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Booktok has reached the tabletop gaming world, starting with a card game based on The Cruel Prince

Tag with enemies to lovers.

Artwork for Enemies to Lovers: The Crown of Elfhame
Image credit: Frostbite Studios, Holly Black

Lovers of the current booktok trend can now indulge their interests in the tabletop gaming world, via a new card game based on The Cruel Prince.

The Folk of Air series is a franchise of young adult fantasy books written by author Holly Black and set in a fantasy world populated by faerie royalty, whose court is a place of intense political games and hedonistic cruelty. Beginning with The Cruel Prince in 2018 - which follows a human named Jude Duarte who is pulled into the faerie court’s machinations against her will - the series has since seen three mainline books, as well as several novellas and a spin-off series that features two books.

Black’s book series is considered to be part of the current trend on social media platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram called booktok, which has seen several series - often aimed at female audiences and featuring romantic and/or sexual themes - become popular thanks to the trend’s followers recommending them, making inside jokes about them or otherwise talking about the books. Besides the Folk of Air series, booktok has stirred up interest in other fantasy romance series such as A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and The Empyrean series by Rebecca Yarros.

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Enemies & Lovers: The Crown of Elfhame - though not the first card game to be based on a booktok series, that being Embers of Memory: which is based on A Throne of Glass - is an upcoming board game based on the aforementioned booktok series Folk of Air. The card game sees two to four players attempting to plan and execute their own political machinations within the faerie court of Elfhame, before any of their opponents are able to.

Taking between 15 to 40 minutes, depending on the number of players, a game of Enemies & Lovers sees each person beginning with three cards. During the game, players will be able to draw and steal cards into their hand which they’ll then be able to play in front of them as their court. Their goal is to be the first to place a coercion card, a prince card, a conspirator card and a crown card into their court.

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Achieving this goal will see players stealing cards, inflicting poison on their enemies and spying on their opponents to gather intel. Players will also be able to hide, shield and set traps using whichever cards they’re able to get their hands on. The various cards in the fantasy game feature characters from the series including Jude, Madoc, Valerian, Balekin and Cardan, with players looking to make their way through the deck or acquire cards from their opponents until they have what they need: all whilst defending themselves from attacks.

Enemies & Lovers: The Crown of Elfhame was designed by Holly Black, an author on various book series, comics and short stories, with artwork by Frostbite Studios, a freelance illustrator. The crowdfunding campaign for the game is live on Kickstarter until May 31st, with a pledge of $30 (£24) getting backers a copy of the game in September.

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