The Cruel Prince, Holly Black

There’s been so much hype for The Cruel Prince that I was a little unsure picking it up – don’t hate me but… it took awhile for me to get into it. Didn’t know whether I was feeling the Fae vibes…. but I did. Like a lot.


Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered. 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.


The Cruel Prince is super easy to read but goes in depth just enough. We’re launched straight in the world which I love.

Told from Jude’s point of view she is a thoughtful and intelligent heroine. I enjoyed the relationship between her and Madoc, with him training her to fight. You see inner struggle over hating this man that killed her parents but also love for the father who’s raised her all these years. She didn’t get too in-depth with Jude and Taryn’s relationship so it will interesting to see how it plays out. Especially with the way they left things at the end of the book! I really loved her older sister Vivi – she’s pretty spunky. I liked that they still went into the human world; to shop and interact with other mortals like themselves 🙂 a great way to bring some reality into the fantasy.

I also enjoyed Jude’s approach to killing; though she didn’t hesitate, she still convincingly deals with the consequences and inner turmoil over it. It was easy to see her making the transition to training as a spy.

Unfortunately, the romantic subplot with Jude is the weakest part of the book – the twist was a little obvious, though readers will definitely love Cardan as the ‘Cruel Prince.’

I really liked that this isn’t cute Faerie world, this is definitely bargains and enchantments with scary consequences. We have a few reasons outlined why we should be afraid for Jude and Taryn as mortals in the Faerie world. We understand their hatred but also their feelings of wanting to belong with the Fae.

By the end of the book, we know where the series is heading with a timeframe which is also nice. I’m definitely looking forward to book two!!


Four Pegs

If you liked The Cruel Prince try The Hazelwood by Melissa Albert. So good!


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