Review: The Cruel Prince | Holly Black

This review is spoiler free.

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

Series: The Folk of the Air
Published: 2018, by Hot Key Books.
Pages: 370
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Fairies, Fae, Fiction, Magic, Paranormal
Contains: Strong Language, Violence, Death, Anger, Blood/Gore, Murder, Sexual Content, Trauma, Imprisonment

‘The Cruel Prince’ follows Jude, a young girl whose parents were murdered at a young age and was stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. The Fae despise mortals, and yet Jude wants nothing more than to belong there. To win a place at the Court, she must defy Prince Carden, the wickedest son of the High King, and face the consequences.

I’ve had this book on my To Read pile for a few years now, loving the premise and hearing so many positive reviews across social media. After it collected enough dust on my shelf, I thought it was about time that I took the plunge and delved into its contents. And I’m so glad that I finally did.

Jude makes for an incredible protagonist, or Antihero depending on how you look at her. She’s driven, selfish and incredibly determined to become one with the Fae, regardless of what that entails and who she throws under the bus in the process. Her perseverance is something to admire, and yet the more the story progresses the more of her ugly side comes out. She’s overwhelmed with desire to overcome the Fae, and that is something I truly admire about this book. Our protagonist changes, and it’s not necessarily for the better.
Prince Cardan was a sheer delight to read about, having always loved the tough-love, sneering antagonist, and this was no different. Cardan changes in other ways, at first he was Malfoy-esque with his bullying and cruelty, before gradually becoming more and more human the more we delved into his life. The novel provokes sympathy in its readers, whilst the protagonist feels none towards him.

The novel moves at a generally steady pace, sagging slightly in the centre before picking up again towards the end. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about this book, its addictive contents enough to draw you in to continue learning about the love-hate relationship of the characters and the enchanting world of the Fae. It was a delight to read, with delicious language and lengthy descriptions, luring you further and further until hours have passed and you’re yet to put the book down.

Overall, I adored this novel. I’ve always been fascinated by the Fae, so there being a novel which combines mortals and magic is always going to be right up my street. I have the second book calling my name, and I’m enchanted by it.


4 thoughts on “Review: The Cruel Prince | Holly Black

  1. I love the line of when you weren’t reading about it that you were thinking about it. There’s so much language in this which tells me it’s an important book to you, and I wish more books weren’t afraid to have “bad guys” as main characters. 👍💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been such an important book, you’re totally right, it’s reminded me of why I love reading so much. Same here, they’re so fascinating to read about! 😍💖


      1. This was honestly what you needed to help you get out of your reading slump, and I’m so proud you managed to find a book which could lift you up again. I’m relieved, and excited to hear about the second one when you get around to it. 😌💜

        Liked by 1 person

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