Book Review: The Stolen Heir – Holly Black

Book Review: The Stolen Heir – Holly Black


Series:
Elfhame #4
Release Date: January 3rd 2023
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I ordered a copy of this from Book Depository
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

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.

Review

The Stolen Heir was one of my most anticipated releases for 2023. The Cruel Prince trilogy is one of my favourite YA series of all time and I was really excited to return to the world of Elfhame. The story is full of magic and adventure, but for me, I didn’t fall in love with it quite as much as I did The Cruel Prince.

The Stolen Heir tells the story of Suren, once the child queen of the Court of Teeth, she has been exiled to the human realm. She spends her time foraging in the woods, releasing mortals from their bargains with the fae and longing to return to the human family she once lived with. When Suren runs into Bogdana from the Court of Teeth, she is saved by Prince Oak, heir to the throne of Elfhame. Oak requires Suren’s help in a dangerous quest to rescue his father, but doing so will take her back to the Court of Teeth and the life she left behind. Will she survive returning to that deadly place and can Prince Oak really be trusted?

There was lots about The Stolen Heir that I really enjoyed. Holly Black really is the queen of faerie and I love her writing style and the way she brings this world to life. While the story did feel a little slow in some parts, overall it was engaging and compelling enough that I ended up reading half the book in one sitting. There is a reveal that happens at the end of the story that I guessed pretty early on, but I am nonetheless very intrigued to see where the story will go in book two.

Suren is probably what made this book for me. She’s a really interesting and complex character, dealing with a harrowing childhood and just trying to find her place in the world. I liked seeing her relationships develop with the other characters in the story and I can’t wait to see where the story is going to take her. Overall this a fun, entertaining read, full of Black’s trademark writing. If you’ve read The Cruel Prince series and are intrigued by this one I would definitely say it’s worth picking up.