Disclaimer: Mild Spoilers
Hello all and welcome to my first book review on my blog! This one will (obviously) be about Holly Black’s very anticipated 2018 release The Cruel Prince. I received this book and candle pictured in my January Fairyloot, and I absolutely loved that box! This being the only box I’ve ever gotten from them, I was super impressed and can’t wait to get another. Now this book was very hyped up, so it -made me nervous that I would think it a flop, but I was actually surprised! Although it wasn’t a five star book for me, it deals with themes that many people could relate themselves to.
Now onto the review. This book follows Jude and her sisters navigating their lives in the High Court of Faerie. Unlike their older sister Vivienne, Jude and Taryn are mere mortals in a realm where humans are despised and used as servants. Jude wants very much to be a part of the court, but her classmate and his band of bullies will do whatever they can to stop her. I felt that this books main theme was bullying, and standing up to them. For some reason, Prince Cardan singles out Jude daily and torments her and her twin Taryn. She is constantly standing up for not just herself, but also her sister, and I love that Holly Black portrayed her that way.
The world that this author created is a magical one. With every chapter you are learning about a new race of faerie and she describes them so well that the reader can picture them in their heads. World building is very important to me because without it, books just fall flat and it doesn’t leave me wanting the next book from that author. I haven’t read many books that involve faeries, but I enjoyed that this faerie realm in particular was a little more dark and dangerous than most. She did not shy away from violence (that first chapter was just BRUTAL) and tough themes, which is something that I really enjoy/respect from authors. Overall, this book was written very well, and Jude is a strong female protagonist who, despite her disadvantages, is trying to carve out a spot for herself in the world she grew up in.
Overall I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars because at times nothing was really happening, and although I loved Jude’s character, I absolutely despised Prince Cardan. I couldn’t grasp him being secretly fond of her yet he was either the one who was actively bullying her, or he did nothing to stop his band of cronies from hurting her.