Review: The Cruel Prince
Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Published: 2 January 2018
Format: Hardback, owned
Favorite Characters: Jude, Cardan, The Ghost
Memorable Quote: “What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”
Synopsis: When Jude was only seven, she witnessed a faerie murder her parents. She and her two sisters were then taken to Faerie to live with their parents’ murderer in the High Court of Faerie.
As the years pass, Jude finds that she longs to fit in with the other Fey – despite the fact that she is a mortal. Although she tries to belong, many fey, especially Prince Cardan, cannot stand humans, and do everything they can to make her life miserable. However, Cardan’s hate only fuels Jude’s desire to win her place in the Court.
When Faerie politics become full of treason and murder, Jude finds herself in the heart of the chaos. She begins to see what she is capable of, and must put her life at risk in order to save the world she loves but does not love her back. Although the Fey can’t lie, Jude must be careful with who she chooses to align herself with in her fight to save everything and everyone she cares about.
First off, I was hesitant to read this book because of all the hype it has received. However, I’m glad I picked it up after only reading a small handful of spoiler-free, positive and negative reviews.
This was my first Holly Black novel and I’m definitely impressed!
I think part of why I enjoyed this book as much as I did was because the characters are so apologetically awful, especially Jude and Cardan. Cardan may be the Cruel Prince, but Jude has her own kind of cruelty that manifests itself through her defiance and determination to get what she wants.
Faerie can be a difficult, frustrating, and fascinating world to navigate, and how authors choose to explain it helps or hinders the story. I appreciate that Black was straight-forward with her explanations on the rules of Faerie as well as the descriptions. She grabs readers by the hand and, ready or not, takes them into a new world where the rules and conditions are brought up as needed, and are never explained in a way that bores the reader. Most, though not all, readers know that faeries can’t lie. Black reminds us of this without shoving it down our throats with a winded explanation and series of overdone examples. She simply states that, and the other rules, as a fact.
And it works.
Black’s use of twists and turns are subtle and clever. There aren’t many major OMG revelations, but I definitely found myself questioning who I should trust the entire book, which was foolish, because you really shouldn’t trust anyone in Faerie.
The book does drag a little toward the middle, but it really helps build up the end. If you were to cut the middle part out of the story, the end would not have been nearly as intense.
Character development is a curious thing in The Cruel Prince. The characters because more despicable as the book went on, which was weirdly fantastic. I’m not sure any of them are redeemable and I absolutely love it.
Do I ship Cardan and Jude?
Umm…Yes and no? Maybe? I shouldn’t, yet a tiny part of me….
As for Cardan’s tail…
Anyway, I was super late reviewing this book that it seems 98% of the world read last year, but…. oh well!
I hope you enjoyed! Let me know what you think! 🙂
PS- sorry it’s been forever since I posted. Things have been rough lately.