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Katie's Pick: The Stolen Heir by Holly Black

Hiding in the human world, Suren, the tormented child queen of the Court of Teeth, must guard her heart against a manipulative prince whom she cannot trust when she agrees to join him on a mysterious quest.

Holly Black’s newest book, The Stolen Heir, is the first book in a new duology series. Eight years have passed since the events of The Folk of the Air’s final book, The Queen of Nothing. Most of the courts of Elfhame have sworn fealty to Jude and Cardan, but Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There, she builds macabre monsters of flesh, bone, and sticks to guard her fortress and extract her revenge against the queen and king of Elfhame. Suren, her daughter, and rightful queen of the Court of Teeth, is on the run in the human world. Suren, or Wren for short, is living like a feral beast, haunted by the torment she endured growing up in the Unseelie Court of Teeth. While living in the mortal world, she secretly undoes faerie bargains to save mortals from the tortuous fate she experienced as a child. One night, a storm hag from the Court of Teeth finds her and attempts to drag her back into faerie. She is saved by Prince Oak of Elfhame, once her childhood friend and betrothed. Prince Oak is no longer the child brother of the Queen of Elfhame, but a charming and cunning young prince. After saving Wren from the hag, he asks her to join him on a quest to the very place she escaped from, the Ice Needle Citadel. Wren must face her growing feelings for the prince, as well as her fears of returning to the horrors she faced in the Court of Teeth. However, Oak keeps his true motives for bringing Wren along a secret. Will she be able to forgive him when the truth is unraveled?

Holly Black’s The Stolen Heir is filled with court intrigue, mystery, betrayal, and longing. I was ecstatic to be given the chance to return to the world of Elfhame, and The Stolen Heir did not disappoint. There are several twists and turns, true to Holly Black’s eloquent style of writing. Wren’s story is one of heartbreaking cruelty and torment. I thoroughly enjoyed her character development from a scared girl on the run into a fierce powerhouse of a fae. Although she comes into her own power, she never looses her insatiable need to be loved, which I found endearing. I also enjoyed Oak’s growth from a spoiled princeling to enigmatic faerie courtier. I am patiently awaiting the sequel to Wren and Oak’s adventures in Elfhame.

While this book does feature characters from The Folk of the Air series, you can use this book as your starting point into the foray of Holly Black’s world of faerie.

- Katie, Reference Librarian


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