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Hot Key Books to publish ‘lavish and luminous’ Folk of the Air companion novella by Holly Black

Hot Key Books to publish ‘lavish and luminous’ Folk of the Air companion novella by Holly Black, in gift format with stunning illustrations by Rovina Cai

Hot Key Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, is delighted to announce the acquisition of a standalone tale by New York Times bestselling author Holly Black.

The story sits adjacent to the Folk of Air series and is told wholly from Cardan’s perspective. How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories will publish in hardback on 24 November 2020. The title features over eighty full-colour illustrations from Rovina Cai.

Jane Harris, managing director of children’s trade at Bonnier Books UK, and Emma Matthewson, executive publisher for Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (including audio and eBook rights) from Heather Baror-Shapiro at Baror International.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories is an irresistible return to the captivating world of Elfhame.

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue. Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone.

Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan. 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 have 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 fans both new and old.

Commenting on the deal Holly Black said: ‘I planned a novella to go with the Folk of the Air series centred on Cardan, but I realised 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 World Fantasy Award-winning illustrator Rovina Cai, whose artwork is witty and atmospheric and absolutely perfect to go with this tale. I have to thank everyone at Hot Key Books for being such enthusiastic supporters of this project and the series.’

Emma Matthewson, Executive Publisher for Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press, said: ‘We could not be more thrilled to be publishing this deliciously satisfying and engaging addition to Holly’s Folk of the Air faerie world, gorgeously illustrated in full colour for the very first time.’

About Holly Black

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Her titles include the Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and the Folk of the Air series, which began with The Cruel Prince in 2018, nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019 and winner of the Silver Inky for best International YA book. She lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library. Follow Holly at or @HollyBlack

About Rovina Cai

Rovina Cai is a freelance illustrator who works across a variety of genres. Her poetic imagery has served as book covers, posters and interior art for novels and picture books. She recently won the World Fantasy Award for best artist. Her work has also been recognised by organisations including the Society of Illustrators and the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Rovina works out of a cosy studio in Melbourne, Australia, in an old building that was once a convent and is possibly haunted.