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The Lost Sisters

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Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . . While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal. The Lost Sisters is a compani Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . . While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal. The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.


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Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . . While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal. The Lost Sisters is a compani Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . . While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal. The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.

30 review for The Lost Sisters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Em (RunawayWithDreamthieves)

    Actual footage of me reading Taryn’s half-baked justifications: This novella, which was kind of a letter written from Taryn to Jude, only reinforced the conviction I’ve settled into after reading The Cruel prince: That Locke is a curse in every language in which it is spoken and the guileful spinner of this dreadful web everyone is tangled in, carefully orchestrated so that he’s at the center of it all. To him, Taryn was a blank canvas and he poured into her, filling her empty spaces so completel Actual footage of me reading Taryn’s half-baked justifications: This novella, which was kind of a letter written from Taryn to Jude, only reinforced the conviction I’ve settled into after reading The Cruel prince: That Locke is a curse in every language in which it is spoken and the guileful spinner of this dreadful web everyone is tangled in, carefully orchestrated so that he’s at the center of it all. To him, Taryn was a blank canvas and he poured into her, filling her empty spaces so completely she didn’t even realize she’s become the wrong shape. This is what he does. He disarms people with the candy shell charm that’s hiding the thing lurking beneath it, coaxing them into feeding him their most hidden secrets and most guarded desires and giving him something new and shiny to play with. But I genuinely can’t tell you if his manipulations of Taryn are so deep she can’t even notice it lining her every seam, or if he glimpsed the fleeting slices and the jagged pieces—glittering and sharp and hungry—obfuscated beneath Taryn’s exterior and saw something he recognized. Because two are playing at this treacherous game. [puts my hand on Taryn’s shoulder and looks her directly in the eyes] Yeah. If you think you’re entitled to Jude’s understanding and forgiveness for not only betraying her but worst, being an accomplice in the pain and humiliation she’s been made to endure, all in order to earn the flimsy approval and affection of some crusty dude who’s treated you like shit and used you as a sponge that he can fill with his drama and ego and squeeze out when he pleases, then I hate to break it to you but you’re actually just an asshole! “You’re awful.” He [Cardan] said it as though he was delighted. “And the worst part is that you believe otherwise.” Cardan ain’t wrong. (4 stars for Cardan for being the only woke person in this entire book)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes. Ah, I only wish this was longer! The Lost Sisters is a tiny story and even tinier than it first appears because the last ten or so pages is an extract from The Wicked King. It's an apology - of sorts - from Taryn to Jude. I love that Black chose to have Taryn directly address Jude as she explains her actions and motivations. It made it a more emotional read. And, he Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes. Ah, I only wish this was longer! The Lost Sisters is a tiny story and even tinier than it first appears because the last ten or so pages is an extract from The Wicked King. It's an apology - of sorts - from Taryn to Jude. I love that Black chose to have Taryn directly address Jude as she explains her actions and motivations. It made it a more emotional read. And, hell, did she have some explaining to do! Frankly, it's a pretty terrible apology, but I can't deny that I like and sympathize more with Taryn after reading it. In the end, she's just trying to make her way and be happy with the circumstances life has handed her. Unfortunately, that also means she's willing to step on a few people to get where she needs to be. Once, there was a woman who was beautiful and clever and, because of her beauty and cleverness, believed that she would always be happy. Perhaps she should have known better, but she didn’t. Despite this, she's not the real villain. She's complex and messed up but I can understand her. Deep down, she wants to be a good person-- even when she's not. Locke, on the other hand, is a manipulative, borderline-abusive piece of shit. The only good thing about him is how great it feels to hate him. I suppose that makes him a good villain *seethes* It's weird reading this book after having read The Wicked King and recalling all the drama that goes down in that book. It's quite exciting to glimpse the characters like this once again whilst also knowing what they'll become. Why oh why can't I have the next book right now?? Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    1.) The Cruel Prince ★★★★★ 2.) The Wicked King ★★★★★ “Fairy tales are full of girls who wait, who endure, who suffer. Good girls. Obedient girls. Girls who crush nettles until their hands bleed. Girls who haul water for witches. Girls who wander through deserts or sleep in ashes or make homes for transformed brothers in the woods. Girls without hands, without eyes, without the power of speech, without any power at all. But then a prince rides up and sees the girl and finds her beautiful. Beautif 1.) The Cruel Prince ★★★★★ 2.) The Wicked King ★★★★★ “Fairy tales are full of girls who wait, who endure, who suffer. Good girls. Obedient girls. Girls who crush nettles until their hands bleed. Girls who haul water for witches. Girls who wander through deserts or sleep in ashes or make homes for transformed brothers in the woods. Girls without hands, without eyes, without the power of speech, without any power at all. But then a prince rides up and sees the girl and finds her beautiful. Beautiful, not despite her suffering, but because of it.” No one weaves words and magic like Holly Black. No one. And I don’t even have words to express how amazing it feels to be back in this world. Not only did it make me appreciate The Cruel Prince more, it also made me emotional because of all the foreshadowing for The Wicked King. This is a pivotal short story that completely immersed me, captivated me, and reinforced that this is my favorite series of all-time. It was so smart to format this story in a letter, that Taryn is writing to Jude, but in second person. It is eerie, and haunting, and it makes the reading experience feels so much more intimate, real, and unforgettable. Every time I open a Holly Black book, I feel like I’ve stepped right into the realm of fae, and this short story was no different. “Faeries despise humans as liars, but there are different kinds of lying. Since you and I first came to Faerie, Jude, we’ve lied to each other plenty.” The Lost Sisters allows you to see small glimpses into important scenes of The Cruel Prince, but we get to see it all unfold from Taryn’s point of view. I see a lot of reviews say that it made them sympathize with her, but it made me feel worse for Jude. This isn’t a redemption arc. This isn’t a happy ending. This isn’t what you’re expecting. This is just an honest look at Taryn’s feelings; and if I’m being honest, they are still really selfish. “It’s terrible to be a girl trapped in a story. But you can be more than that. You can be the teller. You can shape the story. You can make all of Faerie love you.” But Taryn really is trying to carve out her own place in a world that she never asked to live in. Vivi, Jude, and Taryn didn’t ask to lose their mother, be ripped from their home, and forced to live among people who will never make them feel like they belong. But all three girls feel and handle things very differently. Vivi feels sadness and wishes to escape. Jude feels angry and wishes for revenge. Taryn feels inadequacy and wishes for love. And all of these things are valid, and none of things are lesser, they are just different. “His hair was bright in the moonlight, his face as handsome as heartbreak.” But this book also really shines a spotlight on Locke. And he truly is the gaslighting, manipulative, abusive, royal jerk. This book really shows how easy it for abusive people to be manipulative. How they can twist everything to make it feel like it is all your fault. How they can make you crave their attention. How easy it is to feel like you’re being loved, not abused. Honestly, the most interesting element of this book for me was the introduction of Edir, and the entire secret party and all the attendees. Again, it really reinforced (to me) that Locke is totally going to end up being the big bad of this entire story. Also, I just have a really soft spot in my heart for bard-like characters. And sometimes we really do need to listen to the songs of the mothers and women that came before us, to know how worthy of a new song we all really are. “But that night, a pebble struck my window and I saw the shape of a boy standing below, smiling up at me as though he already knew all my secrets.” My favorite part of the book? A whisper from Cardan. God, I’m so soft and weak and on brand. It’s really pathetic at this point. Seeing Cardan in this book was hard at first, really hard, I’m not going to lie, but seeing how far he’s come? How far him and Jude have both come? Lord, help me. It is almost funny to see them interact in this short story, knowing the storm that awaits them in The Wicked King. Overall, I loved this. I really was expecting to feel differently after turning that last page, but this was still such an atmospheric ride that I truly never wanted to end. This series, this world, these characters, everything is just a tier above the rest. This is the series of my heart and soul. And Holly Black never ceases to amaze me. I stan one fae queen, and it is her. It will always be her. “Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes.” Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch Content and trigger warnings for murder, death, self-harm, bullying, and grey area cheating.

