*** Possible Spoilers Ahead! ***
Book Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Main Theme: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Thesis: Every young girl thinks at some point she is a fish out of the water, but Jude really is different from her peers. Taken with her two other sisters as a young child, Jude grew up in the fae world with her new “father” and family in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Despite her mortality, she wants to be involved in the world, but the fey despises humans. And one of the Princes seems to hate her the most. To win a place in court, she must defy him and the other fey, and maybe pay the consequences. The deeper she gets into the High Court, the more danger she puts herself and her sisters in, and she might have to risk her life to save them all.
What Drew Me Into This Book: I wanted another series to read, and who does series better than young adult authors? I’ve eyed Holly Black’s series the “Folk of the Air” series for a while, especially when The Wicked King came out and that’s all I saw at my library job. So when my little local library was finally able to do curbside pickup, I figured it was a good excuse to snag a physical book (not hating on the audiobooks, they have been lifesavers during this quarantine!) and say hi to my old co-workers and friends.
My Thoughts: So I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this book. YA books can sometimes leave me pretty wary, as I don’t have much tolerance for a lot of fluff or unsatisfying plotlines. However, this book really surprised me. Is it the best book ever written? No, what book is? But I’m actually really loving the story. Right away, the book introduces you to the main characters, eldest sister Vivi and twin sisters Taryn and Jude )(with Jude being the main POV) and they are just sitting in their living room with their mom and dad when BAM! Madoc, this crazy Fae guy who is super jealous that Jude’s mom left him for another man, comes into their house, kills the parents, and whisks the girls off to live with him in the Fae world. Now Vivi is part Fae, and Taryn and Jude are full-blooded humans, but Jude is determined to become part of this fairytale world. Talk about grit lady. I think Taryn would rather just turn into a fly to stay on the wall, but she tries to keep up with her ever-in-trouble sister. Vivi… well I love her the most I think. She’s a rebel without a cause, just wanting to stir the pot up.
I’m a sucker for a good fairytale or fantasy setting. Who doesn’t love mermaids and fairies, or dragons or magic? For the most part, the world is relatively small, with Jude and her family staying in one area mostly. There are other kingdoms that are mentioned here and there, but it’s not super overwhelmingly. I hope that future books will give us more of a peek of the rest of the world.
The story is interesting, with Taryn and Jude attending classes with the rest of the Fae children, learning their lore, and things like sword fighting. Yeah, that beats regular algebra classes. As with most schools though, Jude deals with the bullies in class, who just so happens to be the children of royals, of higher up generals, or the socialites. In effort to prove herself worthy of them, she wants to fight them in an upcoming competition, but ends up just making things worst for herself when it comes to them. However, a very powerful figure offers her a position among his ranks, and Jude takes it without hesitation. The grit and determination on this girl is pretty awesome.
Fast forward in the book a bit. Things take an unexpected turn for the worst when the ultimate betryal comes to the High Court. Torn between her duties to her “master” and loyalness to her family, Jude has to make some really tough decisions. On top of that, she’s wrestling with her own feelings about a certain someone, because what is a YA book without a little romance?
There is enough going on the book that keeps you interested but not overwhelm you. The world is big enough right now to offer a variety of characters, but also not to many where the story feels dragged out. Each character has an interesting point to the story, and at the moment, I’m interested in everyone’s story arc, which is sometimes rare for me.
Would I recommend this book?: I would say yes, this is one of the better YA books I’ve read lately and I’m intrigued by the story. I already have the next book in the series, so keep an eye out for another book review soon! 🙂
The Library Lady ♡