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Review: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Year Published: 2018

  • Plot: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

I have a really weird relationship with this book because I think that all of the characters are horrible and vicious and if one of them walked past me in the street I would run away but at the same time I loved the book in general. It was dark, treacherous and for me, it definitely lived up to the hype.

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

Jude Duarte was a human who lived in Faerie amongst the Fae and fell creatures of the wild. Her mother used to be married to a Fae general but she ran away back to the human world and started a new life and family. However, after many years pass, the general found her again and killed her and Jude’s father, then abducted Jude, Taryn (Jude’s twin) and Vivienne (their older sister) to Faerie and raised them as his own. While growing up in Faerie, Jude constantly tried to make her place there and dreamed of becoming a knight but was constantly belittled and bullied by the other Fae- until she decided to take matters into her own hands.

She thought that if she was more terrible, more sly and more brutal than the Fae, they would have to take her seriously. So basically, the book is about Jude’s crazy revenge plans and her scheming to get somewhere in the Faerie world. Throughout the book we watched her go from a girl too afraid to stand up for herself when she’s bullied and too used to keeping her head down to a terrifyingly cunning woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wants. She’s very fierce and scary and I wouldn’t say that I like her as a character but I suppose I appreciate her tenacity.

Cardan was a prince of Faerie who enjoyed tormenting others and had a care-free and irresponsible attitude to most things in life. And I didn’t like him at all. Throughout the book we see his love weird obsession for Jude grow and although he’s drawn to her, he hates himself for it. Now, this is going to sound odd because I just said that I don’t like both Jude and Cardan but I do ship them together. They’re both dreadful people and I think they deserved and suited each other. Also, it was interesting to see their hate-love relationship unfold and I found myself wishing that they’d just admit that they liked each other and go back to plotting their revenge and all that.

The world building and writing was intricate and detailed, I loved finding out about all of the different creatures and customs in Faerie and the descriptions of the food, clothes and places were superb.

Overall, The Cruel Prince was a convoluted tale bursting with betrayal and deception and I really, really enjoyed reading it.


Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think?

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