  4. 5 out of 5

    chandler ainsley ❁

    edit 10/7: i didn't like this :) it could be that it's been too much time since i've read the cruel prince but i didn't really feel that this novella was necessary. i know i shouldn't assume anything about holly black's characters but i could have guessed that taryn was a dumb ass, naive, loved up, fool. i think i would have preferred this more if she hadn't had any remorse for her actions. her weeping and "but i was in love" justification to all of her actions was just... not interesting to me. i edit 10/7: i didn't like this :) it could be that it's been too much time since i've read the cruel prince but i didn't really feel that this novella was necessary. i know i shouldn't assume anything about holly black's characters but i could have guessed that taryn was a dumb ass, naive, loved up, fool. i think i would have preferred this more if she hadn't had any remorse for her actions. her weeping and "but i was in love" justification to all of her actions was just... not interesting to me. i don't think this was poorly written and it was nice getting back into this world but i wish this novella would have been about LITERALLY anything else. maybe the fae sister's feelings/why she wants to live in the human world? idk. wasn't a complete waste of time but not something i will be rereading. I might hate tarryn but sometimes u just gotta yolo & yeet & read the damn novella

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    I’ve never been more excited about a novella in my entire life. I don’t even like Taryn and Locke. My obsession for this series is getting real bad, I guess. ****** So, my thoughts on this novella. I think I sympathize with Taryn a bit more now, but I still don’t like her at all. I don’t understand her actions simply because her motives are dumb to me. While Jude is after something badass, tangible and personally highly rewarding, she’s just looking for someone to marry. Way to go Taryn, you have s I’ve never been more excited about a novella in my entire life. I don’t even like Taryn and Locke. My obsession for this series is getting real bad, I guess. ****** So, my thoughts on this novella. I think I sympathize with Taryn a bit more now, but I still don’t like her at all. I don’t understand her actions simply because her motives are dumb to me. While Jude is after something badass, tangible and personally highly rewarding, she’s just looking for someone to marry. Way to go Taryn, you have such high ambitions *insert slow pity clap* Locke is seriously the worst though. I don’t think I hate a character in this series more than I hate him. I hope Jude kills him like she did with Valerian. That’s what he deserves.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "We were mortals and we had no fixed future in Faerie. You were wondering about your place here, just like I was." Can I just start by saying how surprised I am at how vital this itty bitty story is to the overall arc of The Cruel Prince? I went in wholly expecting to have wasted my $2.99 based on my overall lack of enjoyment of novellas in general, but this? This was superb. In fact, if this golden nugget had somehow been weaved into book one, even as an afterthought, wrap-up, or extended epilog "We were mortals and we had no fixed future in Faerie. You were wondering about your place here, just like I was." Can I just start by saying how surprised I am at how vital this itty bitty story is to the overall arc of The Cruel Prince? I went in wholly expecting to have wasted my $2.99 based on my overall lack of enjoyment of novellas in general, but this? This was superb. In fact, if this golden nugget had somehow been weaved into book one, even as an afterthought, wrap-up, or extended epilogue, I would have give TCP a higher rating than I initially doled out. One of the reasons I wasn't blown away with the first installment was due to my lack of connection to the characters and world; this slight tale connected all the pieces that were floating in my periphery during my first read. While at first I was sitting around, pouting and telling myself "She can't force me to like Taryn, stop trying to make Taryn happen!", I quickly realized that Holly Black was not, in fact, trying to force this character down my throat. I'll go as far as to suggest that this minute character study is present to fill in a few gaps, sure, but also to reinforce what a truly unlikable character Taryn is, and her journey on discovering just how far she's willing to go and what she's actually capable of. I won't spoil anything for you, but reading this little treasure has made me eager for the release of The Wicked King, where before I was apathetic and resigned to continuing on just to see what happens. "Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart's blood should run cold."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gaia

    me: i can't believe i'm gonna read a novella about the characters i dislike the most them: you don't have to... me: no i'm gonna ***** [21/10/18] novellas aren't really supposed to add anything to the main plotline, they're about developing characters and their backstories. so the only time i can actually rate them positively because i TRULY liked them is when i like the character they're about. if anyone was wondering, i still don't care about taryn at all! however i do love holly black's style and t me: i can't believe i'm gonna read a novella about the characters i dislike the most them: you don't have to... me: no i'm gonna ***** [21/10/18] novellas aren't really supposed to add anything to the main plotline, they're about developing characters and their backstories. so the only time i can actually rate them positively because i TRULY liked them is when i like the character they're about. if anyone was wondering, i still don't care about taryn at all! however i do love holly black's style and this series overall. so this might not be much in itself but it was something to quiet the seemingly neverending wait till book 2... but then that sneak peek... kinda did the worst because now i'll be once again thinking of jude and cardan during every waking moment. can i just have the wicked king now please???

  8. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I'm so desperate for The Wicked King and my silly little self was like "oohhh this will be a nice thing while we wait!" Actually it's TORTURE. And it also gives you a peek of TWK so like...no, no, it's fine, I wanted to be impaled by an ebook because of my intense need to know what happens next. 😭 I still don't like Taryn, but I liked getting to see her perspective. She is so desperately in need of being wanted, and I find that so sad that she can't get it from anywhere else but the cruelly mani I'm so desperate for The Wicked King and my silly little self was like "oohhh this will be a nice thing while we wait!" Actually it's TORTURE. And it also gives you a peek of TWK so like...no, no, it's fine, I wanted to be impaled by an ebook because of my intense need to know what happens next. 😭 I still don't like Taryn, but I liked getting to see her perspective. She is so desperately in need of being wanted, and I find that so sad that she can't get it from anywhere else but the cruelly manipulative Locke. I feel like she and Jude could've been a Slytherin-power-sister-duo except Taryn will literally hurl Jude under a bus if it benefits her. Congrats, Taryn. You fit into backstabbing faerieland just fine. Also Locke is so viciously and Cardan is a petulant little shit and this series is so messed up and I love it. (I don't love them. I love how it's crafted. Faeries are dangerous, nEVER FORGET.) It's such an excellent display of morally grey characters and the psychology behind it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alana • thebookishchick

