08 January 2018

The Cruel Prince // You Should Buy This ASAP

The Cruel Prince
Published: 2nd January 2017
Source: Won
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating:
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.
I am a fan of Holly Black and have been ever since I heard about one of her books. I didn’t even need to read one, I just knew she was an author I wanted to read. Ever since I read White Cat (and then didn’t finish that series!) I have loved her books and so when I saw she had another book out there was no doubt I would be getting myself a copy. I got lucky and managed to win a copy early and I am so thrilled I did but I would have been buying it regardless.

It was an insanely good book for so many reasons. It was an interesting storyline which had me drawn in straight away. There were complex characters with a whole bunch of moral ambiguity going on. And the world itself so was good! I will attempt to list the reasons you should read and avoid most spoilers (I think).

Morally Ambiguous Characters

The entire book is filled with characters who aren’t good or nice. The majority of them are faeries and the fae aren’t exactly known for being sweetness and light (at least not in the folklore I’ve heard). As such, these faeries are cruel and manipulative and they have such power over people, especially humans who they can glamour and manipulate and generally terrorise. And then Jude and her sister are both humans who have mostly grown up in the land of Faerie and they know the rules but aren’t living as humans. They have become much like the fae and are cruel and spiteful and make choices which leads you to question if they are good people but that is what they’ve had to adapt to become. I have to say I’ve never read a book where I spend so much time bouncing from disliking characters to loving them. They are all terrible people but I also really liked them.

Amazing World Building

The Court of Faeries was really interesting. It was like a whole separate world yet it overlapped with the human world and it was smartly done. Learning the rules and politics of the court and how faeries and humans interacted with one another was brilliant. I also loved the magic and abilities which the faeries possessed and the old wives tale type ways humans could counter the abilities and magic.

A Main Character You Connect With Immediately

As I said, there are a lot of morally ambiguous characters. There are characters who do bad things but seem like nice people. There are the nice seeming ones who you want to punch. There are selfish characters who attempt to save their own skin but end up doing things because of that. I liked how Jude was a character who made poor choices and helped those who probably didn’t deserve it but she was always attempting to make her own path in a world she didn’t belong. She tried to do everything she could for her family, for those who were suffering, yet she was also selfish and to those around her she could be so cruel. She acted far too rashly and often to the detriment to herself and those she was with.

Basically, It’s Awesome

I adored this entire book. I was sucked in right from the start and didn’t want to stop reading. Holly Black is the queen of faerie books. She is an amazing author anyway, but her take on the fae is always impressive. I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s dark and interesting and filled with such interesting characters. I am dying for the next book to be out and I am going to be reading everything by Holly Black until then.

Have you read anything by Holly Black? Do you have one book I need to read by her? And what’s your favourite book about faeries?

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