The Cruel Prince
By: Holly Black
This book is the first of a series that came with a lot of hype. As much as I enjoyed the book- it’s a little overhyped in my opinion. For like 75% of it. I admit I really loved the ending. It’s got a crazy amount of potential for this series. It’s up there with Now I Rise in terms of my being excited to see where this goes.
I’ve never read Holly Black before and she’s known for being the Queen of the Fairies. I love her fae world. I liked the darkness. I liked their antlers and tails and the general grayness. It’s a world where a blood-thirsty General murders his ex and her new husband but raises their children and generally seems to care about them.
Jude is one of those children and she doesn’t miss the real world. She wants to be part of this world. Prince Cardan, the cruel Prince and youngest son of the King, wants her never to forget she’s worm food. Jude is an okay character but like a lot of things in The Cruel Prince I wasn’t really feeling her until the last parts of the book.
Jude and Cardan in the beginning is one of the iffy things of the book for me. It’s a fine line between love-to-hate (which I assumed is where this was going) and assault and bullying and mind control but we shall see. Having heard the Game of Thrones comparison I was worried this was going to be an Arya Stark /Prince Joffrey love story here. Black takes her time with giving Cardan any shading at all and the events and the betrayals at the end make me hopeful. There’s a lot to dive into and look forward to in the next book.
Black does a good job with the politics and history of the world. I didn’t see some stuff coming, Not sure how I feel about Taryn, Jude’s twin sister, she’s definitely a cipher in this book not given much character besides she really, really wants to be a wife. Where she could go is still up in the air but unfortunately this book left me just wanting her to fall into a fairy lake or something.
The Cruel Prince took a while to get going but delivered interesting characters and one heck of an ending setting up a series that I’m 96% excited to continue!