    Honestly, I was just expecting this to be something to placate us from having to wait another three months for The Wicked King, but much to my surprise this was so much more! Granted, I don't think this redeems Taryn's character in any way (especially now that I've read The Wicked King). But it was actually interesting to watch some really important parts of The Cruel Prince unravel in Taryn's eyes. This novella is written as a letter from Taryn to Jude basically trying to explain why she did the Honestly, I was just expecting this to be something to placate us from having to wait another three months for The Wicked King, but much to my surprise this was so much more! Granted, I don't think this redeems Taryn's character in any way (especially now that I've read The Wicked King). But it was actually interesting to watch some really important parts of The Cruel Prince unravel in Taryn's eyes. This novella is written as a letter from Taryn to Jude basically trying to explain why she did the things she did, and seek some sort of forgiveness. And while I really have zero sympathy for Taryn it kind of made me feel for Jude, even more than I already do. Taryn, is the type of person that desperately needs to feel wanted and y'all that is so far from myself. Can't relate. The rundown of this novella is basically this... she's a shit sister, who is willing to make some pretty horrible choices because she thinks being with a manipulative asshole will make all of Faerie love her and that's all she wants. Taryn, honey, please just stop. This also basically confirms that Locke is the worst. I mean, he played both sisters and that's really messed up. But I also need to know what his motives are because I really don't know and knowing Holly Black she has a lot of tricks up her sleeve. No one is safe, but I low key hope Locke dies at some point in this trilogy. Sorry, Taryn, but your man has GOT TO GO. We got no time for games (even though that's all this entire series is). But let's leave the games to Jude and Cardan, am I right? As for the writing, it was superb as usual. Holly Black is one of my favorite authors and while she can whip up a mean story about Faeries, I've also enjoyed other books by her as well that are not related to the fae and they are just as good. Also, can I just mention the fact that I was L I V I N G for the way Taryn talks about how Cardan looks at Jude. Like, absolutely thriving. Especially when Taryn recounts Jude holding him by his throat against a tree, ugh yaaaaas, it was just so good. Favorite Quotes Let's start with a love story. Or maybe it's another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes.  You know what fascinates me about you? You're a hungry person sitting in front of banquet, refusing to eat. Jealousy wasn't a spice to me then. It was the whole meal and I was gagging it down. Looking at you was like looking into a mirror and hating what I saw. All in all, I was really shocked by how good of a novella this was. And now that I'm officially done with The Wicked King and have nothing to live for until 2020 I'm going to lay in bed and cry for a year and a day, but not a minute more 😉. Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jiana

    Taryn can throw herself and her so-called "apology" off a cliff.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ♆Hayley

    WOW, I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate Taryn anymore than I already did but yep, it’s possible. I FUCKING HATE HER. Not going to lie, I think she is pathetic and weak. What I especially hate about her is that she is nasty and then tries to paint herself in a kind light. No honey, you’re just a bitch. Locke is awful as well, but I like it because he doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly WOW, I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate Taryn anymore than I already did but yep, it’s possible. I FUCKING HATE HER. Not going to lie, I think she is pathetic and weak. What I especially hate about her is that she is nasty and then tries to paint herself in a kind light. No honey, you’re just a bitch. Locke is awful as well, but I like it because he doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes. This was beautifully written, as always, and I loved the other fairytales within this one. The world that Holly has crafted in this series is as beautiful as it is terrifying - I love it so much. It was interesting being in Taryn’s head, seeing her try and justify herself to Jude, and it was really fun to see interactions between Jude and the Folk (especially Jude and Cardan). *sigh* Hate Taryn, loved this story. ”You’re awful.” He [Cardan] said it as though he was delighted. “And the worst part is that you believe otherwise.” Sums Taryn up perfectly. She’s a trash human. **** I’m so fucking excited I can’t even. I hate Locke but I do admire his awfulness and Taryn.. is a cunt. Sorry not sorry. I can’t wait to crawl inside her backstabbing little mind because there is no way she can be as stupid as I think she is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    amy

    wow i almost forgot how much i hated taryn thanks for reminding me @holly black ily bad bitch 💅🏻💋💓💘 3.5 'idk how to rate novellas' stars i mean, part of me really wishes mrs. black would've spent her time and energy on the wicked king instead of writing a kinda unnecessary companion novel, but hey, i'll take what i can get! this novella only proved what we all already knew: taryn is a dumb bitch. i think holly black just wanted to erase every last shred of doubt that we still had about taryn's lo wow i almost forgot how much i hated taryn thanks for reminding me @holly black ily bad bitch 💅🏻💋💓💘 3.5 'idk how to rate novellas' stars i mean, part of me really wishes mrs. black would've spent her time and energy on the wicked king instead of writing a kinda unnecessary companion novel, but hey, i'll take what i can get! this novella only proved what we all already knew: taryn is a dumb bitch. i think holly black just wanted to erase every last shred of doubt that we still had about taryn's lousy character, sat down, and wrote this novella. because even though this is supposed to be an 'apology' from taryn to jude, none of her actions are actually justified. as i stated above: the bitch is still doing her dumb bitch thing. i mean, ffs, even cardan - CARDAN - called her awful. i rest my case. even though i don't think this was a necessary addition to the series, i still enjoyed holly black's writing a lot, and i'm very excited for what else she has in store for us. the wicked king can't come soon enough. "Let's start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes." • spontaneous buddy read with may and gia

