Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Posted November 14, 2019 by Amanda in Reviews / 4 Comments

Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
on 2018-01-02
Length: 384 pages
Reviewing Paperback from My Book Shelf

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.

*Lillian has also reviewed this book! Please check it out here!*

Finally. FINALLY. I have felt bereft of decent fantasy plots since I finished Kingdom of Ash. Sarah J. Maas has perhaps ruined me forever with her thick plots and twisty-twists. However, I have finally read SOMETHING that does not disappoint me, comparatively. If you need a world to get sucked into, Holly Black’s faerie is SO lush and dark, it makes our muggle world feel dull and predictable. I swear, I don’t think I came up for air once I got into this one. 

Our story begins awash with blood and vengeance as three young sisters are whisked away to faerie by their parents’ murderer, the hateful and war-driven fae Madoc. Madoc’s biological daughter is the oldest of the three sisters. The other two are twins and opposites, and 100% human, Taryn and Jude. Our story follows Jude, the wilier, skilled, punk tough girl. She’s also super intelligent. #goals. The three sisters are now wards of Madoc and live in his home, existing as both a part of and separate from the rest of the faerie gentry. 

The cruel prince for which the book is named is Prince Cardan, the youngest of the ruling family. He’s basically a fae bully. So he’s gorgeous, but we hate him. Got that? He has three cronies that follow him around and they’re all mean to Taryn and Jude (especially Jude). And we don’t like any of them, either.

I cannot, in good conscience, give up too much of the plot, bc spoilers and I love you too much to do that to you. Just know, this is a twisty, turny, dark and delicious plot. What I *can* tell you are the little things that I like about this world. I love the scenery – I keep using the word “lush” because when Leigh Bardugo reviewed this book that’s the word she used and I trust her representations. But it super IS lush. And creepy, as it should be. The creatures are so creative and detailed, and the characters are nuanced and complicated – as they should be. What REALLY threw me, when I started reading, were the whimsical illustrations on the chapter title pages. Like, here’s a daisy, a toadstool and a cute little bee which DO NOTHING TO BELIE THE HORRORS YOU’RE ABOUT TO READ. I see you Holly…

I legit read this book in two days – I totally devoured it and I cannot wait to get into the second installment. Well done, Holly Black, good and faithful creator of faerie things. Well friggin’ done.

About Holly Black

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and The Darkest Part of the Forest. She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.

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4 responses to “Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

    • Amanda Lipscomb

      It’s soooo goooooodddd!! This is one of those series that Lillian and I will message each other about with speculations and mutual freakings out. Lol.

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