The Cruel Prince by Holly Black–Review

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black review

SummaryOf 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: 5 stars

I absolutely love Holly Black’s work. She typically writes dark fantasy with interesting characters. I have read a couple novels about fairies, but no one depicts them as well as Holly Black does. When I heard about The Cruel Prince I wanted it based on the title and author alone, when I found out that it was also about fairies, I was super excited. I’ve been dying to read this and I really hope that I might be able to get my hands on a review copy of its sequel The Wicked King, but know that it’s probably not likely. I’m super envious of anyone who has that review copy.

The Cruel Prince was everything I wanted it to be and more. Filled with interesting characters, set in a magical world, Holly Black constructed a plot with so many twists that you won’t be able to put down. Dive into the world of fairies and fall in love with ruthless characters, for this is a book that you won’t forget. Holly Black’s skill for crafting dark, twisty and magical tales is an incredible talent. I’m so glad that her novels never disappoint.

The characters are all done so well. They’re each terribly flawed in their own way, but you grow to love them regardless. These characters are all three-dimensional, they each have back stories and are carefully molded to play out the story. Holly Black’s characters tend to be a bit darker than those in your typical young adult books and that is true in this novel as well. Some of their actions are outright brutal and some characters are ruthless.

The world building is fantastic. I was surprised to find that this book is set in the same world as Tithe. Kaye and Roiben make an appearance for fans of that novel like me. It is not necessary to read Tithe first, but it does give more background on the world this novel is set in, along with Kaye and Roiben’s backstory. If you are a fan of this book I highly suggest that you read Tithe as well.

The plot is really where this novel shines. There are twists upon twists that make this book compulsively readable. I never knew what to expect. The Cruel Prince is a book filled with love, betrayal, politics and most of all magic. If you enjoy fantasy this is a book you won’t want to miss. As a diehard fan of Holly Black’s I was not disappointed. I have yet to read everything that she has written, but she never ceases to amaze me with her dark young adult fantasy novels.

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