📚 The Lost Sisters by Holly Black

The Folk of the Air, Book 1.5

Reviewed Jun. 2019

Narrator: Caitlin Kelly
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
Publisher: Hachette Audio⎮2018

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Summary

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 Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion novella-length audiobook to the New York Times best-selling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.

The Audiobookworm's Review

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Let me start by saying I freaking love this series. However, The Lost Sisters wasn't a huge hit with me. Not that I expected it to be, of course. Taryn has always been my least favorite character in the series, but I was open to giving her the benefit of the doubt by hearing her side of the story in this novella. I hoped that I would hear something that would help me to better understand her motives and respect her character more. Alas, I did not.

I guess I do understand her motives a little better now that she has explained them in this novella, but it doesn't make me like her any better. The Lost Sisters recounts the events of the first book, The Cruel Prince, from Taryn's perspective. It's told in first person as Taryn is rehearsing a speech she intends to give Jude in hopes of justifying her actions.

Taryn's actions did a somewhat surprise me toward the very end of this novella and I almost thought I could like her maybe a little, but that ended up being only a tiny glimmer of backbone and not a huge revelation or turning point. My main problem with Taryn throughout the series is that she is treated more like a plot device than a fully developed character. The Lost Sisters does help in fleshing out her character a bit more, if only by allowing her to tell her tale first hand. There really isn't any more depth added to the character, which was disappointing.

Basically, The Lost Sisters is an hour and a half of Taryn making excuses for herself and justifying her betrayal of her family. There are no groundbreaking revelations. There aren't even any noteworthy insights given. It's just more of the same from a character I already didn't like. 1.5 hours was more than enough time to further develop this character, but I have a feeling the author doesn't know how to make that happen (maybe because the character is extraneous?!). Taryn seems sort of like a deadend character to me, so I'm glad this novella ended rather quickly, but it was already becoming circular in nature.

If I remember correctly, I picked up this novella when it was on sale. I definitely wouldn't have been happy if I had paid full price for it ($5) or {gasp!} a $15 credit. If you're super into this series like I am, you may still be interested in giving this a listen. But if not, you're not missing anything spectacular. I'm still holding my breath for a prequel type of novella about Jude and Taryn's parents. That would be far more interesting than rehashing events that have already transpired within the series.

Narration review: The one thing I can't complain about is Caitlin Kelly's performance. I continue to be amazed at how she differentiates between the characters of Jude and Taryn. Even though this novella was using the singular voice of Taryn, I was never in doubt of whom I was hearing. Kelly captures Taryn's voice and personality so well that she does more to distinguish the character in my mind of than the writing does.♣︎

Let me know what you think!

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