The Cruel Prince Review

Book Cover

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GoodReads:

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

Content/Trigger Warnings: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Murder, Death

Ah, dark, just like I like my Holly Black books and my coffee.

[Just kidding, as much as I love coffee, I’m a coward, I use milk, but it was cool to say that.]

Going back to the faerie world I was as captivated by Black’s faeries as I was nearly EIGHTEEN years ago when I read her Modern Faerie Tales books.

One of the best parts of Holly Black’s writing for me is that it’s gritty/dark/grim but still so intoxicating, it never feels like a challenge to read her books whereas I can sometimes drag my feet if things get too dark. [I say that and yet I loved The Poppy War so maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment after all]

Jude was such a fun MC for me, I loved her utter stubbornness and the fact that she’s decided to become impulsive from the start of this book onward. Great development but not in that she’s growing as a person, more that she’s taking risks and trying to achieve goals. I loved her.

The intensity of the story, because of how focused Jude is, was another huge win for me, it made me go into it 100%, I did not have to wait and see if I would be invested, it was too intense not to be.

I also enjoyed the dynamics of Jude with her sisters, one sister I may have liked more than the other, I don’t think this is a shock if you’ve read the book lol. [ESPECIALLY NOT AFTER THAT LITTLE SHORT STORY TOO!! *Shakes fist*] And holy cow the family dynamics in general, I loved watching this super freakin’ unique blended ‘family,’ though I mean, there’s a reason I put ” around family, and that’s because they have some issues, and I mean that’s to be expected when your family is founded on murder.

Still, you can see the love in care in different ways, and you can see the warring emotions as well and it’s really just done so delicately and wonderfully.

Getting to explore more of this faerie world was such a treat, there’s something so gorgeous and terrifying about it and I love that it doesn’t feel human at all. I’m starting to think Holly Black went to the actual faerie world for research purposes on this book. *suspicious stare*

Cardan was another absolutely great character, he is so much more than what we see, but I love that we do see how terrible he is to Jude, and that he has his own terrible darkness completely separate from the vibe of the book, just another layer of darkness.

Did I mention there’s Roiben? Did I mention that I screeched like an owl to see Roiben included? Cause I totally did.

WHAT A FREAKIN CULMINATION OF EVENTS. THAT ENDING, THOSE TWISTS, SO MUCH FIERCENESS.

The intensity of it all got to be where I was sitting up in bed reading, just leaning forward more and more and unable to put down the book until I knew what was going to happen. Oh there will certainly be rereads of this book/trilogy.

I put a 4.5 instead of full 5 only because I was hoping for more about Jude and her situation, to even explore her past a bit more in relation to who she is growing to be in this book but I can understand why it wasn’t added. Doesn’t keep me from wishing though.

Next Friday I’ll drop my The Wicked King review! Did you read this? What did you think?

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