The Cruel Prince Book Review

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

Published: January 2nd, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy


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.

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*Amazon: The Cruel Prince




“I don’t desire to do as well in the tournament as one of the fey. I want to win. I do not yearn to be their equal. In my heart, I yearn to best them.”

1) Plot/Pace

Shook. I am shook. I will NEVER shut up about this book. NEVER. It is dark twisted and deliciously evil. I can’t even put into words how I feel but I will try. Jude, at only seven, and her twin sister Taryn and another sister Vivi watched helplessly as their parents were viciously murdered. Then they were stolen and forced to live in the High Court of Faerie. Time jump 10 years, Jude is now 17 and wants to belong in this world even though she is mortal. Life is incredibly dangerous for Jude because many of the fey HATE humans. Prince Cardan is one of those fey. He seems to hate the very existence of Jude. As Jude gets more involved in palace deception her life is in even more danger. She defies Cardan at every turn and risks her life to earn her place in this world. But with betrayal lurking around every corner Jude makes some strange and unexpected alliances to save Faerie. In this book, nothing is as it seems honestly. One minute I trust someone the next I don’t. The plot is so vicious and nasty. I was immersed in this world. I could not put this book down and that ending has left me in eager anticipation for book two. This is fast paced and wild. Something is always happening but don’t take it at face value because something could be going on behind the scenes. 

“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…this is the least of what I can do.”

2) Characters

Jude of Jude. I LOVE HER! She is one of the BEST morally grey characters ever. She is defiant, strong, and dangerous. She may be mortal but this chick is POWERFUL. The fey underestimated her and Jude really came and did what she had to do. Her tricks and the way she deceived people was so fabulous. HER MIND PEOPLE. Honestly nothing but respect for MY High Court ruler. Her development was so beautiful to witness and I can’t wait to see her kick some more butt. Cardan my love with that lovely tail. He is nasty, mean, rude and I love it. As a villain lover, it should be no surprise that Cardan owns a piece of my heart. His past is so sad but it doesn’t make up for his behavior it just helps you to understand it more. His character development is truly going to be iconic. We got to see a mall portion of it towards the end and I will say JUDE OWNS THIS MAN. Though he won’t admit it, he will just write it a billion times. This world is so ruthless that I truly don’t know who the villain is. You really can’t trust anyone not even family (if you read this you all know two individuals who I despise.) I don’t want to say spoilers because the twits are so much better so I will say things without context. Taryn= boo boo the fool. Nicasia= tweedle dee. Locke =tweedle dumb. Balekin=trash. Madoc=dummy. Vivi= protector. Oak=king. Oriana= worry wart. Valerian= tweedle dumber. Dain = liar. Court of Shadows = GOAT. 

“Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”

3) Writing

Whimsical with a vicious side. Dark but beautiful. Dangerous and deadly. The writing was intoxicating and like the mortals, I too got swept up in the world of Faerie. Everything was so vivid and lush. The luxury of the High Court and the descriptions of the parties left me breathless. When things got intense I was gripping the book so hard and my heart was pounding. When things got delicious and sexy my heart was coming out of my chest. All the tension and unknown dangers were addicting. Holly Black turned me into an emotional mess. I screamed for Jude to win and that ending left my jaw on the floor. This was such a ruthless book for YA I was stunned. Her writing entrapped me and I don’t regret it one bit.

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

4) Romance

WHAT ROMANCE??? Jude and Cardan will be the ULTIMATE enemies to lovers. Their tension is addicting. Every moment, every nasty twisted moment was addicting. I NEEDED more. These two are not nice to one another. They don’t trust each other and they have wicked pasts. Cardan is a prince so he gets away with it but listen, Jude’s switch up halfway through and in the end was GOLDEN. That power switch is a BIG MOOD. I love how well done this trope was. We didn’t get cute little banter and flirty smirks. We didn’t get sly eyes and breath hitches when the other said something particularly cute/annoying. No. We got ENEMIES. They fought. They attacked. They were vicious, mean, and used each other. They got down and dirty and you felt that detestation. And you felt how much they HATED that they desired the other. They HATED how much the other made them feel. And that made them HATE the other more. It was beautiful. 

“You really do hate me, don’t you?” he asks, his smile growing. “Almost as much as you hate me,” I say…
“Surprised?” I ask, a fierce grin starting on my face. The most important boy in Faerie and my enemy, finally in my power. It feels even better than I thought it would. “You shouldn’t be.”
“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”
“You really do want me,” I say, close enough to feel the warmth of his breath as it hitches. “And you hate it.”
I can feel the moment he gives in and gives up, pulling me to him despite the threat of the knife. He kisses me hard, with a kind of devouring desperation, fingers digging into my hair. Our mouths slide together, teeth over lips over tongues. Desire hits me like a kick to the stomach. It’s like fighting, except what we’re fighting for is to crawl inside each other’s skin.
“What do you think about stealing a crown? Right in front of the kings and queens of Faerie?” Her grin curls up at the corners “Just tell me what I get to blow up.”
“Have I told you how hideous you look tonight?” Cardan asks, leaning back in the elaborately carved chair, the warmth of his words turning the question into something like a compliment. “No,’ I say, glad to be annoyed back into the present. “Tell me.” “I cannot,” he says…


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Kathryn Calderon | 24 | Artist of many trades | Villains are my soul

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