I know, I know….I am a little late to jump on the bandwagon for Holly Black but now that I’m here, I might as well share a review with my wonderful bookish family!
The Cruel Prince is the first in a series by Holly Black about a young human who was whisked away from her world into the world of Fae, along with her two sisters, by the man who killed her parents. Not only is it hard to live in a household knowing the person taking care of you, feeding and clothing and protecting you, is a murderer, but he is also the king’s general and a redcap—a type of Fae that needs bloodshed. Add in the fact that she’s human, bullied and hated by everyone in her new home, that she is the primary target of Prince Cardan’s wicked and cruel jokes and that she thirsts for power, thirsts to belong and you have one seriously intense novel.
Technically speaking, this is a YA novel but it is so dark and full of spite that I bet that just a few years ago it would have been a banned book. Jude and her twin Taryn live as a normal fairy child would, except they must wear necklaces of rowan to protect themselves from enchantments and it all their food with salt. Jude works to be a warrior, if she can become one of the king’s knights then she can live without fear, she may even gain respect but she goes astray. And that decision is what drives the plot forward.
So, now that that’s over, I bet you’re wondering what I rate this little gem. I give it a 4.5/5! I truly was unprepared for the amazing character arcs in this story. Maybe I need to up my YA fantasy game? Anyway, Jude’s motivation to prove her murderous father figure wrong is what drove her and it was fascinating to see twins who could not be more different, different goals, different methods of achieving them….Black put some serious thought into every character and there is no other perspective really needed. Angry and determined, Jude is a picture-perfect example of what we’re all capable of.
If I had to list an aspect of this novel that I didn’t like, it would be the lack of attention to Jude’s guardians. Although their personalities and eccentricities were shared a bit, I think that Black’s goal in seeing them as awful could have been played out a bit more.
Have you read anything by Holly Black? How did you like it? Let me know! Also, if you have any book suggestions you’d like to share, just leave a comment down below. Be sure to connect with me on Instagram (@chyina_powell) and stay up to date on all my word nerd adventures!
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