The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Rating: (3.5 / 5)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Content: Faeries, War


Synopsis: When Jude was 7 years old, her parents were murdered in front of her and her siblings and they were taken to the High Court of Faerie to live with their killer. Ten years later, Jude is doing her best to fit in with her classmates and be the perfect daughter to her parent’s killer, who has taken them into their home as one of their own. She despises being different, she despises her classmates, and especially despises Prince Cardan. He is beautiful and wicked and one of the reasons Jude is given such a hard time.

She quickly become engrossed in a diplomatic war that will test her in ways she never imagined. Can she deal with the blood on her hands? And will she able to save her sister and all of faerie in the fallout?


There was huge hype around this book and I was so excited to read it! But overall, I had to give this book a lower rating. The story in general was very good and there were plenty of plot twists to keep me entertained. The reason I can’t give it a better rating is because it was a VERY slow start. I would say about ¾ of the book extremely slow build and set up to the ending. While this was frustrating and hard to get into, the ending was extremely good and made me want the next one to come out ASAP just to see what happens next. This is frustrating for me because overall, I didn’t enjoy the read but I couldn’t put the book down the last few chapters! What the heck guys.

Here are some things I did like about the book. One of them being the strong female lead. Jude is defiant and strong, and I just absolutely love her. The way her and her twin grew up it faerie and were treated as if they were a lesser people because of being human made her mad and she defied anyone who tried to treat her and her sister badly. She really stood up for herself and her beliefs. I also love that instead of being married off to a faery, she prefers to become a knight to the High King. This really shows how independent she is and ahead of the times in the book. Even though the book takes place in modern day, the faery realm is far behind and still has very traditional values.

Another aspect I enjoyed, despite the set up, was the plot. I can’t go too much into detail, but she ends up being hired by Prince Dain to become one of his spies. He is about to be made High King and believes one of his siblings is planning to assassinate him for the crown. Jude then begins training with some of his other spies and really grows into quite the warrior and sneaky girl. To see her growth was really enjoyable and I enjoyed some of the other characters brought into the storyline. The plot twists at the end are really incredible and set up for a very interesting second book in the series.

Lastly, I really enjoy Holly Black as a faery writer. She really knows how to create a wonderful world in faerie. She has formed a cruel and wicked environment with many different kinds of faeries. There are Seelie and Unseelie courts, evil faeries, and a place that is just not friendly to humans. Between intoxicating wine and forbidden and poisonous fruits, it is not a place a human is equipped to live. Her writing is very well done, and I really enjoyed reading about the universe she created.

I sincerely wish I could give this book a better rating based on the ending alone, but I cannot! I still would recommend it as a read but be prepared to hold out for a while and patiently wait for the good stuff to begin. Were it not the slow build, I easily would have rated it a 4.5.

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