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.
Synopsis: 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.
About the Book
Series The Folk of the Air
Hardcover 384 pages
Edition Language English
Published January 2nd 2018
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Status February 4th , 2018
About the Author
Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.
Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Spinning a tale of the world of Faerie, Holly Black has created a stunning look into what it means to go “under the hill”. Faerie is often described as opulent, whimsical, and otherworldly but above all else, it is dangerous for mortals who can succumb to the enchantments of the Fae.
Jude and her twin sister, Taryn know this. They know that despite the beauty of Faerie, there is an inherent violence that lurks within the citizens.
Raised among the Gentry, Jude and Taryn have grown accustomed to their ways but all is not well. Jude will do anything to be acknowledged in Court and to belong there despite her humanity. Taryn would rather have her stay quiet and avoid being noticed by Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
Relationships grow strained as the High King Eldred announces that he will be giving up the throne to one of his sons. Prince Dain is the one favored to become the next king so when he requests the assistance of Jude, she becomes ambitions and tangled up in Court intrigue. Cardan continues to revel in his cruelty toward Jude but they will have to work together in order to survive as her new position will have her make decisions that will affect Faerie and its inhabitants forever.
As the first book in Black’s new series, The Cruel Prince has built a solid foundation for the following books. The beginning, while slow, sets the scene for what is to come as the rest of the novel is full of tension between the unapologetic and morally ambiguous characters.
The protagonist Jude is memorable to say the least. Jude retains some humanity despite her upbringing which comes into play when she has to deal with trauma and guilt. Cardan never truly redeems himself but his circumstances do add to an understanding of him.
Black pulls no punches when it comes to her writing and stays true to Faerie lore which makes readers of the fantasy genre rejoice. While it is a young adult novel, the politics of Court and the dangers of ambition will entice older readers.
There is romance in the novel, however, when it comes to the machinations of the Fae, one should always be wary. If you enjoy ethical quandaries, court politics, magic, and murder, The Cruel Prince is certainly a novel that will leave you eagerly awaiting the following novels which are bound to become a stunning addition to the genre.