Review | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black ★★★★★

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

The feelings ‘The Cruel Prince’ gave me were unreal

This book is actually perfect. I can’t even begin to explain how I feel about The Cruel Prince. I literally finished it in a day the first time I read it. This was such an interesting read with wonderful characters. I felt every emotion Holly Black writes or tells about. This is the first book I’ve read by Holly Black and I’m speechless. She has such a beautiful writing style. I am planning on rereading The Cruel Prince soon!

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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 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.

I liked the plot. It was interesting and I definitely wanted to know what would happen next. However, I kept reading The Cruel Prince for the characters. They give the book something extra, something that makes the book so much more enjoyable. The Cruel Prince does kind of revolve around the characters in this book and how they’re going to approach these different kinds of situations.

The characters in The Cruel Prince we’re so well written and had a lot of depth to them. I liked the fact that not only the main character, Jude but all of them were key to the story. Every one of these personas is so different. They do have all one thing in common: they all do bad things. The way Holly Black brings all these kinds of different people with different stories to life in a book is just magical. Jude isn’t good but isn’t bad either. She does what she has to do and I like that attitutde.

The world-building was exceptional. It felt like I was watching a movie. I could picture every estate and every scene. The magic system was very clear, I had no trouble wrapping my head around it.

“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this is the least of what I can do.”

Holly Black’s writing style is phenomenal. This woman knows how to write a book. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book when doing other things. The impact The Cruel Prince had on my life was incredible. That ending was just wow. I love how this novel had a lot of plot twists. Some twists were kind of predictable but that ending was incredible.

This is a short review because I don’t know what to say. I love this book so much that it becomes hard to explain why. I just know my heart beats a bit faster when thinking about The Cruel Prince. Overall this is a great read on every level and you should read it.

Would I recommend it?

Trigger warnings
Death, murder, abuse, suicide, blood
Representation in this book
Lesbian side character
Young adult, fantasy
Publication date
January 2, 2018
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
About the author
Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library.

Do you like reading about Fae? Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Review | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

  1. thathappyreader 15 November 2020 — 20:32

    This sounds like a great read for YA readers! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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