A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Inspired by Celtic mythology, The Stolen Heir features creatures from folklore that might be of interest to readers.
People who survive by trickery shouldn't be surprised when it happens to them.
Positive Role Models
Rather than indulge in deadly court politics, Suren exiles herself to the mortal world. She's not safe there, either, and must rely upon her bravery and resourcefulness.
Almost everyone reads as White, though Suren, with Faerie blood, has blue-ish skin. Lots of fantasy creatures, including men with hooves.
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Violence & Scariness
Sword fights and magical curses occur without much blooodshed. Threats of violence come in the form of fantasy creatures, including trolls, stick creatures, and falcon soldiers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Suren and Oak share a romantic past, but they don't talk about it much, nor about their rekindled crushes. A couple kisses and cuddles infrequently, and mostly offscreen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Stolen Heir is the first volume of a new fantasy duology by Holly Black (The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King). Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, has exiled herself to the human world, where she fixes the bad bargains made by mortals. Her world is turned upside-down by the arrival of her long-lost love, 17-year-old Prince Oak, to whom she was once promised in marriage but who betrayed her. There's a low level of violence by magic and swordplay, without much blooodshed, and monsters made of sticks and snow. A couple kisses and cuddles, infrequently and mostly offscreen, and there are vague references to past romantic dalliances.
Is It Any Good?
It can be fun to watch fantasy writers experiment with new characters, and this spin-off offers ample evidence that author Holly Black was ready for a change-up. Black works at her usual high standards, offering plenty of action and whip-smart dialogue. Suren is crafty yet vulnerable, often surprising herself with what she's capable of. Prince Oak is the perfect male lead for The Stolen Heir, constantly keeping Suren on her toes as they test each other's trustworthiness. If it's court intrigue you want, The Stolen Heir overflows with it, artfully setting the stage for the conclusion of the duology.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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