The Cruel Primce
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release date: 2nd January 2018
Pages: 367 pages
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.
One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie Royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong.
But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan...
Thoughts on the book: May contain spoilers
The Cruel Prince is the first book in Holly Black's new fantasy series. Jude, her sisters Taryn and Vivienne (Vivi) are thrust into the world of faerie after Madoc (Vivi's biological father) murders the girl's parents in front of their very eyes. Vivi was born half human/half fae, with her mother being human and her father obviously being fae, and the twins Jude and Taryn being fully human. It's hard for Jude and Taryn to fit into the faerie world as they don't really accept humans as equals. Jude wants nothing more than to be one of the Fay but Taryn is just happy to go along in life as it is and not cause trouble and Vivi wants nothing to do with this world that is her actual birthright. Jude finds herself in the wrong side of the younger members of the royal court and is constantly fighting against them. This causes her to take drastic measures and when offered a role from the future High King, Prince Dain, she quickly accepts and turns spy for him. It seems everything that she has every wanted may be finally within her grasp until the crowning of the new High King doesn't go to plan and along with Prince Dain half his family is muredered. Now Jude must reacess everything she thought she knew and the only thing she can come up with to come out on top is working with her sworn enemy Prince Cardan. Can Jude save her dream of becoming part of the Fae world and also save the kingdom from ruin or is it all her fault?
Massive thank you to Allen and Unwin for sending me an ARC of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I held of reading it for awhile because I wanted a really good book to start of my 2018 right (I recieved the book in November) and boy did it work. There was already so much hype surrounding the book on blogs and around Instagram so when I first started it I kind of knew that I was going to love it. But this was also my first Holly Black book so I wasn't too sure what to expect from it but right from the Prologue I was hooked and never looked back.
Holly's writing draws you in and makes you feel like your apart of the Fae world. Her character building of Jude, Cardan, Taryn and Locke was by far some of the best I have seen and I was constantly looking and feeling dumbstruck at what each character was doing because I simply didn't have a clue. Each of these four characters seemed simple and nice enough (well maybe not Cardan) but each turned and changed so quickly from nice to betrayer that I was constantly left gobsmacked. I think though that my favourite would have to be Jude because she would do just whatever it took to get what she wanted and when faced with a challenge always found a way to overcome it.
I also adored the world that Holly created and how it basically co-existed alongside the human world. She also managed to put some much talked about topics subtly throughout The Cruel Primce. Of course there is the major one of bullying, but there is also sexual orientation, teen drinking and family domestics and violence. Of course they are that well hidden in the text that you wouldn't even know a serious topic is being discussed.
Lastly I would like to comment on the ending, mainly the last 20 pages or so. OMG I haven't been that shocked by an ending in a long while. What Jude does is kind of expected but the way she does it still comes as a suprise. I can't wait for book 2 to see how our favourite characters conquer their next adventures in Fairieland.