There are no spoilers in this review.
The Cruel Prince, 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 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.
- The Cruel Prince has its fair share of hype and I understand why. It really is a fascinating story. There’s something about the writing, about the world the author creates, the very atmosphere of the book that couldn’t help but make me feel intrigued, right from the very beginning.
- Jude was one heck of a morally gray, complex character. She has this thirst to be recognized, as a mortal in this fairy world, she has this thirst for power and accomplishment, of proving herself and it shows. Her determination was fascinating to read about and, even if, at times, I have to admit I didn’t love love her, I found her character SO refreshing to read about.
- The sisters and family vibes were interesting to follow, too. I liked how they were three sisters in this story, each of them with their own goals and motives and dreams. Sisters! In a fantasy story! I need more of these.
- The twists and turns were everything in this book and, basically, what made this from an okay read to a book I might get the sequel to read, too. I mean…. if it took me a while to get into the story, the twists and turns and revelations and THAT ENDING had me feeling things and wanting, craving to know what would happen next. The schemes and the messed up revelations just kept me on edge in the last half of the book and I loved that.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- I think my main issue with The Cruel Prince, was the time it took me to get really invested into the story. I feel like, if the world was certainly well done and fascinating, the story took a bit of time to really kick off and, it took me even more time to actually feel invested in it all.
- I wish the sisters’ relationships were a tiny bit more explored, because there was so much potential to it all, and… I felt a little frustrated, especially about Vivi, the oldest sister, hating the fey world and it all.
- I just feel like the romantic relationships rubbed me the wrong way – all of them. Given how it all started, I just couldn’t quite root for the main relationship, the one everyone is waiting for and shipping, as much as I would have liked. For now.
Despite the uneven pacing and time it took me to really get invested into the story, The Cruel Prince managed to capture my attention in the second half of it all. Its morally gray, complex characters and twists and turns certainly made me curious about the sequel. I’m a little bit of a black sheep for not adoring this book as much as everyone else, but I still recommend it to any fantasy and faerie books fan!
Final rating: 3,5 drops!
Trigger warnings: abuse -physical and emotional, graphic violence, suicide, blood & graphic blood scenes, coercion.
Did you read The Cruel Prince? Do you want to?
Should I read the rest of the series? Let me know in comments!