Book Review: The Cruel Prince



  • Author: Holly Black
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Page Count: 370
  • Date Started: August 24
  • Date Finished: August 29

A Brief Description

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 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.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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. 

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


The Review

This book has been so highly reviewed (I mean, it has a 4.16 star rating on Goodreads), but even with this I wasn’t in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. The writing was beautiful and had an almost whimsical quality. It had a certain magic to it. The world building was there, but I didn’t get a good picture of how exactly the scenes appeared, save for a few. For example, no rooms that the characters entered were explained in detail, so I was left at a loss for how to imagine this in my head. There was a lot of descriptions about when the characters were outside walking through the forests of Elfhame etc, and those scenes were truly quite beautiful.

I just didn’t care about any of the characters beyond a mild interest, except for Jude, who I loved. Jude was a strong and ambitious woman. (Girl power!) She knows what she wants and she will not let anyone, or anything, stand in her way. She struggles with the internal turmoil of being a mortal in the land of the immortal and shackles that come with that. In addition, she loves her family and will do anything and everything to protect those she loves. The love interest, Cardan, is a jerk. I didn’t mind myself invested in the relationship that eventually ensued. I actually found it to be toxic, mostly due to the way that Cardan talks to and treats Jude. His interest also appeared to come out of nowhere and with no warning or build-up. I found him to be abusive and manipulative and he was probably my least favorite character out of the large cast of characters we did have.

The plot didn’t really capture me until I was almost 75% through the story, and that is when I was finally caught by the story enough to fly through it. Overall, I’d say that this was an interesting start to the story and I’d be interested to see where the story goes. While everyone thinks that a 3 star is a low rating, I think that it is something that I enjoyed, but didn’t love. I hope that I love ‘The Wicked King’ more than I did this one.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

I hope you have a wonderful day, and keep reading! 🙂

~ Cam

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Cruel Prince

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