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Brigid

    1) The Cruel Prince ★★★★✰ “Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes.” Holly Black didn’t write the Disney tales you grew up, that much is certain. Despite how I wasn’t a huge fan of The Cruel Prince, I can in no way, overlook the sheer beauty of Black’s writing and world building. Her stories aren’t packed with sugar and glazed with icing. No, they’re wine that’s been laced with poison. Invigorating at f 1) The Cruel Prince ★★★★✰ “Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes.” Holly Black didn’t write the Disney tales you grew up, that much is certain. Despite how I wasn’t a huge fan of The Cruel Prince, I can in no way, overlook the sheer beauty of Black’s writing and world building. Her stories aren’t packed with sugar and glazed with icing. No, they’re wine that’s been laced with poison. Invigorating at first, but before you realize it, Black has hold of you, and is dragging you under the wings of her story. Her poise is beautifully poetic in a haunting way, and I swear, I must've highlighted half this book. I absolutely love the raw and emotionally honesty that’s weaved into the pages of this short companion novella. It isn’t a redemption arc. It’s merely a glance into Taryn’s mind, and an explanation for why she did what she did. The prickly thorns of jealousy and regret. Written as an apology letter of sorts to Jude, only adds to the atmosphere, and helps the reader better envision and understand Taryn’s point-of-view. I don’t believe it was Black’s intention at all to spin this story in a way that painted Taryn in a better light. She isn’t a hero. She’s selfish and allows her foolish desires to cloud her better judgement, all the while hurting those she loves. I don’t by any means, believe her actions are righteous, but I did appreciate the way she laid her heart on the table, hoping for a small shred of forgiveness from her sister. Locke is the villain this fairy tale deserves. Happily Ever Afters are a foreign concept and regarded as the whimseys of childhood in this story, and I couldn’t agree more. I didn’t read these books, expecting Prince Charming to kiss Snow White and run away with her to a glimmering palace. I sat down, grabbed the popcorn, and eagerly anticipated the poison apple and deceit simmering beneath the surface, begging to arise. This novel only reinforced my previous opinion that Locke is a heinous, self-manipulative character who plays people as if they were pawns in a game. Although I am quite the fan of morally ambiguous villains with sympathetic backstories, I couldn’t help but revel in Locke’s merciless nature. He’s a Fae. He’s born from the bitter seed of schemes and lies. Should I have expected anything else from him? Strangely enough, I might have enjoyed this short story, more than The Cruel Prince. While I imagine you could easily enjoy The Wicked King without having read this one, I would recommend it since it’s a lovely, detailed account of the reasons why Taryn behaved as she did in the first novel. It doesn’t restore my faith in her character, but perhaps, her blatant honesty is better than any redemption could’ve been. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Camile Souza (This Chamber of Books)

    "Be bold. Be bold. But not too bold." Interesting. I still think Taryn is awful, but she kind of knows that. I guess that's what's engaging about these characters - they're not aspiring to be good people. They want and they take. They're selfish and cruel, and they go to great extents to get their wishes. Even if both Jude and Taryn are humans, they learned the ways of Faerie too well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Taryn dear, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you the absolute worst, you spineless little worm. You’re selfish, whiny, weak and desperately need to grow a backbone. I hope Jude cuts you in half. So yeah, Taryn’s a bitch. I guess we all knew that but I’m surprised how she actually made me hate her even more in this novella than I already did. I could feel my resentment towards her growing with every page I turned. This was quite interesting to read even though it didn’t really provide any new i Taryn dear, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you the absolute worst, you spineless little worm. You’re selfish, whiny, weak and desperately need to grow a backbone. I hope Jude cuts you in half. So yeah, Taryn’s a bitch. I guess we all knew that but I’m surprised how she actually made me hate her even more in this novella than I already did. I could feel my resentment towards her growing with every page I turned. This was quite interesting to read even though it didn’t really provide any new information.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Bilgram

