The Cruel Prince by Holly Black — I’m so glad I stuck around for this one!

Advanced reading copy of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Cruel PrinceThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers on January 2, 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Source: BookExpo America
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★

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 was a bit worried when I first started The Cruel Prince. Its depiction of fae isn’t my favourite. An example of fae that I love is the Tairen Soul series. The fae in Tairen Soul are “light”, principled, and honour-bound. The fae in The Cruel Prince are more dark and twisted. Kind of like if Wonderland were full of fae. Not my thing.

And on top of that, a romance developed that I wasn’t really feeling at all. There was another possible romance, I didn’t think I’d be on board with that one either. Basically I was worried.

But I’m so glad I stuck around because part two of the book was AMAZEBALLS. That’s when this part of the synopsis really shines through: “she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed”. It’s pretty fantastic, you guys. Spying, murder, lots of blood, lying, and some cool twists. It was almost a bit Nevernight-esque; the main characters have some similarities.

So if you do pick up The Cruel Prince and you don’t love the beginning (I was actually wondering if I should DNF!), I’d highly encourage you to at least stick with it until you see the “part two” divider. At that point, I was like, “Holy shit” and I knew we’d crossed a line in the book. It was excellent from then on out!

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  1. Amazing review and I’m so glad I read it. Your thoughts sound exactly like what I would think and it’s good to know that it will get better. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I hadn’t actually heard of this book until a few days ago, but now I’m really intrigued. I haven’t heard anything bad about it yet (except that it’s a bit slow starting) and it sounds right up my street, so I may have to pick up a copy of this!
    Great review! 🙂

  3. I’ve always love books about fae, and this book has been getting a lot of buzz lately! I’m glad it gets better towards the end, and it lives up to the “palace intrigue” part. I love reading about political power struggle in court! Great review Ashley, thanks for sharing!

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