Review: The Cruel Prince

By Holly Black

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Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish Date: 2nd January 2018

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Book: #1 of The Folk of the Air
Genre: Fantasy/YA/Fairytale
Found: Favourite Author
Rating: 5 Voodoos

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.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal.

As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong.

But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan . . .


Dramatic and thrilling fantasy blends seamlessly with enthralling storytelling to create a fully realised and seductive world, brimful of magic and romance


Well, wow.

Ok, so I’ve been wanting to read this and not wanting to read this for a while now.
I wanted to read this because I’ve loved Holly Black’s last two stand-a-lone books. I didn’t want to read this at the same time because it was the start of a series and I wasn’t sure I liked the premise.

I was expecting something like The Darkest Part of the Forest, because there was room for a similar set up. Nope.
Spoiler alert: the characters from TDPotF do turn up in this though! I wondered if they would.

I didn’t expect most of this book. Possibly because Jude made choices I didn’t understand and there were things I saw that she didn’t. But at this point she’s been living in Faerie for 10 years so whose to say I wouldn’t have made the same choices then.

It’s written in first person as it’s happening. I usually can’t stand this, I usually find it distracting except this time I stopped noticing not that far into the book which I’m surprised about. I will have to give other first person as-they’re-happening books a better chance in the future!
Despite this I wasn’t sure where Jude was going with things half the time. I’m not sure if this was on purpose or if it was just because I found it hard understanding her. I felt sorry for her most, but also for Cardan. Their relationship is so volatile that I look forward to seeing where it goes next. There seems only one possible outcome but I’m betting there won’t be when it comes down to it.

Of course I could be as wrong as I have been up until this point!
For all my confusion and not understanding I did enjoy this book, possibly a lot more at the end than I thought I would at the beginning – but that seems to be modus operandi at this point. I’d need to complete the whole series – which is looking like a trilogy – to work out how I fully feel about it all.

This was great start to a new trilogy from an author I’ve only ever read standalones by. I keep forgetting that I’ve finished this book and I keep thinking about reading more…

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