    “I can show you a version of yourself, Taryn. One you’ve never imagined. It’s terrible to be a girl trapped in a story. But you can be more than that. You can be the teller. You can shape the story. You can make all of Faerie love you.” Please let it be known I do not want to read another book if it isn’t part of the Folk of the Air series. Have you ever fallen so completely and utterly in love with a story you find yourself unable to focus on anything else? That all you want to do is shout at st “I can show you a version of yourself, Taryn. One you’ve never imagined. It’s terrible to be a girl trapped in a story. But you can be more than that. You can be the teller. You can shape the story. You can make all of Faerie love you.” Please let it be known I do not want to read another book if it isn’t part of the Folk of the Air series. Have you ever fallen so completely and utterly in love with a story you find yourself unable to focus on anything else? That all you want to do is shout at strangers about how life changing it is and you feel like you will burst because no words or actions can capture how ardently you love this story and how you are a different person having read it? That’s me with The Folk of the Air books, and more specifically, The Lost Sisters. Connecting the gap between The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, The Lost Sisters is an e-novella told in a letter from Taryn to Jude chronicling her love affair with Locke while revealing some secrets more delicious than faerie fruit. I was nervous, to say the least. I didn’t like Taryn, nor did I really want to. Going into this story, I was ready to unsheathe my own sword and defend Jude’s honor. The last thing I’d expected was to be completely sucked into the story, crying nine pages in (over Taryn of all people!), and finding myself sympathizing and rooting for her. “You were bold and daring and breathtakingly stupid. Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart’s blood should run cold.” Told in a letter to Jude, it’d be too easy to say The Lost Sisters is Taryn’s defense. It’s so much more than that—it’s an apology, a love story, a tragedy, a story of a mortal girl trapped in a fairytale-nightmare trying to control her own story and have a semblance of power. Taryn’s narrative has a way of doing what Taryn does best: holding up a mirror to Jude. Except this time the reader has access to that mirror and we are confronted with a very uncomfortable question: why do we love Jude, but hate Taryn who has the same motivations, desires, fears, and ambitions as her, and truly believes she is doing what she thinks to be best? “I never thought it would come to anything bad for anyone but me.” With a narrator as unreliable as Jude and with a story that delves so deeply into family dynamics, The Lost Sisters is necessary and completely changed my perception of Jude and Taryn’s relationship. After having read, I’m left with a much deeper appreciation of Jude and Taryn, their positions in Faerie, how they view one another in this land of monsters, and how much they ultimately love each other. Jude makes us believe Taryn is fine wherever she goes and that she’s adaptable, but Taryn is not fine, she’s arguably even more not fine than Jude is—something The Lost Sisters finally allows us to understand. I don’t necessarily agree with what Taryn did, but I get it, and after learning everything that led her to that point, I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing in her situation. Taryn might be one of the most complex and compelling characters I’ve ever encountered—her narrative was gripping and entirely un-put-downable. Locke famously tells Jude she is a story and he wants to see what she will do, but Taryn is a story too, and I want to be part of the unfolding of her tale. Be sure to pre-order The Lost Sisters (available OCTOBER 2) if you haven't already (https://www.thenovl.com/cruelprince), because this story is so completely entrancing and important to The Folk of the Air series!!! I've never been so grateful and in love with a novella before. Thank you so much Novl and Little Brown Books for Young Readers for an early copy in exchange for an honest review<3 All quotes are taken from an early copy and are subject to change upon publication. “’How does it feel?’ he asked. ‘To be stuck in a fairy tale?’”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    Let’s start with a love story. Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes. This was so good. Written as a letter from Taryn to Jude explaining her side of The Cruel Prince. I still hate Taryn but I loved seeing a bit more into what went on with Locke.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Taryn and Jude seem to be more alike in this story than I'd previously thought. Essentially, they just want to matter, regardless of how much becoming important would cost them. Different tools, same goals. Let's see if they are able to outplay the Faeries. Locke is total garbage, but I have to give it to him, he knows how to play this game and to stir high drama along the way. I liked it, but the story is too short to warrant anything more than 3 stars.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    This was a pretty good read to get into Taryn's head about things. However, I still don't like her. But I mean, you don't really have to to like the book. I also was not a fan of the second person POV—it's always an odd feeling. Like as soon as the word "you" is used, I look down at myself, and point to my chest like "who, me?"  But I will say I seriously love Holly's writing, and this was a great novella to get a little more of the world in between the books, along with a different character's PO This was a pretty good read to get into Taryn's head about things. However, I still don't like her. But I mean, you don't really have to to like the book. I also was not a fan of the second person POV—it's always an odd feeling. Like as soon as the word "you" is used, I look down at myself, and point to my chest like "who, me?"  But I will say I seriously love Holly's writing, and this was a great novella to get a little more of the world in between the books, along with a different character's POV! Definitely recommend if you love the series!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sol ~ TheBookishKing

