Jan 5, 2018

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 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.

Holly Black returns to the world of faeries with her newest release, The Cruel Prince! And wowzers…this was epic!! I was actually quite thrilled to learn while reading that this is still the same fae world we knew from Tithe, just in another part/region! I’ll touch on that more in a bit! Needless to say, this is the book I’ve been waiting for without ever knowing it!

When Jude was seven, she witnessed—along with her sisters—her parents murdered by a faery. Turns out, Jude’s mother was once married to a faery named Madoc and ran away one day with who would be Jude’s father. Her sister, Vivi, is actually Madoc’s daughter, while Jude and her twin, Taryn, have another. Madoc takes the girls back to faerie with him and from then on, Jude’s life would be changed forever.

Jude has always struggled with being in faerie. She wants so much more for herself than what is expected from a human living there, which is either servitude or being married off to a faerie that fancies humans. Her sister, Vivi longs to go back home in the mortal world while her twin, Taryn wants to find love and happiness within faerie. Jude knows what she wants for herself though and that is to earn knighthood with the realm that she lives in. Though knighthood for a human is laughable among her peers.

Jude senses her dreams coming true when Dain, the soon-to-be king comes to her and asks her to basically be a spy for him. When he receives the crown, she will be granted knighthood just like she always wanted. Though Jude does have a few enemies, namely the peers that like to torment her. Let’s just say that faeries are not ordinary bullies. Especially ones who do not like humans.

There was quite a bit of politics and history at play here, I’ll admit sometimes there was an overflow of names, it was a tad more confusing since some of the names being thrown around were from characters that have previously died. So when they are first mentioned and then pop up some hundred pages later, it was hard to find the connection to the moment in time. Stepping back I can just understand the events in the past enough to apply them to the present, but yeah, there were a few befuddling moments for me throughout, but nothing that ever kept me from reading on!

This story really enraptured me! I loved Holly’s Tithe that I read some years ago (for the first time) and it pretty much cemented my intrigue with the fae. It’s hard to differentiate what we know from faeries from Disney versus almost anything else! For the most part in the sense of literature, we know that faeries can be devious. The faeries here are no different. Most have no love for humans and having two in their realm doesn’t make most of them happy at all. Such as Cardan, Jude’s most vicious bully, and one of the faeries who could be king as well. Then there’s Locke who doesn’t seem as bad as the rest, but for me that sent its own set of red flares up! Needless to say, never trust the fae!

Holly does throw in just the tiniest bit of romance in this one, but it’s almost immediately challenged by the end! It definitely makes one wonder what will be in store next for Jude and…someone! I feel like by book two I can better explain my feels over this romantic element. It’s hard to describe without getting into details and possible spoilers, but yeah, it’s complicated.

The ending was quite astonishing as well, though I sort of anticipated something like this happening, but I guess my thoughts went astray and I missed what was meant to happen but didn’t. If I haven’t confused you yet there, then yay! Basically plans were made and changed and then changed again and I somehow missed the first change. There were several sets of plans going before one was decided upon! Lol!! Things are left at a very tense moment. Nothing cliffhanger-y per se, but ultimately tense indeed!! I cannot wait for the next installment! Holly Black weaves a tale of magic, adventure, and intrigue that will leave you spellbound!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars



  1. The ending was surprising, I can't wait to see how if all unfolds in The Wicked King. I really want more backstory on Cardan.

  2. I haven't yet got around to reading this one - but I think I need to, thank you for your review:).

  3. Woo hoo!
    This book is on my wishlist :D
    Sounds so awesome,really wand to read!
    Thank you for the lovely review :)


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