How to Read Holly Black’s Faerie Books
Greetings, mortals! So, you’ve decided to embark on a journey into Holly Black’s world of Faerie. Here’s some guidance from a well-worn traveler on how best to read these thrilling books:
- Pick your starting point
Part of the beauty of Holly Black’s Faerie is its many different points of entry. Mine was Tithe, and I have been a loyal devotee ever since. If you want to dive right in with a trilogy, The Cruel Prince is your best bet. Jude’s mortal schemes will give you a true taste of everything Faerie has to offer. However, if you’re not ready to dive in headlong, you could try a standalone entry. The Darkest Part of the Forest will give you a great introductory feel for Faerie, and some iconic romance to boot. If you want to be there for the start of a new duology, The Stolen Heir is what you’re looking for. While it does feature characters from The Cruel Prince and its sequels, collectively called the Folk of the Air series, you can absolutely choose The Stolen Heir as your initial foray into Faerie. Being there from the beginning means you won’t have to worry about spoilers, in case that’s a concern (and it should be).
- Tread carefully
The Faerie courts are notoriously challenging to navigate. As you read these books, I can personally guarantee that your heart and mind will suffer great trials and tribulations. Be prepared to gasp, to scream, and perchance to cry. (A soothing beverage will go a long way towards taming your nerves.)
- Don’t be afraid to retrace your steps
Once the twists start coming, they do not stop coming. A mid-series reread is never out of order. Feel free to reread books before moving on to the next installment. You can even go back a few chapters to search for breadcrumbs if you’re really feeling the narrative whiplash. Holly’s books are full of treats and hints to delight the rereader.
- Keep an eye out for familiar faces
Characters you’ve met in one Holly Black book tend to pop up again. Sometimes these characters are only described, not named, so you’ll need to pay close attention to spot all of the cameos. Seeing personal favorites from the Modern Faerie Tales (Tithe, Ironside, and Valiant) appear in the Folk of the Air is the ultimate fan reward.
- The end is just the beginning of a new adventure
Once you’ve finished one book, or even one series, you will undoubtedly want more. Fortunately, you can jump from series to series within Holly Black’s Faerie. (Note: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories makes for a special treat after finishing the Folk of the Air books.) And when you’ve finished them all, you should absolutely reread them.
Here’s to scheming great schemes and reading (and rereading) great books!
A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.
Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There, she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.
Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world. There, she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag, Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.
Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful, and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she left behind.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him—and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives….
Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.
Until one day, he does….
As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be.
The Modern Faerie Tales
Holly Black's acclaimed Modern Faerie Tales series is now available in this special bind-up edition featuring all three books!
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself as an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms--a struggle that could very well mean her death.
This special bind-up edition includes Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside.