The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Spoiler Free Review



Book: The Cruel Prince

Series: The Folk of the Air, #1

Author: Holly Black

Pages: 384

Genre: YA Fantasy

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.

This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition features a special jacket and bonus story starring fan-favorites Kaye and Roiben of the bestselling Tithe series, allowing readers to witness the pivotal coronation scene from an alternate point of view.

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 years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

Oh my. How will I possibly give this book review any justice without spoilers? I will try my best!

The Cruel Prince was the first book I started reading in 2018 and it was a 5 star read for me. It was fast paced, fun, brutal, dark, and it kept me wanting more.

Here are the basics: Jude and her two sisters witness the murder of their parents as children, and they are taken to the Fae world where they are raised by a Fae general. Jude’s twin, Taryn, and their older sister Vivi live with their parents’ murderer (who is Vivi’s biological father). While Vivi is rebellious and defiant, Jude and Taryn want to assimilate with the Fae.

Aside from this strange family dynamic, there is an entire world of brutal politics. The Fae King wants to appoint a new successor, and his choices are his own children. Who will take the crown?

Guys, I really don’t want to go into great detail because, duh, spoilers. So let’s just get into the good and the bad:

The Good:

  • I love how Jude is such a complex and morally grey character. She wants nothing more than to fit in in the Fae world. She actually loves her new father (yes, the man who murdered her parents). She wants to become a knight for the royal Fae family. She can fight like a badass and hold her own. She has a huge heart, but she’s not afraid to kill.
  • Prince Cardan. I think some may argue with me here. You see, Cardan is… a bit of a jerk. He bullies Jude. His friends torment her. But, you will learn more about his character as you read on. I don’t want to say anymore. I love how complex his character is as well.
  • Ok, so pretty much everyone is a bit of a jerk. If that’s not your cup of tea, then you may not enjoy this book. Personally I love how everyone has their flaws. It makes this YA book unique.
  • The politics. Think Game of Thrones.
  • Bisexual representation! Yay!

The Bad (but not really?):

  • The writing. Since this is YA, I’m going to not be too hard on the writing. But I will warn you: it does read like a typical YA book. That is not a bad thing, but for all the hype this book gets, some of the writing does come off a bit juvenile.
  • Lack of romance. Actually, I didn’t mind the lack of romance. However, if you’re a romance fan, this book won’t give you all the romantic feels. There is some lust, mind you.
  • Trigger warning for bullying. The Fae are some cruel, cruel people. Cardan and his friends bully Jude at school. A lot.

Guys? Overall I loved this book so much. I am planning to listen to it on audio as my “re-read”. I am bursting with excitement for the next installment. If you’re into darker tales with political intrigue and morally grey characters, I highly recommend you pick up The Cruel Prince.


Happy reading!



11 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Spoiler Free Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s