Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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 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.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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. 

Nicasia’s wrong about me. I don’t desire to do as well in the tournament as one of the fey. I want to win. I do not yearn to be their equal.
        In my heart, I yearn to best them.’

This book is amazing; I honestly don’t think that I can recommend it enough. Admittedly it was one of the books that I was most looking forward to reading in 2018 but sometimes having high expectations can leave you disappointed. With this book that definitely wasn’t the case however; I loved every moment of it.

The world that The Cruel Prince is set within is just perfect. It manages to merge both the mortal and Faerie realm well and jumps straight into the action from the very first page. There’s a vast range of characters within it, with varying personalities and attitudes, many of which surprised me at one point or another. I found myself warming to unexpected characters and turning against others that I wouldn’t have initially imagined. I love that Jude isn’t your typical central character either. She’s tough and has a very hard shell, to be perfectly honest she’s rather brutal at times, but the reasons for how she is are explained and understandable. Hearing the story from her point of view definitely keeps you on your toes. Everybody was well written and the variety of different faeries, who are all so vividly described, is fantastic. There were twists and turns throughout and I constantly found myself with a desperate need to know what would happen next. 

I think my favourite thing about this book is the way that the faeries in it are portrayed though. Many of the ‘rules’ that I’ve previously read about were mentioned, along with Faery food and bargains with stings in their tails. The fae themselves were just perfect; beautiful and alluring yet dark and deadly, intoxicating and cruel but in such a way that others find it hard to stay away. There’s just something so compelling about the twisted world of Faery and the dark, manipulative beings that live within it and Holly Black’s take on it was an addictive joy to read. The wait for book two will certainly be a hard one.

Check The Cruel Prince out on Goodreads here.

I strive to keep my reviews completely spoiler free but if anyone wants to discuss anything about the book in more detail (or just give me an excuse to gush about it) then feel free to contact me in the comment section below.


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