The Cruel Prince
By Holly Black
Our Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars)
Reviewed by: KaylaAnn S. Villanueva
I was incredibly skeptical when I first read the description of this book, I might’ve even rolled my eyes. But for some reason I decided to read it anyway – Holly Black is a pretty popular author, after all – and I have absolutely no regrets (unless it counts that I regret I didn’t read Cruel Prince sooner)!
If you’ve never read a Holly Black story before, she often writes about magical fey and humans, and conflicts between their two worlds. And she always does it brilliantly. This particular novel starts out with a young human girl named Jude – along with her two sisters, Taryn (Jude’s twin) and Vivienne (half-fey) – witnessing the murders of their parents then immediately being taken off to the faerie world with the murderer.
A decade later, we see the teenaged sisters still living in the faerie world with their abductor-turned-father figure (you’ll find that there’s a good explanation with that), each struggling with their situation differently. Most of the fey don’t appreciate having humans around; their own schoolmates are outright abusive and malicious. Despite that, all Jude wants is to belong and fit in with their life and courts as much as she possibly can – and trust me, you’ll find yourself rooting for her.
Take that and throw in some charming yet mischievous boys (one being the titular cruel faerie prince, Cardan), challenging knight tournaments, casual poisonings, dangers of a brewing faerie civil war, humans fighting to overcome their perceived mortal weaknesses, and did I mention charming boys and audacious heroines?
Whether you’re already a fan of this genre or not, I recommend this book for a nice diversion from whatever is currently happening in your life. It’s an exciting, adventurous, and witty story that keeps you guessing the entire way…and, of course, leaves you with a “No no no, what did she just do?!” ending. Luckily for you, WCPL owns the whole series~ (Some Holly Black books might be safely resting in our Teen Zone office, don’t be afraid to ask for them!)
Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black
1. The Cruel Prince
2. The Wicked King
3. The Queen of Nothing