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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

THE CRUEL PRINCE (The Folk of the Air) by Holly Black [Book Review]



Title:The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: January 2018
Paperback: 384
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 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.

Source: Scribd 
Format Read: Audio Book

Review: 

I once wrote an entire post regarding how I was just not into fairy's back in 2010. You can find that here. 

Now, in 2019 I can officially say that I enjoyed THE CRUEL PRINCE. I heard so much about this book I had to put aside my preconceived notions regarding Fae tales and give it a chance. Ultimately, I'm happy I did. 

Our main character, Jude lives in an in between world of sorts. She was raised in the real world, our world, and then was taken to the High Court of Faerie and was forced to fit in. Her parents were dead and she had only their killer to see as a father figure. Just that alone would lead to some wicked issues, but add faeries on top of that and you have a story filled with deception paired with disadvantage. 


Things I liked: 

The world building in this novel is masterful. I LOVED the details and the darkness felt palpable even through the page. Holly Black made every minute detail related to the world of Fae. Something as small as a tea cup would be described and bring you further into the world of fae. Acorns abound and I loved it! 

I love Vivi and found her character to be very believable. She was in many ways the most likeable character in the book for me and I am excited to have more of her story in book two. 

I loved the slow build of this novel. The pacing was very well done with a slow reveal and build up that left me needing to continue to discover what was going to happen. 

I enjoyed the twisty family dynamics and the very real relationship they all had. Jude is fully aware she should be upset about her parents and even being in the Court. However, it's all she's ever really known. 

Things I didn't like: 

The first half of the novel felt different than the last half. It felt to some degree like the beginning had one set of goals and the second half had another. There was so much great build up that it kept building and building, but then everything changed. I was still ferociously reading to discover what was going to happen, but it felt... different. 

I did not like the love interest at all. I like bad boys and hate to love storylines. What I do not like is when a person is so incredibly hateful but yet somehow the protagonist likes him anyway. I get that Carden has his own things going on, but he isn't a nice guy. Towards the end I didn't feel that sense of understanding that others seemed to feel. He was still the guy who allowed others to be incredibly mean and cruel so... not a fan. 

I wanted to see more training. There was such a great intrigue subplot where Jude joins other Fae to truly prover herself and I wish we'd seen more of the development for it. I wanted to see what set her apart and made her great. Things were alluded to but we didn't see enough of it. 
Ultimately... 
I enjoyed the Cruel Prince and will be reading The Wicked King when it is released on January 8, 2019! Some of my observations may be due to a lack of reading when it comes to Fae stories, but I did enjoy The Cruel Prince and am eagerly awaiting the next one. 
I'm very hopeful for more understanding from Carden and very excited to delve back into the twisty world of the Fae High Court. 


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