I can’t get over how freaking bloodily fantastic The Cruel Prince is!!
I was going to be chill about the whole thing bUT WELL THAT SHIP SAILED AND HERE I AM SO EXTRA IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK OF STABBY MARVELLOUSNESS. I WANT 9 MORE. AND I DO NOT WANT TO WAIT A YEAR FOR THE SEQUEL.
I’m already a huge fan of Holly Black and adore her original faerie series, Tithe, and also The Darkest Part of The Forest just STOLE my heart. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown was amazing (but I need to reread because I remember…yep? nothing) and The Curseworker trilogy was afjdkalsd.
Okay so you get it. I’m a mild fan.
The Cruel Prince will satisfy all your cravings for a dark, murderous faerie tale. This is about the monsters in the woods. It has enchantments and torture and massacres and conniving. And best of all, this book features cruel cleverness and wit. I absolutely love it. (My only complain, literally only is that I thought it’d be darker…hah…hahah…yes I can see you throwing salt at me and running away. Shh. I’m fine and normal.)
➸ First off, this is the ultimate Slytherin book.
It’s really complex and twisty with fey royalty plots and conniving courts and the intrigue and the backstabbing and twisted plotting. The fey are very awesome at getting around the “we can’t lie” thing. I have taken notes. Because obviously this is the kind of book you learn from. #NoPleaseDontRunawayFromMeImNiceSometimesImSure It’s CLEVER and complex and I crave that in a book and I got so so much of it.
➸ It’s set in faerieland itself, so you’re in for all the lush scenery and terrible danger.
I’M SO FREAKING HAPPY ABOUT THIS. It’s saturated in the rich luscious world. The descriptions were gorgeous and popped off the page. Everything was beautiful and pure deadly. Like: “hey welcome to my hOME where the fruit will kill you and there are death monsters in the pond and also if you piss off a gentry fey, you’ll die!” I am so so in love with this brutally nasty and yet luringly gorgeous world.
10/10 chances I will eventually be lured to faeries land and hopefully be like Jude and stab a lot of stuff and survive.
➸ There’s plenty of blood and stabbing.
We are not here to muddle about, my fiends. There is murder and it is chilling.
➸ I really loved Jude!
She’s such a complicated person, born fully human and being fostered by her parent’s murderer (who is also her human mum’s ex-husband…look the fey world is complicated). She’s been raised in the fey world where she’ll always be despised for her mortality. The bullying was done really well and actually rang bitterly of many people’s bullying experiences. I’m so impressed with this?! We have fey courts and magic — but BOOM — there is also a storyline about bullying, being an oddball and being vulnerable and just what that can drive you to do. Jude spends her life trying to fit in, changing herself, and eventually just saying “NO” and fighting back. She wasn’t overconfident or heartless, but she was badass and such a schemer.
➸ There’s a lot of emphasis on family!
It features Jude’s two sisters: Taryn (her twin, and also annoying tbh) and Vivi (her half sister, and half fey). Also Oak is the “sort of brother” and maybe 6 or 7? But HE’S SUCH A CUTE BRAT. Love Oak. Orianna was so interesting, though very cold. And Madoc was downright freaky terrible. He’s born for war, but also has kindness? But he’s BAD but also does good things?!?? Hello morally grey catastrophes.
➸ I do feel things about Prince Cardan…
He’s so cruel and makes Jude’s life miserable…which is 100% the recipe for me to hate him. I do NOT like the trope of “ooh I like you so I’ll be mean to you” story lines but, thankfully, it wasn’t like that! I loved the twists in their interactions, but this isn’t the kind of ship you’d expect. (Is it even a ship!?) The romance in this book is never what you’ll expect. And Cardan also has a thoroughly tragic side that…oh wow. I…ugh are these feelings? Make them stop.
➸ I really took my time reading.
Every page was gorgeous and satisfying and interesting. I can’t even with how detailed the world was and how smoothly the plot ran. I LOVED Jude’s narration and watching her change from someone struggling not to be walked over, to someone an acorn and a thumbprint away from manipulating the world.
➸ PLUS THE ENDING. HOLY YES.
I DECLARE FAVOURITE OF 2018 ALREADY.
If you haven’t read this one, GET THEE ONTO IT. It’s murderous and twisty and has complicated characters. Things get bloody and there are girls with swords and wicked monsters and crafty plots. Be entranced. It’s terrible beauty and everything I was hoping for.
THANK YOU TO ALLEN & UNWIN FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was published January 2018.
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.