The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | An Interesting New Take on Faeries

If it’s a faerie book, I have to pick it up. I am obsessed and need them all, pretty much. When The Cruel Prince was released, it was everywhere. I couldn’t go on Twitter without seeing something on this book. I was never really interested (although it IS a faerie book! Shame on me!), but then the hype made me do it and when I went to Rotterdam in January, I decided to pick it up! But… Did I read the same book as everyone else?

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

My Review

Like I said before, The Cruel Prince book was hyped! I don’t always pick up those kind of books and I definitely don’t always care them, but the hype actually did make me interested in this book. Jude and her sisters have grown up in Faerie after their parents were murdered and we get to see Faerie through the eyes of a teenager who’s basically an insider in Faerie but an outsider amongst the Fey. It’s a really intriguing concept, and I actually got excited about it!

I didn’t like the world of The Cruel Prince very much. I’m obsessed with A Court of Thorns & Roses, An Enchantment of Ravens and Paranormacly an oldie, but a goodie! but this world just didn’t live up to that.  I don’t really know how to describe it, since the world of The Cruel Prince wasn’t bad – it just wasn’t for me. The creatures were colourful; they were blue and green and pink and probably all other colours on the rainbow, which is just not my thing. But other than that there weren’t many descriptions of creatures besides the pointy-eared Fey. There’s creatures that I never heard of before but now I still don’t really know anything about them! There were parts I loved, like the revels – and humans who’re unable to stop dancing once they start; it’s a typical Faerie thing! And having get-togethers under a hill. (That’s actually something you don’t read about often).

Jude wasn’t a very likeable character to me, and I guess that’s why – in the end – I like her. She’s this outsider who just wants to fit in. But although I could relate to that, I couldn’t really understand her and her actions. She actually really wants to be better than all of them and when she can’t, she decides to just get worse. I guess it makes sense with the way she’s grown up and all, but it was a teeny tiny bit annoying.

Jude and her sister were bullied because they were mortal. I really didn’t like it. Like, REALLY didn’t. The beginning of the book was quite slow. It was interesting, but that’s where it kind of fell flat. There was lots and lots of bullying and I guess it just wasn’t done right. I felt like there just wasn’t any point to it. There’s never really any point to bullying – and I should know as I’ve been bullied for over a third of my life – but even when “the point” was explained, it was disappointing. I was really annoyed by that. I guess I kept reading just to see where it would go, and then it sort of left me hanging.

You all know I love a good hate-to-love relationship, and this felt so different from usual. I guess because I really didn’t like this one person in the relationship at all and then kind of loved him in the end anyway? I probably don’t make any sense, but there’s no other way to describe it. It also felt kinda weird because there was so little of the actual love but so much of the hate and rivalry. It’s still my favourite part of the book, though! (That’s probably why I’m vomiting words instead of making proper sentences… lol)

The end totally made up for the slow beginning and the elements I was annoyed by. It really kept me on my toes. There were small hints at a plot twist, which were almost tiny plot twists of their own. I didn’t fully understand them as I read, and often I really had to think. When everything fell into place, I was so shocked! I also wasn’t sure what to think of it… I guess my imagination ran a little too wild, as I saw so much potential for a certain plot line that I really liked but never happened.

Finally, I just have to mention the actual, physical hardback copy. It is so beautiful. It has some small illustrations throughout the book, and a gorgeous map! The chapter pages are all illustrated and I found it so fitting. It really adds to the “experience” of reading the book, and I kinda wish more YA books had illustrations!

My Rating
♡♡♡♡

I was going to rate The Cruel Prince three stars, but thinking of the end and the beauty of my copy, I’ve decided to bump it up to a four. I never really like half-star ratings, but I guess If I did, I’d be giving the book  a three and an half. I really cannot wait for book two!

About The Cruel Prince

“A dark jewel of a book . . . intoxicating” – Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows

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.

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Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think? If you haven’t read it yet, will you be picking this one up?

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