great day to do a mini review! Today, I am reviewing How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black. This is a short story collection told from the perspective of Cardan from The Cruel Prince. If you have not read the trilogy yet, this short story collection will spoil you for the series, so please be warned.
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Cruel Prince #3.5) by Holly Black
Published: November 24th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy
An illustrated addition to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince, from award-winning author 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. #1 New York Times bestselling author, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan. This 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.
One of the things I loved the most about this collection were the illustrations. The short stories were okay, and it was nice to be back in Cardan’s head, but the drawings were what made this worthwhile. I love short stories, especially set in worlds that I’m already familiar with, so I knew I would love this collection. And I did. Cardan gives us some insight into his childhood and the things he experience growing up, while also showing us how he’s learned over the years. There’s a story told over and over again, changing slightly to match the changes in Cardan, which I thought was really cool. And it shows how much Cardan has grown and changed over the years.
Personally, I love Cardan and it was so fun to read stories from his point of view. And to have the matching illustrations made me enchanted. I honestly couldn’t stop myself from reading the whole thing in an hour, going through each story, and admiring each drawing. While the stories were good, there were a few that I wasn’t too impressed with. If it hadn’t been for the gorgeous drawings my review of this might have been lower. But, again, I’m a sucker for Cardan and I think the illustrations helped make this book.
It was so easy to slip back into the faerie world and admire everything Cardan has gone through. These stories helped me sympathize with him even more as we finally see first hand what he has gone through. Overall, I love this collection and will probably revisit it often. // 5 stars.