A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories. is based on Celtic mythology and offers an opportunity to discuss the folklore of Faerie.
Stories are tremendously powerful and can change both the teller and the listener. Unpleasant people can learn to hold their tongues.
Positive Role Models
Cardan likes to see himself as a villain, but he's more compassionate than he likes to admit. His marriage mellows him considerably.
Violence & Scariness
Cardan falls into a trap set by a troll, participates in sword fights, and is whipped by his older brother.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Cardan discovers his girlfriend in bed with another boy.
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A character takes girl to bed with him to "swive," an archaic word for sexual intercourse.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cardan attends a party, gets drunk, and winds up with a hangover.
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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.
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.
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