Book Reviews

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: The Folk of the Air, book 1
Rating: DNF
Recommend to Others?: No


Summary (via Goodreads):
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 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.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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.


My Review:
DNF at Chapter 15, Page 142. No Rating.

My thoughts from a previous post: I’m no stranger to Holly Black’s books and writing. At first I wasn’t sure if I would like this book – I didn’t think it was the right story for me at the time or at all. But Black does all things fae well so maybe it could turn out to be a good read. I’d like to give it a try.

I couldn’t find it in me to keep reading. I didn’t want to keep reading.

The title is an understatement. I couldn’t take the extreme bullying Jude was receiving from Cardan and his friends. It was all too much.

Jude was an okay character. Willful but reckless. I wouldn’t completely agree that she’s a glutton for punishment by provoking Cardan so much but I’m also glad she refuses to lower herself to being a doormat. Because she’s human, the only logical way for her to succeed in her desires would be to outsmart her adversaries and be mindful of words and favors. But it’s a mystery how she’ll overcome overcome; right now she’s angry and desperate to not feel powerless anymore. She also seems to be heading towards a dark path, one that might cause her to stoop to the same cruel level as Cardan. And I don’t think, and it seems she’s starting to see a bit, that she’s really thought through all her choices and decisions.

There were very few bright moments up to where I stopped. Vivi (Jude’s older sister) was the only character I actually liked. Taryn (Jude’s twin sister) I did not care for. Madoc (Jude’s “father”) was more terrifying than unlikable (based on his thoughts about the state of affairs in Elfhame). And Cardan is cruel to a T. Locke (who’s in Cardan’s circle) I don’t trust at all and suspect he’s up to something of his own.

There wasn’t enough to keep me interested, not enough good to cling to in the dark, wicked, beautiful world of this book. And with the impending change of rulers it seems the tone will be gloomy for quite a while. Objectively, I’m indifferent about this book. I can’t say if it’s actually a good or bad book unless I read the whole thing. But I don’t see myself finishing it in the future.

If you’ve read this book already, I’d love to know your thoughts about it. Let me know what you thought in the comment section below.

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