The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince

Book - 2018
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Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316310277
Characteristics: 370 pages : illustration ; 24 cm


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Librarian_Maggie Mar 12, 2018

Great read alike for Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen, except set in land of faerie. It's well done and has enough of a resolution to stand as a single novel, although I'll certainly read the next in the series. Also, I have a little fangirl moment whenever authors dedicate their works to other authors. Love that.

OPL_KrisC Feb 28, 2018

This is a dark tale about a couple of young girls whose parents were murdered and then they were stolen away into the High Court of Faerie. I've read quite a few fairy books and loved the dark twist that this one has. Holly Black does a good job of describing the faerie world and developing her characters. This is the first book in a new series and I can't wait to see how the rest of the series turns out.

Feb 13, 2018

THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black is possibly one of the best Faerie books I’ve read in a long time. Before starting this, I was going through a really bad reading slump. Reading TCP did not feel like a chore. I sacrificed sleep for this book! Sometimes I’ll read a book and even if I’m enjoying it and really need to know the ending, the actual reading part will feel like a chore. I’m really thankful that the hype surrounding this book didn’t get to me and that TCP broke my reading slump. That being said, I had a lot of problems with it.

I think the world-building, the plot, and the protagonist’s character development were excellent. The book’s map confused me a bit in regards to the size of Faerie but the world itself was incredible. I loved that not every Fae you met was gorgeous – there were goblins, trolls, and all manner of creatures. Even the “beautiful” Fae had some animalistic underside to them. In this respect, the author’s vision translated to the reader. The plot’s pacing was great and even if I saw some things coming, I still felt the suspense. Finally, Jude’s character development was amazing and I felt like she really grew throughout the entire book.

I’m a little familiar with Fae folklore and was not surprised to read about a cruel, dark world with violence at every corner. That being said, just because I (an adult, and not the target audience) expected that doesn’t mean the target audience will, or will even understand that some of the elements in this book are not what the real world/real people should actually be like. Some of my problems with this book would be something happening, that makes me include a trigger warning at the top of my review, and that thing being acknowledged but not challenged. I’m mostly worried about a reader connecting with one of these situations and thinking their own situation is standard, when it’s really concerning! Yes this is fantasy but that doesn’t mean a reader won’t connect their real-life situation with some aspect of this book.

For example, at one point in the book the MC is forced to eat Faerie fruit (which is basically a drug to humans) and had a very real chance of being raped or sexually assaulted. I considered it a date rape drug. The MC is compelled to take off her clothes while bystanders & the person who forced her to eat the Faerie fruit either laugh, take advantage of the MC or ignore the situation. This is acknowledged as wrong later on, but it’s never fully challenged. The assailant is never even brought to justice (for this, at least). There are probably more examples I could find but I don’t want to write a 10 page review.

As I said earlier, the MC’s character development was great but any development between Jude and other characters were basically thrown out the window. I would say the bond between Jude and her older sister Vivi were good but I was expecting more. I always want more when it comings to the MC and their sibling(s). Also, the title and the synopsis makes it seem like Cardan is the second biggest character in this book and yet there was hardly any real development between him and Jude. It’s only two thirds in that there’s any real progress.

Jude did learn that maybe there was more to Cardan than meets the eye but it was usually through a third party. So, Jude might witness something, without Cardan knowing, or she might learn something about him but from someone else. It was so dissatisfying. How is he “the cruel prince” if he’s always in the background?! The title was possibly referring to someone else (who I won’t name for spoilers) but yeah. Very disappointing.

The romance is terrible, there was a love triangle/square that became very creepy because of one character's actions. Obviously the author is really good with plot twists but I did see the ending coming. Did anyone not see it coming? Also, there was a slut-shaming moment that went unchallenged and it could have been done without the slut-shaming. Totally unnecessary.

Jan 29, 2018

Classic Holly Black. Excellent, contrary characters and rich storytelling. Jude is a complex and flawed heroine and I can't wait to see the lengths she will go to in the next book.

JCLAndrewP Jan 26, 2018

This book refused to let me put it down. I would often find myself so immersed that hours had passed in the blink of an eye. The characters and the world are so vivid it was like I was there. It's a story of intrigue, spies, revenge, and the lengths a person will go to make sure they're safe in a world where death and magic run rampant.

JCLStefanieE Jan 24, 2018

Few books grip me by the throat and force me to read them through screaming children who need things from me. This twisty story of political intrigue, spies, and a tinge of romance was so good that I listened to the audio book in the car by day and read late into the night to finish it.

Jan 24, 2018

Great interesting read! I bought it!

Jan 23, 2018

The Cruel Prince is a twisty and intricately plotted fantasy that takes us deep inside the High Court of Faerie. Holy Black knows just how to hit my expectations enough to keep me satisfied, while simultaneously subverting them enough to keep me intrigued. I am already eagerly awaiting the release of The Wicked King in 2019.

Read my full review at Required Reading:

Jan 23, 2018

Love this book. Couldn't put it down. This is my new favorite teen fantasy. A must read if you like fantasy.

Jan 11, 2018

Stunningly beautiful, dark, and deadly. No one does Faerie like Holly Black!


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Jan 23, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Jude and her twin sister, Taryn, are mortals who have lived in Faerie since they were children, raised by the Faerie general who murdered their parents in order to retrieve his daughter, their half-sister Vivi. Despite this violent beginning, Jude longs to find her place in the High Court of King Eldred, and dreams of knighthood and acceptance. However, many of the high fey will never see a mortal as anything more than a servant, to be used and discarded at will. Worst among these is Prince Cardan, youngest of the High King’s sons, who seems to have a special hatred for Jude, and the way she had been raised as if she were part of the Gentry. When the High King announces that he will abdicate his throne, and pass the Blood Crown to one of his six children, Jude is caught up in political intrigues and violent betrayals, and is quickly reminded why the Faerie Court is no place for humans.


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Jan 23, 2018

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.


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