Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Synopsis for The Cruel Prince

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.

Have you ever read a book where you disliked most of the characters, but the story was so good that you ended up loving the book anyway? Well, that was me after I read The Cruel Prince. I am not exaggerating when I say almost every character was awful, mean, and blood thirsty. It worked, though, and I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

From page one I was instantly lured into the world Holly Black created. This story was not a simple black and white tale. There were so many gray areas that left me conflicted on how to feel about certain characters. Most of them were offensive, but more of a story was there that made me stop and say hmm, maybe they’re not so bad.

It’s no secret that I love badass female characters. I get giddy with excitement when there’s a character I can root for and yell, “yes, queen!” I felt like Jude eventually got to that point, but didn’t start that way. Where most of the badass female characters I love show their fierceness though combat, I think Jude excelled at being cunning and clever. She really shined more towards the end of the book.

Her sister Vivi was my favorite character. I was never unsure about her. I just knew I liked her right away. Jude’s other sister Taryn left much to be desired though. I have two sisters and if either one treated me the way Taryn treated Jude we would have words.

One character that left me conflicted was Cardan. I did not like him from the start, but the more of his story that was told and the more that his character was shown I started to lean towards the possibility that maybe he’s not so bad. I am curious to see the direction his character takes in the sequel.

Whenever the sequel comes out I have a feeling it will surpass The Cruel Prince and The Cruel Prince was already an amazing book. There’s so much that happened that can make the sequel one epic story.

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Samantha Andrews
Obsessive book lover and compulsive book merchandise buyer.
Samantha Andrews

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