Review // The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Folk of the Air #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2018
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Purchase
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 384

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Wow, okay people. So this book was a huge surprise for me. In general, I am really not a fan of books about fae. I can't think of a single fae book that I have read that I still like at this point. There are a few that I liked when I read them originally, but I can't really say that I like them anymore.

And like, I wasn't even going to buy this book. When I heard about it, I was like, "LOL, there's $20 that I don't have to spend!" But I kept seeing everyone talking about it and hauling it and as usual, I was curious! THE HYPE WAS REAL! And even people that I know of that also don't tend to like fae books were really enjoying it. So then when it was EVERYWHERE in Barnes and Noble the last time I went, I caved and bought it.

And I am so surprised by how much I ended up liking it. Like, honestly, a lot of it is probably due to the fact that I was expecting to not like it at all and I was building it up in my head to be just another fae book with a romance that I hated. From everything that I heard about this book, I was expecting it to be brutal and for Cardan to be a giant P.O.S.

And yes, this book was definitely brutal, but not BECAUSE of Cardan which was what I was expecting based on what people were saying about it. Like, yes, Cardan is cruel to Jude and is basically a total bully and a jerk and I feel like this book kind of perpetuates the whole "If a boy is mean to you, it means he likes you" thing, but I was expecting him to be more like 'murders small animals for fun' rather than 'kicks dirt in your food'.

All of that being said, I loved Cardan. Probably more so just because I was expecting to hate him passionately. I could see and understand why he was such a jerk and it basically just made me want to hug him.

What do I want to say about Jude? She's the main character so I probably should have talked about her first, but Cardan is the main reason that I liked this book. But yeah, I really liked Jude. I thought she was brave. She spent her everyday life in Faerie terrified. And for good reason. But she still went out and defied and challenged the one person who seemed to have it out for her. She's ambitious. She wants to be a knight and when she gets a little taste of power, she wants more.

She doesn't really do... good things. But I don't feel like she's bad. I wish she could be good because I feel like that's what she wants, but her circumstances don't really allow for that. I liked when she was coming up with her schemes for what she was going to do with Cardan. Because the way she was going about it didn't feel to me like she really knew what she was doing. And considering that that was her first scheme, she wouldn't. I appreciated that she didn't just start scheming and immediately know exactly what she was doing and just become the scheme queen. I hate how in a lot of YA books characters just start doing things and are immediately pros on their very first shot.

There isn't a LOT of romance in this book. But there was a little bit. I don't really know what I want to say about it because I feel like I'll just start spouting off spoilers if I start talking about it. But all that mattered to me was that the romance wasn't something that I hated like I was really expecting.

The story is brutal, I feel like I've used that word a lot, but it's a good word to describe some of the events of this book. There is a lot of murder. Something that I thought was interesting was the fact that faeries are so... easy to murder. Like, I expected them to be hard to kill, but it seems like you can kill them in the same ways that you could kill any old mortal.

One last thought that I had about this book was that I thought the way that lying was talked about was funny. Jude was sought out for her ability to lie and when she does it and people know she did, they're so taken aback and uncomfortable that it's a thing she can do.

So yeah, I don't even really know if this counts as a review. It's so hard to talk about books that I enjoyed. It doesn't really feel cohesive to me. But oh well. It's safe to say that I would definitely recommend this book. If you are also one to not generally like fae books, I think you should give this one a try if you're feeling adventurous. I don't think that it will disappoint you!

Have you read The Cruel Prince yet? What did you think of it?


  1. Ooh I'm so glad you liked this one! I've been hearing about it everywhere (obviously, the hype is real haha) and I am soo intrigued and I do enjoy fae books! Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a copy soon. Your review was great, thanks for sharing!

    1. You definitely need to pick this one up ASAP. I am still riding a high from how much I loved this book. Like.. I am struggling to bring myself to read my next book (WHICH I AM LOVING) because I am still thinking about this one. I hope that you love it as well and thank you for reading!!


CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan