A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Holly Black's How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories is an illustrated coda to her Folk of the Air Trilogy. Told from the perspective of Prince Cardan, the chapters depict his early days before bringing the timeline to the present day. There are some violent scenes that involve a whipping, swordfighting, and falling into a less-than-deadly trap. Cardan finds his girlfriend in bed with someone else. At a Faerie party, he gets drunk enough to wake with a hangover. Other than "swive," an archaic term for intercourse, there's no strong language.
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What's the story?
As HOW THE KING OF ELFHAME LEARNED TO HATE STORIES opens, young Cardan finds himself dismissed to the stables at the request of his unloving mother. There he meets a troll, who tells him a story about a boy who spent three nights with a monster. As he matures into the High King of Faerie, Cardan will meet the troll twice more and hear a variation of the tale each time. Can he learn a lesson that will save his life?
Is it any good?
Sometimes a fictional world is so captivating that it welcomes further exploration, and this delightful coda to a well-done trilogy proves its merit. In How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, author Holly Black gives readers tales from before and after the original saga, offering a fresh perspective on familiar material. Rovina Cai's full-color illustrations lend an additional level of sophistication. This elegant extra-helping to the series might be enjoyed by the uninitiated, but you really need to have read the trilogy to get the most out of this new book. For longtime fans, this short novel will be a wonderfully welcome surprise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories uses Celtic mythology to tell a modern story. Why is folklore such a durable inspiration for writers and artists?
The Fey are unable to tell a lie. What might it be like to tell absolutely nothing but the truth?
Cardan enjoys insulting people. What are the dangers of talking trash about strangers and acquaintances?
- Author: Holly Black
- Illustrator: Rovina Cai
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Fairy Tales
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: December 11, 2020
- Number of pages: 200
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 15, 2021
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