Narrator: Caitlin Kelly
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Published by Hachette Audio on 2018-01-02
Length: 12hr and 36min
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, Beat the Backlist 2019
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
I’m not gonna lie….I really debated picking this up to read. It’s been recommended to me SO much by so many people that I trust their recommendations and yet I was still hesitant. Why? Because I tried reading it last year on vacation and despised it. I DNFed at around the halfway mark and felt zero remorse for doing so. Then the audiobook popped up as a daily deal on Audible, and I thought “Maybe I’ll enjoy it more if someone reads it to me…..” Well that thought was apparently true. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black has moved to my list of favorites. It’s dark, intriguing, and leaves you questioning your own morals. You know everything a true fairy tale is.
Jude was only seven when she witnessed a fairy kill her parents and was then whisked away to his land with her sisters. Her older sister is part-fae, her other is her twin and opposite. Jude has learned in her time with the fairies to be ruthless and cunning. If she wants a place in their courts, she will have to fight for it and prove her worth. She is not above doing just that, no matter the cost or collateral damage. The things she has survived will turn your stomach, and yet when she does some pretty despicable things herself you root for her. Honestly it left my head spinning.
Prince Cardan is the youngest son of the High King, and a classmate of Jude’s. He is cruel as the title suggests, and yet behind his cruelty is something I did not expect. The looks he gives Jude, his attention and his backwards way of protecting her all hint at deeper feelings, a twisted view of love perhaps. I was fascinated by him. For all of Jude’s protestations, she is too.
I really can’t tell you anything about the plot because well….spoilers! I can say that there are so many twists and turns that you will never guess the ending. And the ending?! OMG!!!! That ending ranks up there with Catching Fire and Empire of Storms. It left me with my jaw on the floor.
The world-building is beautiful. These fairies are cruel and unearthly, as they should be. They are inhuman and Jude and her sister have to navigate this world with all their human feelings. It’s a wonder Jude is the way she is.
Overall I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince. I’m glad I decided to pick it up again. I love fairy stories, and this is the closest I’ve ever read to true fairy mythology. I love it! I can’t wait to see what will happen next to Jude and Cardan and what they’ve set in motion. If you enjoy fantasy and fairy tales, I highly recommend this be your next read!