Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book Review: The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black @hollyblack ‏

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black book cover and review
It has been a while since I've read a book by Holly Black.  I'm hesitant about fairy books.  Much of the time they are too "magically convenient" for me.  But I found The Cruel Prince to be very compelling.

Jude and her twin sister Taryn are stolen away at the age of seven to live in the High Court of the Faerie. Their parents are murdered, and it turns out their older sister actually is a fairy.

Jude is a mortal living in a land of fairies.  Her stepfather, Madoc, has raised her with all the privileges of his rank.  She and Taryn attend classes with princes and princesses of the kingdom.  And they are terribly bullied. Jude doesn't want her life with the fairies to be one of settling down and marrying one of them and having their children.  She's a warrior and desires to be one of the king's knights.  Madoc will not allow it.

In the meantime, the High King, Eldred, has decided to abdicate the throne and has chosen Dain, his third of six children, to be his heir. Prince Cardan is the youngest and absolute worst of Jude's tormentors.  And his three followers aren't much better.  Except for Locke, who establishes a relationship with Jude.

Wow! There are a lot of twists and turns in this story.  No one is honest (even though fairies can't lie!) The pacing is excellent--always something developing to move the plot along.  The magic is subtle--mostly enchanting others to do as you wish.

There are a lot of characters that I sometimes had difficulty remembering.  They are all introduced at once, and a cast of characters at the beginning would have been helpful. I like my fairie books to be connected to the human world, and The Cruel Prince certainly was.

The Cruel Prince has a definite conclusion, but it is the first book in a trilogy. After a very surprising twist, there isn't a horrible cliffhanger. But I'm definitely anticipating the rest of the story! I read this one because it's our book club choice for this month. The Cruel Prince is a must-read for fans of the fae and in particular, Holly Black fans.

Published by Little, Brown BFYR, January 2, 2018
Copy obtained from the library
370 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I don’t usually read fantasy, but I’m curious about this one. It’s been getting such good reviews. I like twisty books, so I might give it a try. Great review! I’m glad you liked it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I'm not a fairy book person either, but I'm glad this one worked for you. Holly Black's books seem to do really well with teens.

  3. What do you think? Does this book have a chance at a Printz Award this year? It has received lots of starred reviews.

    1. I would think it's a possibility. It wouldn't be my favorite, but I'm not necessarily the majority!


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