The Cruel Prince – Book Review

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The Cruel Prince Book Cover

Book Title: The Cruel Prince
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Author: Holly Black


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.

Book Review

Jude Duarte is human. She is a twin. She is mortal and is therefore the weakest in the Faerie Kingdom. A world she did not choose but was forced to live in by, Madoc, the man who murdered her parents in cold blood. Her bond with her twin sister is filled with its fair share of love and strife. Her eldest sister, Viviane is a true faerie and strong-willed. She chooses not to like or follow the ways of the Faerie Kingdom. While Taryn, Jude’s twin sister, chooses to submit to their ways. Jude is caught between the two, and her sense of pride leaves her in a place where she must or can only fight for her own right to live in this new world.
And so, Jude must find a way to survive in a world where the weakest are the most bullied and hated. In this world, there is the strongest, Prince Cardan. He hates humans and Jude the most. He shows it and she fights back as much as he chooses to bully her.

“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this is the least of what I can do.”

The Cruel Prince, Holly Black

In all senses, this book is not for the faint of heart. It’s a dark fairytale exploring the magical world of faerie creatures and their intolerance toward the weak, mortal human. I enjoyed following Jude’s progress in this harsh world. The Cruel Prince does read like the start of a journey. Because it is a journey, by the end of the book, Jude finds herself in a strange new position that she did not anticipate herself. A position that might get her into more trouble than she anticipated. It is a great catapult to the next book, The Wicked King.

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