Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Posted January 2, 2018 by Emily in review / 2 Comments

Review - The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. An interesting fantasy full of twists and turns.

I received this book for free from NOVL in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
TITLE: The Cruel Prince
AUTHOR: Holly Black
SERIES: The Folk of the Air #1
PUBLICATION DATE: January 2nd 2018
Source: NOVL
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
RATING: 4 Stars

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.

Setting the Scene:

3 Word Summary

Faeries. Deceit. Game.

Mood Before Reading

It’s the week before finals week, I’m stuck in a reading slump, and while I love fantasy, I’m not the biggest fan of faeries.


Oh goodness, I don’t even know where to start. You have no idea how much reading The Cruel Prince felt like riding a freaking roller coaster. I felt like the book was all over the place in every category. I have so many mixed feelings, most of them good, but I’m not going to lie, there were times when I just wanted to DNF this and be done with it. On the other hand, there were a lot of moments that made me want to jump up and down yelling “5 stars! 5 stars! 5 STARS!” so yeah, I mean it when I say it was all over the place.

I think my biggest problem with The Cruel Price was how long it took to get things going. The beginning and the build-up was soooo slow. It wasn’t boring, just super duper slow. There was a lot of world building which is fun and all but it it was a lot of info to absorb and it just took so long. That being said, there’s just something infectious about Holly Black’s writing. I just wanted to keep reading. I couldn’t stop flipping the pages. Had any other author written this book, I probably would have actually DNFed it. Instead, I ended up finishing and preordering it. The beginning might have been a bit tedious, but holy cannoli, that ending made every page of that slow buildup worth it. WHERE’S THE NEXT BOOK?

As slow as the beginning was, things really picked up afterward. The plot was so interesting and with twists around every corner, I had no choice but to keep reading. Usually, I’m pretty good at predicting what’s going to happen next but I was in the dark for most of the novel. The only thing I guessed correctly about was the romance.

Speaking of romance, I was kind of disappointed in it. I wanted more and at the same time, I wanted less. It was kind of confusing as a whole – I’m not even sure you can classify certain couples as a couple? And don’t even get me started on how it was used. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the romance as a whole but that may have something to do with the characters themselves. None, of which, I am overly fond of emotionally. They are all somewhat unrelatable, which quite frankly, only made them more intriguing. I found Jude kind of cold yet warm and Cardan, cruel and complex. So yep, more mixed feelings. Gah!

In Conclusion…

The Cruel Prince is a great fantasy read. Even though it starts off a bit slow and its main character can be somewhat unrelatable, its a unique story with plenty of charm.

Final Rating
3.5 Stars
3.5 Stars
4.5 Stars
4 Stars
4.5 Stars
World Building
4 Stars
Overall: 4


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