    You know what, Taryn is a disease on this world but oh well. I have just finished The Wicked King over the weekend and was really looking forward to this dropping. I waited and waited for it to load into my iBooks and when it finally did I just sped through it. And not only is Taryn an actual disease, Locke is as well. Two diseases plaguing this world, Holly Black why you do this to us?! This is going to be spoilery for The Cruel Prince so take caution! This little novel is all about Taryn and You know what, Taryn is a disease on this world but oh well. I have just finished The Wicked King over the weekend and was really looking forward to this dropping. I waited and waited for it to load into my iBooks and when it finally did I just sped through it. And not only is Taryn an actual disease, Locke is as well. Two diseases plaguing this world, Holly Black why you do this to us?! This is going to be spoilery for The Cruel Prince so take caution! This little novel is all about Taryn and her decisions and her story in The Cruel Prince. It's a really good lead way into The Wicked King and I feel like it is a perfect book. As much as I despise Taryn and everything she does, there were times in this where I kind of felt bad for her? The feelings only lasted a couple of seconds though because her attitude about everything just sucks big time. This novel is formatted as a letter to her twin sister Jude, explaining why she went through with so many things that happened to them in TCP. I did love being back in the The Cruel Prince though in a different perspective, even if it was in Trash Taryn's perspective. And we also got to see Locke and his freaking annoying self. He's trash. My boy Cardan was in this though and that made things so much better. Taryn: This girl just is something else. I despised her beyond words in Cruel Prince, then I despised her more in Wicked King, and then Holly Black was like "Here hate this girl more why don't ya." I feel like Jude put so much trust into her sister and Taryns there in la-La Land not giving a single heck. I do feel like she wanted to be accepted so much by the Faerie and she just wanted to be apart of the world in a different way than Jude did.  "It’s terrible to be a girl trapped in a story. But you can be more than that. You can be the teller. You can shape the story. You can make all of Faerie love you.” As much as I do not like her though, this book changed my mindset on her a tad. I can see where she made her mistakes and where had room to change but she just wanted love and to be accepted. And then she made choices that were big "oof" and I can't really support her for that. Locke: This manipulative piece of crap just needs to go. I feel like he mentally played with both Jude and Taryn so hard and it ruined both of them. He just didn't care! I know the Fae are supposed to be cruel as heck but jeez boi calm down. I still don't know his true feelings though and I think that bugs me the most because I can't read him and see through him. It frustrates me! Love and The Writing: Love plays a big tricky piece in this whole series. Fae love is so intricate and so unlike normal human love. And I feel like Taryn and Locke do love each other, but it's just a very complicated type of love. "Love is a noble cause,” Vivi reminded her. “How can anything done in the service of a noble cause be wrong?” "But love was also transforming. I knew that from fairy tales. It could turn you back from a cat or a frog or a beast. Probably it could turn you into those things, too." I feel like this whole series you could wrap up and tell your kids. Shorten it and it makes something complicated and lovely that a child would enjoy. Now actually reading these books I don't think should be for children but the moral of these books are Fairy Tale worthy. "Fairy tales are full of girls who wait, who endure, who suffer. Good girls. Obedient girls. Girls who crush nettles until their hands bleed. Girls who haul water for witches. Girls who wander through deserts or sleep in ashes or make homes for transformed brothers in the woods. Girls without hands, without eyes, without the power of speech, without any power at all. But then a prince rides up and sees the girl and finds her beautiful. Beautiful, not despite her suffering, but because of it." Holly Black weaves her words so magically and you can't just help but love her books. They have this weird quality to them where it's light reading easy to blow through, but the writing still holds infinite amount of quality and the characters are beautifully intricate. This series is seriously so so good. "Fairy tales have a moral: Stay on the path. Don’t trust wolves. Don’t steal things, not even things you think no normal person would care about. Share your food but don’t trust people who want to share their food with you; don’t eat their shiny red apples, nor their candy houses, nor any of it. Be nice, always nice, and polite to everyone: kings and beggars, witches and wounded bears. Don’t break a promise. Be bold, be bold, but not too bold. It’s important that we learn the lessons our mother didn’t." So I think I've turned into a big Holly Black fan because of this book and The Wicked King so this is new. I'm not like completely obsessed with Fae and want to be one buuut I do love this world and the political intrigue and the characters. Anyways, this review turned out to a whole lot longer than I expected so yikes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    joanna ☽ the little brown fairy

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaa aa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaa aaa aa a aaaaa aa a aaaaa aa a aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa aaa aaaaaa aaa aaaa aaaaaaaaaaaa I CANT WAIT FOR 2019

  22. 4 out of 5

    ☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness

    Ahhhh December can't come soon enough I'm gonna re-read The Cruel Prince as a Christmas treat. Beyond excited for the Wicked King💜💜 *intense eyebrow waggling* P.S I will never like Taryn.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Triad

    This is a letter written by a girl. She tells a story. Her story. And it is a story about betrayal. I am not sure if she asks for forgiveness or if she just brags about her achievements. The only sure thing is that she is full of jealously about her sister. Also that her happiness and acceptance by the fairies is more important than family ties and sisterly love.

