The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Published: January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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.
I’m not going to lie – I was skeptical about this book. I was worried about the amount of hype and praise this book was getting and the fact that I usually fall into the category of not loving the books that everyone else loves and raves about. So when I saw this in the book store, I bought it on a whim and hoped for the best. I can safely say that I am so GLAD I did because this book was just breathtaking!
Whilst there were a couple of scenes written in the human world, the vast majority of this book takes place in Faerie. The world building that went on in this book was just beautiful. It was vivid, lush and it really popped from the page. I easily got lost just in the world building alone and it was like I was there with the characters, watching what was going on. I loved the way in which the beauty of the world went against everything else about this book. It went against the dark nature of the creatures that inhabit the world and it fit together perfectly.
I loved all of the characters – even the horrible ones. Each and every character brought something new to the plot and the world as a whole and no two characters felt similar at all. I loved watching characters and personalities clash as the book went on, along with the subtle ways in which the characters went against each other and the way in which it all wove together. Each and every character was complex and had multiple layers to them. I also loved the fact that none of the characters had any inhibitions about the fact that they were manipulative and nasty. They knew exactly what and who they were and they revelled in it.
I was expecting hate Prince Cardan… and I just didn’t. He is a dark and twisted character, but has another side to him that no one else knows about. I have such mixed feelings about Cardan – I know he is horrible and nasty, but I still really like him as a character and I am totally on bored with this dark and twisted character and I just want MORE.
Locke was another character who I found extremely interesting. I had guessed his game from the very beginning, but I still felt convinced by him despite knowing what he was doing. I felt as betrayed as the characters by the end – despite knowing! I loved the way in which he manipulated and twisted his words (considering the whole Faeries can’t lie thing) and it really reinforced the dark and twisted nature of the Fey and their manipulative sides.
As mentioned throughout this review – the book was DARK… and I loved every second. The characters were manipulative and dark and the plot itself added to the whole theme. I loved the betrayals, the word games and just everything about this twisted book. I lost all expectations for this book because it was just so twisted and I was just completely hooked. I HAD to know what was going to happen next. I physically could not put this book down to save my life and it resulted in me finishing it in one sitting.
The plot itself was also complex. It had multiple plot points and layers and they all wove together and intertwined to come together as one thing at the end. The plot was extremely easy to follow and get lost in despite the various points – I never once felt lost or confused. The plot had a direct effect on the character development – and I loved it! Between Jude and Taryn’s relationship developments, along with Cardan and Judes etc. It all worked perfectly together. Can I also just mention that I am totally on board with the twisted canon that was going on in this book!
I also just want to mention the ending! :-O It was easy to forget that Jude can outright lie and I was just not expecting the ending that happened. I was left reeling and I just need the second book… like right now!
All in all, I absolutely loved this book! I am glad I decided to pick it up and I am totally lamenting the fact that I have to wait till NEXT YEAR for the next instalment. I think hibernation is in order. The dark and twisted nature of this book was so refreshing and unique and I cannot wait to return to this world full of twisted, manipulative characters and betrayals! I gave this book 5/5 stars.