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How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, the new book pivots in focus to center on Elfhame's enigmatic High King, Cardan. But it's no straightforward origin story. Everything is told wholly from Cardan's perspective.


An irresistible return to the captivating world of Elfhame from bestselling Folk of the Air author Holly Black Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue…

Before Cardan was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone. In this sumptuously illustrated tale, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king.

This tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar but pivotal moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan’s perspective.

This new instalment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humour and drama that enchanted readers everywhere.

Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-colour art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by audiences both new and old.


Teaser 1:

“So long as you’re begging, he doesn’t mind a bit.” [1]

Teaser 2:

A prince of Faerie, nourished on cat milk and contempt, born into a family overburdened with heirs, and a nasty little prophesy hanging over his head — since the hour of Cardan’s birth, he has been alternately adored and despised. Perhaps it’s no surprise that he turned out the way he did; the only surprise is that he managed to become the High King of Elfhame anyway.

Some might think of him as a strong draught, burning the back of one’s throat, but invigorating all the same. 

You might beg to differ. 

So long as you’re begging, he doesn’t mind a bit.”

Teaser 3:

““This?” he demands, looking down at the waves far beneath them. "This is how you traveled? What if the enchantment ended while Vivi wasn’t with you?”

“I suppose I would have plummeted out of the air,” Jude tells him with troubling equanimity, her expression saying, Horrible risks are entirely normal to me.

Cardan has to admit that the ragwort steeds are swift and that there’s something thrilling about tangling his hand in a leafy man and racing across the sky. It’s not as though he doesn’t enjoy a little danger, just that he doesn’t gorge himself on it, unlike some people. He cuts his gaze toward his unpredictable (page ends)...”

Teaser 4:

“’You don’t think that monster girls and wicked boys deserve love?’” [2]

Teaser 5:

“’A heart of stone can still be broken.’” [3]

Teaser 6:

"He stalked back to the enormous moth, but it wouldn’t return him to Elfhame until he went to a nearby general store, glamoured leaves into money to buy it an entire six-pack of lager."[4]





  • The B&N Exclusive features an alternate jacket + bonus art & sketches with commentary from Holly Black.
  • In an interview with  EW  Black said "I planned a novella to go with the Folk of the Air series centered on Cardan, but I realized I couldn’t do justice to his story until the trilogy was over. I am thrilled to finally get to tell you a bit more about the sullen, annoying, and enigmatic High King of Elfhame and I am especially excited to be partnering with Rovina Cai, whose artwork is witty and atmospheric and absolutely perfect to go with this tale." [5]


Main Series Novellas
The Cruel Prince The Lost Sisters
The Wicked King
The Queen of Nothing
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories
Extra content
A Visit to the Impossible Lands