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Last Updated onHolly Black is a bestselling young-adult contemporary fantasy book author, who has written series such as Modern Fantasy Tales, Magisterium, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Curse Workers, to name just a few.
While I am personally not such a big fan of children’s’ books, her Modern Faerie trilogy won me over, and since then, I have been slowly picking up more of the Holly Black books. My current favorites are the Magisterium series, which she has written with Cassandra Clare, and Folk of the Air, a new series started in 2018.
Here are the Holly Black books in order for her numerous series and novels.
New Holly Black Book
Folk of the Air Series
- The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air #1), 2018
- The Lost Sisters (Folk of the Air #1.5), 2018
- The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2), 2019
- The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air, #3), 2019
co-authored with Cassandra Clare
- The Iron Trial, 2012
- The Copper Gauntlet, 2015
- The Bronze Key, 2016
- The Silver Mask, 2017
- The Golden Tower, 2018
Curse Workers Series
Good Neighbors Series
with Tony DiTerlizzi
- The Field Guide, 2003
- The Seeing Stone, 2003
- Lucinda’s Secret, 2003
- The Ironwood Tree, 2004
- The Wrath of Mulgarath, 2004
Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles
co-authored with Tony DiTerlizzi
Spiderwick Chronicles – Companion Books
co-authored with Tony DiTerlizzi
- Notebook for Fantastical Observations, 2005
- Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, 2005
- Care and Feeding of Sprites, 2006
- The Chronicles of Spiderwick, 2007
Modern Tale of Faerie
Standalone Holly Black Books
- Doll Bones, 2012, with Eliza Wheeler
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, 2013
- The Darkest Part of the Forest, 2015
Holly Black Biography
Holly Black was born as Holly Riggenbach in 1971, in West Long Branch, New Jersey. She grew up in a “grew up in a crumbling Victorian house,” that her mother inherited from her great grandmother. With the house being the perfect setting, as a child, Holly grew up with tales of the supernatural and believing in the supernatural.
Her mom would constantly tell her stories about ghosts and would play games involving scavenger hunts. Many of her books revolve around fairies, and they draw inspiration from folk tales, mythology, and the art of fairies.
In the 8th grade, she wrote a book titled Knights of the Silver Sun, which was based on the Lord of the Rings and other fantasy novels as well, such as Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. She knew by then that she would always want to become a writer.
As a child, she took several creative workshop classes which would help her later on in her writing career.
Holly attended The College of New Jersey from where in 1994 she graduated with a BA in English. During college, she began heavily reading comic books, which was later reflected in some of her work as a comic-book writer for her Good Neighbors series.
After college, he started writing more seriously. Next, she began working as a production editor for several medical journals, aka a medical market researcher, while, at the same time, she was studying at Rutgers University to get a degree in library science. She was just shy of one class to get her degree, but once her first book was published and she went on a book tour, that new degree was soon forgotten.
As an editor, in 1996, she also worked the magazine d8, which catered to role-playing enthusiasts.
In 1998 she got married to her high-school sweetheart, Theo Black, a web designer, and illustrator. The two first met back in high school while Holly Riggenbach was playing Dungeons & Dragons.
After her debut novel, Tithe, was published in 2002, a book set in New Jersey, the place she also grew up in, Holly Black became almost an instant bestselling author of young-adult dark fantasy novels. While most of her books are about fairies, she has also written about vampires in her The Coldest Girl in Coldtown book, as well as one about ghosts in her Doll Bones.
Although she knew that vampire books were a dime a dozen, Holly felt that she had to tell her own story as well. And there’s never a better time than the present. Her vampire tale is much darker than the usual young-adult stories include, and that makes it slightly different as well.
As for her fae tales, Holly Black was always fascinated by the fae world, by those non-human beings that neither belong to Hell nor to Heaven. With their different customs, they are vastly different from the human world. Also, based on the author’s notes, there are many types of fairies as well, many of which are quite dangerous, but all equally exciting to be around.
For The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holly Black collaborated with illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi. Holly would create the text while Tony would work on the art. For this series, the author was also involved in the art and production side of the project.
For her Magisterium series, Holly Black worked together with the popular young-adult urban fantasy author Cassandra Clare. The two initially met back in 2002, and they’ve been friends ever since. 10 years later, the chance came up to collaborate on the author’s newest series, which Cassandra embraced with open arms.
Overall, the author has written and had published more than 30 books, many of them involving fairies in one way or another. Many of those have sold more than 2.5 million copies. Her Spiderwick Chronicles series has been adapted into a popular film in 2008 by Paramount Pictures in conjunction with Nickelodeon Films, starring Freddie Highmore and Sarah Bolger.
A few of the Holly Black books won prestigious awards, such as the Andre Norton Award Best Book for Valiant in 2006, and Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature Best Children/Young Adult Fiction for Doll Bones in 2014. Her books were also nominated several times over the years.
Currently, Holly Black lives with her husband, Theo, and their several cats, in Western Massachusetts in a house that has a secret library. Besides writing, she is also often a lecturer at writing workshops, including the Odyssey Writing Workshop. While she is not painting, both her mother and her husband love to paint, so Holly Black feels that art is very important in her life, to be surrounded by.
Holly Black Awards
- 2006 won the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy for Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie
- 2014 won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in Children’s Literature for Doll Bones
- 2014 won the Newbery Medal honor book for Doll Bones
- 2014 won the Delaware Diamonds Award—High School for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
- 2015 won the Indies Choice Book Award—Young Adult for The Darkest Part of the Forest
Praise for Holly Black
Lush, dangerous, a dark jewel of a book. Black’s world is intoxicating, imbued with a relentless sense of peril that kept me riveted through every chapter of Jude’s journey. And Jude! She is a heroine to love–brave but pragmatic, utterly human. This delicious story will seduce you and leave you desperate for just one more page. (Leigh Bardugo)
I require book two immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen. (Victoria Aveyard)
Black is a master at world-building, conveying integral details without that information ever seeming tedious or encyclopedic, whether you’re well versed in faerie or a newcomer to the genre….the experience of reading a novel like this is something like being surrounded by magic. (The New York Times Book Review)
With complicated characters, a suspenseful plot, and a successful return to the Faerie setting of many of her popular books, Black’s latest is sure to enchant fans. (The Horn Book)
- Holly Black official author website
- Author interview with Locust magazine
- Spiderwick Chronicles IMDB movie page