Faerie Queen – An Interview with Holly Black

Over the last ten years, bestselling author Holly Black has rightly earned the title of ‘Faerie Queen’. She weaves a Faerie world that is dangerous and bloodthirsty, far from being a dream come true, these worlds are more like your darkest nightmares brought to life. Méabh McDonnell spoke to Holly about her experience writing her new novel The Cruel Prince and her writing life.


A veteran of urban fantasy, Holly Black has delighted readers with her previous ventures into a dark and twisted Faerie world overlapping modern day America.  Her stories are gritty, compelling, and surprisingly realistic for stories about faeries.  Her previous ventures into this Faerie world, have unearthed a collection of brave and strong characters, in Tithe, Valiant, Ironside and The Darkest Part of the Forest.

I started with the idea of this girl being raised by the her parents murderer

The Cruel Prince is a fresh journey into this, cruel world of Faerie. It tells the story of Jude Duarte, kidnapped into Faerie as a child with her twin Taryn, and sister Vivi. If that wasn’t bad enough, they were kidnapped and raised by their parent’s murderer, redcap general Madoc. Jude grows up in their faerie world of Elfhame, and is forced to make this place her home. It isn’t a particularly welcoming place for a human girl to grow up. Even less welcoming because of her enemies in the court, none worse than prince of the realm, Cardan. Prince Cardan takes vicious delight in tormenting Jude, making her life hell. Despite all of this, Jude is determined to make a life for herself within the Faerie kingdom. And she is willing to do almost anything to make it a reality…

Speaking to Holly Black, we found out what she enjoyed about revisiting her world of fairy.

Continue reading Faerie Queen – An Interview with Holly Black

Winning the vote: 100 years of women’s suffrage

Today is the 100 the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in Ireland and the UK.

It was a day that marked a victory in a significant campaign that had been raging for decades before it and represented paving the way towards a future that they would have a more equal hand in deciding.

They paved the path towards a society where all women would one day have the right to vote and make decisions in the running of their countries.

For the likes of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Emmeline Pankhurst and Constance Markievicz the Representation of the People Act, 1918 represented the culmination of a fight they had sacrificed for and a world they had rebelled against.

However it’s important to remember that the vote for women that was legalised in 1918 came with large restrictions. Only women over thirty who were landowners or possessed a university education had the right to vote. This meant that only 40 per cent of women were actually entitled to the vote. In Ireland women over 21 didn’t win the right to vote until 1922.

All citizens of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Eireann) without distinction of sex, who have reached the age of twenty-one years and who comply with the provisions of the prevailing electoral laws, shall have the right to vote for members of Dáil Eireann, and to take part in the Referendum and Initiative.

Over the 100 years that have passed  and we have gained the full right to vote, to decide in referendums, to vote for our president and to vote for our political leaders. We have gained the power of choice.

And on days like today it is important to remember that to women 100 years ago that choice was a something that needed fighting for. Something that had to be decided for them. Something they had to hope came true.

So next time an election or a referendum arrives, make sure you use that right.



Illustration by Méabh McDonnell