The Cruel Prince Review

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Rating: 5/5
Source: Waterstones

Jude was seven years old 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.

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. 

I have been trying to write this review for days and it just hasn't been happening. 2018 is off to an amazing start, all of the books I have reviewed so far have been five stars, and very hard to do justice.

I'll start by saying, this is a very intense book. The main character, Jude, is a mortal girl in a Faerie world and she is bullied horrifically for it. Some scenes were harder to read, but made easier by how strong Jude is. She doesn't let the comments get to her, Jude wants to be a Knight of the royal court and the fact that she is mortal is a minor flaw that she works hard to make irrelevant. She's a total badass is what I'm saying. 

In contrast to this badass character, is her twin sister Taryn. No offence to her or anything, but Taryn's ambition doesn't stretch as far as Jude's. Mortals in the court are slaves in most cases, being raised by Madoc who is fey, Jude, Taryn and their sister Vivi have the opportunity to do things differently -but Taryn is happy to marry into the court. It creates this barrier between the sisters. It's obvious that they love each other, but they don't connect on some crucial points and it makes for a really interesting dynamic. 

Speaking of interesting dynamics... Lets introduce Cardan. He's brash, cruel and a Prince of the royal court. Is he The Cruel Prince? He's definitely one of them, that's for sure. Cardan isn't exactly Jude's biggest fan, mortals are lesser creatures and during a lot of his and Jude's interaction, he seems disgusted that they are interacting at all. He's another interesting character because as the book goes on, his sharp edges blunt just a little and you get to see a more compassionate side to him. He's still rude and always drinking, but he's more three-dimensional than I first thought and I kinda love him. 

The story itself, like I said at the start of my review, is intense and dark. The last third of the book is full of so many twists and turns that I didn't know which way was up. The ending too, wow, let me just say that whatever ending you are expecting when you read this book -I am 99% sure it isn't the ending that's written down. 

If politics and fantasy are your thing, then this is the perfect book for you. I thought I wouldn't enjoy this book nearly as much as I did but Holly Black is a queen and as always, has written something absolutely breathtaking. I'm really feeling the mix of contemporary and fantasy that I've been reading this year. I can't wait for book two and there's still a long wait to go since book one was only just released. 

Fans of Holly Black should keep an eye on blog in the coming weeks, there may be something special happening... While you wait, grab a copy of The Cruel Prince now from Book Depository where the hardback is only £6.50 and it's gorgeous!


  1. I'd not heard a lot about this book so when reading your review I'm not intrigued.... I think when I clear some more books off my TBR then I may pick this up! Great Review Rebecca!

    1. Definitely pick it up! It's amazing <3 thanks for reading!

  2. Fab review :)
    I read this at the tail end of last year and really enjoyed it. I still haven't decided *who* the Cruel Prince is though, honestly it could be any of them haha.
    I can't wait for the next one.
    Cora |


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