  24. 4 out of 5

    ambsreads

    wow taryn is the actual worst sister alive

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)

    I still hate Taryn 😂

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee » Library In The Country

    This may make me feel some sympathy for Taryn because it gives me her side of the story? HA. HA. HA. No. This just makes me despise her more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ALEXA

    I really, truly enjoyed how this was written, but I still really, truly despise Taryn. Still, it’s certainly fascinating to see an alternate side to the story I know well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sylvie

    2.5/5 Stars! (view spoiler)[I still don't understand why I keep continuing on with this series. I didn't like 'The Cruel Prince' and I knew I wouldn't like this novella because it is narrated by Taryn however I can't seem to stop myself from not reading them. Apparently this whole novella is being written by Taryn (my least favorite sister) and it is supposed to be an apology letter to Jude about how ''sorry'' she is that she hurt Jude. I don't get how is she appoligizing to her twin sister, if I w 2.5/5 Stars! (view spoiler)[I still don't understand why I keep continuing on with this series. I didn't like 'The Cruel Prince' and I knew I wouldn't like this novella because it is narrated by Taryn however I can't seem to stop myself from not reading them. Apparently this whole novella is being written by Taryn (my least favorite sister) and it is supposed to be an apology letter to Jude about how ''sorry'' she is that she hurt Jude. I don't get how is she appoligizing to her twin sister, if I were Jude I would've hoestly hate Taryn even more. I hate how helpless and weak Taryn is, and this novella certainly didn't make me like her (as it was supposed to do). Locke is still an unreasonable and horrible character. I wouldn't say that 'The Lost Sisters' gave a whole new meaning to the series, I only got to see how annoying and patethic Taryn is. And that's that! The one thing I liked about this is the way it was written, I liked the many fairy tale references in it. I kind of enjoyed this too if I'm being honest, but I still wasn't happy with it. (hide spoiler)]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This has a lot of the things that I loved about The Cruel Prince - mean Fae, hints of intrigue and a doomed love affair. But it missed what I loved most, and that was Jude and Carden’s relationship and everything that came with it and made it so twisty and complex. I’m just not that fond of Taryn. She’s more subtle than Jude with her emotions, and her undying affection for her foxy Fae just didn’t hold me like her sister’s relationships did. Their conversations always seemed a little forced, and This has a lot of the things that I loved about The Cruel Prince - mean Fae, hints of intrigue and a doomed love affair. But it missed what I loved most, and that was Jude and Carden’s relationship and everything that came with it and made it so twisty and complex. I’m just not that fond of Taryn. She’s more subtle than Jude with her emotions, and her undying affection for her foxy Fae just didn’t hold me like her sister’s relationships did. Their conversations always seemed a little forced, and just didn’t seem to sparkle as well as Jude and Cardan. Maybe that’s the point though, as it really exposed the weaknesses in Taryn and Locke’s love life and the difficult roads ahead. Locke’s character, as a master manipulator disguised in a charming face, is very apparent here. I still liked this, I just missed Jude and found it too short to really change my opinion about Taryn. It definitely got me excited for The Wicked King though.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fiona✨

    Me, before reading The Lost Sisters: "Hmmm, interesting. A novella from Taryn's POV, my least favourite character from The Cruel Prince. But maybe this will make me change my mind on her. Maybe I just don't understand her, maybe she isn't as much of a bitch as we think after all. Maybe there's more to her character. Maybe I could even like her!!" Me, after having read The Lost Sisters: "HAHAHAHA. Nope. She's even more of a bitch than we all thought she was. She's an awful sister, her halfhearted ju Me, before reading The Lost Sisters: "Hmmm, interesting. A novella from Taryn's POV, my least favourite character from The Cruel Prince. But maybe this will make me change my mind on her. Maybe I just don't understand her, maybe she isn't as much of a bitch as we think after all. Maybe there's more to her character. Maybe I could even like her!!" Me, after having read The Lost Sisters: "HAHAHAHA. Nope. She's even more of a bitch than we all thought she was. She's an awful sister, her halfhearted justifications towards Jude are ridiculous and I still hate her." The fairy tale references were beautiful tho and the writing was stellar, as usual. Also, the extract from The Wicked King made me SUPER PUMPED and I can't wait until January when I'll meet my girl Jude again. ---------------------------- FAVOURITE QUOTES: 'A slow smile spread across his mouth. "Oh, I see why Locke likes you." For a moment I thought that might be almost a compliment. "You're awful." He said it as though he was delighted. "And the worst part is that you believe otherwise." (In case you're wondering where this noise comes from, oh never mind, it's just me cheering at Cardan and applauding in approval) Vivi's voice took on an odd, distant quality. "I was in the bath, drowning boats and sending plastic sharks after them under the bubbles. I must have been very little. And Mum said to me, 'You must be particularly kind to people. Other kids can act like monsters, but not you.'" (I love Vivi with all my heart and she just deserves happiness, fight me on this) 'But love was also transforming. I knew that from fairy tales. It could turn you back from a cat or a frog or a beast. Probably it could turn you into those things, too.'

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