Five Word Summary
Suspenseful, quest story, brutal, dark, climatic.
- Fantasy lovers
- Quest lovers
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.
First of all, I read The Stolen Heir without having read The Folk of the Air series. At first, I thought this might be a disadvantage to my enjoyment of the book. Ultimately, I think the opposite was true. So, while I didn’t understand the references to other characters, it seems that fans of The Folk of the Air series found The Stolen Heir pale in comparison. I had no such comparison, and so really enjoyed the book. The main character, Suren, was compelling, complex and tough as nails. I enjoyed Prince Oak too, never having encountered him as a child in the original series. There was a good deal of mystery about him and the constant – is he going to betray her? – was suspenseful. The ending has a great twist too and ends with a cliffhanger.
Since reading The Stolen Heir, I have read The Cruel Prince and so can understand why some readers didn’t enjoy this book as much. Still, Holly Black’s writing is too good to dismiss, and the story is filled with wonder, heart-breaking darkness, and delicious fantasy elements. For that reason alone, it is a very entertaining read.
The cover is adequate in my humble opinion. It’s good, but not stunning.