02 March, 2018


Title: The Cruel Prince
Author:  Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Brown Books for Young Readers
Release: January 2nd 2018
Source: eBook
Pages: 384

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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 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.


EXPECTATIONS: This was a whim-read. I kept seeing this book everywhere, I kept hearing of this book everywhere. I did not like its description, and yet I still went for it. So my expectations were as low as they can be for a book!

THE WORLD: There's our world, where we, mortals, live and thrive. And then there's the Faerie, this magical land just across the ocean. People, seemingly, can't see in, while fae can very much see out. In fact, to keep their kingdom thriving, strong, full of servants, they steal mortals, either outright, or through silly bargains we're unable to refuse or find too ridiculous to believe to be true. Fae can charm you into doing what they want. They can feed you fae fruit, to make you malleable, all too willing to please for another bite. For they need you, even if they hate you. To them you're but a mere mortal, some walking corpse that rots since the day it is born: mortal.

CHARACTERS: Jude and her two sisters, a twin of hers, and an older one, get taken out of our world, into the Faerie by a general, a war-driven red-cap faerie Madoc. He is the true father of the older sister, but since the other two girls were daughters of his unfaithful wife, the same one who escaped, faking her own death, and burning his home down to do so, he takes them with him. The girls swear to hate him forever, but he's always kind and attentive, and even seems to love them, so, soon their promise turns hard to keep. Now Jude wants nothing more than to fit in in the Faerie, to belong here. Which is not an easy task, seeing how most despise mortals. On top of it, there's the royal family with too many heirs to the crown, each more cruel than the next, and all too close to Jude and her family, due to Madoc, their father (or step-father) being the general of the crown armies. They, especially this one youngest, Cardan, make her life beyond miserable. Constant bullying, abuse, and even threats to life is the nightmare she is living, always dreading they'll strip her of her protective charms and spell her into jumping off some tower. And yet she wishes to be a knight and be part of this realm.

ROMANCE: Romance is disgusting. It's very basic, suitable for all ages, if we ignore the other horrors this book presents, but it's very toxic. The constant verbal abuse is justified with "I secretly like you, and I despise myself for it". The "I almost killed you" is justified with "otherwise they would've SURELY killed you". I hate how fear and hate got so easily forgotten with a kiss.

GOOD: The writing style is great, plot twists often came at me unexpected, something that rarely happens. Story is build very well, and ends so fine, I am sure I will read the next book just to see how it all worked out. I like how it was the fae daughter who wanted back to mortal world, and how she fell in love with a human girl. I like how the abuse and fear Jude had to bear every day didn't break her will, ever, and the fact she was fairly clever too. So, I guess I liked the characters, even the ones like Madoc.

BAD: That romance. That was very bad. I hope author considers fixing it somehow, tho how - I do not know. 

OVERALL: This was a good book in most of the cases. There were spies, sneaking, stealing, some murder, strong women, strong ruler women, diversity, and so on. It felt like reading a Dragon Age book, if anyone's familiar with the games (not the books, those aren't as alike to this one). An adventure. But then, it was a bit dragged, and there were as ridiculous things as the romance plot line.  

What do you think about THE CRUEL PRINCE?



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