‘The Stolen Heir’ is High Fantasy Done Right


Angela Xu

The Stolen Heir is acclaimed fantasy writer Holly Black’s latest novel, and it’s a masterclass in high fantasy.

Gabby Schrock, Assistant A&E Editor

Holly Black is known for The Cruel Prince, the ensuing trilogy, and some stand-alone novels. She’s a very popular author, so her new duology has readers raving. The Stolen Heir, published Jan. 10, left readers so satisfied they can’t wait for the sequel, although there is no official release date yet.

The book has many themes that kept me wanting to read: romance, mysteries, and banter pulled me in and were beautifully executed.

Usually, a high fantasy novel like this I would put down because of bad writing. But Holly Black has always been an amazing writer, and this book is over the top in captivating writing and vivid descriptions. Her trilogy, The Folk of the Air, was astounding and is a rightful fan favorite among many, including me.

One of the main characters, Wren, tries to escape her fate and true self because she doesn’t want to be known as a monster in her community. She runs away from her family that doesn’t love her or share her ideals. Her running away is making a point to her family that they cannot control her.

Black’s main characters, Wren and Oak, have a deep and complex history together that begins in childhood. This bond is what makes their love powerful enough to face a great evil. But of course, in order to succeed, Wren is shoved back into the world she despises, dragged along a brutal trip to stop the wrath of the very thing she ran away from.

In the midst of chaos, love flourishes, danger and tension build, and the stakes grow higher for Wren as her fate becomes clear in an endeavor that tests her powers.

As I read, countless twists and turns kept me on my toes and kept me turning the page. The romance is underlying but very enticing. Attention-grabbing descriptions and the journey and development of characters throughout the book make it nearly impossible to put down.

On top of that, the cliffhanger ending left me wanting more. Holly Black is one of the best fantasy writers there is, and coming from someone who doesn’t like fantasy, that’s saying something.