Books · Faeries · Fantasy · Magic · Read in 2020 · Reviews · Young Adult

Book Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Book Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

A Fascinating, suspenseful fantasy faerie world full of drama, intrigue and glorious characters.

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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

This was one of those books that was maybe a 2-3 star read for me right up until I had almost reached the end. I almost DNF’d this so many times as I was reading but I persevered, I kept thinking it will get better, it will get better. It became a mantra as I forced myself to keep turning the pages.

The world building is excellent and the characters are interesting but in the initial parts of this book it just felt like nothing was happening or even building up to something happening. I was so unbelievably bored and disappointed up until the point where I wasn’t.

This is one of the very rare books that completely flipped my opinion and I fell completely, head over heels in love with the world, the story and of course Jude and Carden. It was amazing.

Holly Black does a wonderful job of conveying how beautiful the fey are but also how dark and dangerous too. She makes you want to be one of them but she also makes you fear what they can do to you.

There is so much magic and beauty in the world that she has created here and though you fear it you also want to be a part of it.

Jude is fierce and she is a wonderful female lead. She is strong, feisty and full of personality. She is no soft, soppy romantic female heroine that you often get in YA fantasy and I absolutely loved her.

Carden is incredible! He is deep and complex and there is so, so much more to his character than meets the eye.

I actually found the characters and relationships in this story to be some of the most unique I’ve encountered.

There are a lot of faerie politics, court intrigue and drama and not very much romance which I also think is a brilliant thing.

There is no love triangle or overbearing romance plot to drag you away from the main point of the story.

The Cruel Prince is definitely a slow burner but one that I can highly recommend you stick with because once it gets going it is absolutely unputdownable.



Have you read this book? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s discuss! ♥

12 thoughts on “Book Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

  1. I enjoyed your review, Lou. And I really enjoyed this series — the second book is by far the best, in my opinion. The third book, though, is a bit of a letdown. I will be curious to see what you think of the next and last book. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I have already read the second and third books. I read them all together last year but I am just catching up on some older reviews on my blog. I agree that the second book is amazing but for me the third was actually my favourite of them all!

  2. Great review! I’m going to have to echo what other said about the second installment being their favorite. I think this one though did a good job setting up that dangerous yet alluring atmosphere surrounding the Fae! 🙂

    1. I agree now that I have read all 3 books I think that the first book needed to be a bit slower because there was so much setting up to do! I think when I reread in the future I’ll appreciate this first one a lot more 🙂

  3. Great review! Thanks for sharing! I’ve never actually heard of this book but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it next time I’m in need of a new read!

  4. This series has been on my wishlist for ages but I’ve been put off by some overly gushing reviews. In fact, your review has just convinced me that I do need to read them after all – thank you for being so honest! x

  5. This is one of my favorite series and I’m in the process of re-reading it. It’s a bummer you didn’t like it from the beginning but I think you’ll enjoy the sequel a bit more 😁 great review!

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