Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Year of Publication: 2018
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Number of Pages: 370
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 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.”
Review: If I’m completely honest, I bought this book because I loved the embossing underneath the dust jacket of the hardcover edition. I added it to my collection of fantasy books that I swore I would read at some point, and I finally picked it up last week. I’m still processing everything that happens in this book, but I will say that I can understand what all the hype is about.
My favourite thing about this book was how complex all the characters were. Jude is brilliant, driven, and conniving; she’s learned how to be ruthless from Madoc, and I enjoyed her character development. I found Carden to be interesting because a lot was going on underneath his reckless and cruel front. I think that both Jude and Cardan are morally gray characters, and I can understand why so many people ship them together. I loved Vivienne, and I hope she appears in the rest of the series because I’d love to know more about her and Heather. I had a lot of issues with Taryn, and she ended up being one of my least favourite characters. I also love Ghost, Roach, and Bomb, and I loved reading about their sneaking around and plotting.
I found this book to be a bit stressful to read because there was so much going on. A lot of bad things happen to the characters and every time something bad happened, I would get stressed out. This book was full of plot twists, which kept me on the edge of my seat, but it also fueled the stress as I was reading. I found some scenes in this book to be shockingly violent, but I don’t know if they’re actually violent for the genre because I read mostly contemporary, and it’s been a while since I read a book with bloodshed.
I found Faerie to be an interesting place, but I wish we could have learned more about it. I wanted to know more about what everything looked like, what the various species looked like and what they wore, and stuff like that. I also want to learn more about the politics and different hierarchies of Faerie, because I find that kind of stuff interesting. Fortunately, this is the first book in a series, so I’m sure I’ll be able to learn more about Faerie when I read The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I thought a lot of it had been spoiled for me because it’s so popular, and I thought I knew the gist of what was going to happen, but I ended up being completely surprised by a lot of the plot twists. I liked most of the characters, and I like how complex and morally gray a lot of them are. I’m glad that I finally picked this book up, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy soon.
Rating: 4 Stars!