Hello my fellow book nerds! The Wicked King comes out next month and so I figured it was finally time to share my thoughts on The Cruel Prince. I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next one in the series.
What is your favorite book about the Fair Folk?
The Cruel Prince
4 out of 5 stars
Taken from Goodreads
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.
This book was not what I was expecting. My fae knowledge is not as great as I would like it to be but I do have the basics. They cannot lie, they are tricky, iron can hurt them, and most of them hate humanity. Basics. After the death of their parents, Jude and her siblings are stolen and raised in Faerie. Since Madoc, Vivienne’s true Father, is of the High Court they are all raised within the royalty. That does not stop their peers from dispising the humanity of Jude and Taryn, until Jude can’t take it anymore. What I really enjoy about this story is we get to see the life of humans raised in the High Court of Faerie. Usually, the stories revolve around just the character arriving (or kidnapped) into Faerie, or fae in the human world. I think this creates the success because we see Jude and Taryn trying to fit in. There is hate/love relationship with Madoc and Jude constantly seeks for his approval. Once she realizes that she cannot be more than her human body is capable of, she becomes cunning. The story really expands on the pride of humanity and the willingness to survive. As successful as this book was, I did find it a little hard to get into at the beginning. Events were a little slow and the story seemed to drag. Once the story picked up though it was a race to the finish line. I am super eager to continue the story after the explosive ending.
The character development in this story was brilliant. Jude and Taryn are twin sisters who always had support for each other but both wanted to be accepted. However, we see the differences of what people will do to be accepted. This story really brings out human nature without making it bluntly obvious. We know as human we have the flight or fight response in intense situations and I would count living in Faerie, an intense situation. Holly Black really drives this with the two characters. Taryn essentially “flights”. She gives in and does nothing but tries to blend in the best she can without raising attention to herself.Throughout the story we know she is engaged to a fae and once we realize who it is, she has given in to their society. Jude “fights”. Once she realizes they will never accept her humanity, she doesn’t curl in on herself and gives up. She becomes cunning and smart.
“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”
I mean, come on! That quote explains it all. I loved watching her grow into the person she is at the end of the book. She is formidable and will not be taken down easily. She will earn the respect and make them know who she is. The only thing I wasn’t really sold on was her relationship with Cardan. I didn’t understand the obsession with it. I think this will be remedied in the next book, but for this book, it just seemed… there.
Overall, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was a great book. I truly enjoyed the story development that lead up to the twisting explosive ending. While the beginning was a little slow, the story picked up and I was racing to find out what happened next. Jude was an amazing protagonist and I absolutely loved her growth throughout the book. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy fantasy with a cunning, smart, strong female lead.