The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | Book Review


Related imageTitle: The Cruel Prince
Series: The Folk of the Air, #1
Author: Holly Black
Published: Jan. 02, 2018
Genre: young adult, fantasy, paranormal
Pages: 384
My Rating: 3.5 / 5
Goodreads page


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.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

(This synopsis is from Goodreads.)

There are no spoilers in this review.



I haven’t read any books for my own personal pleasure for a couple months now and it has driven me crazy. Now that I’m on break for a bit, I decided to pick up a book and just read. I chose this book because I heard a lot of great things about it and the rating is awesome on Goodreads, but I was skeptical because previous Holly Black books have been disappointing. Needless to say, I enjoyed this one far more than her other books, but I did have some problems with it.

But first, the positives:

I read this book in one sitting from 8:00 pm – 4:00 am the next day (with some breaks in between, of course). If that doesn’t show you how much I couldn’t put down the book, I don’t know what will.

I like how the female protagonist is not perfect. She feels fear, and she messes up a lot. A problem I come across in young adult fantasy novels is that the protagonist just seems to know what the right things to do is, which isn’t always true in the real world. Heck, I don’t think it would be true in a fictional world either. It makes the main character more relate-able.

I also like the character development throughout the story. I like how I’d have warring views on each character. Every character has their flaws, and every character reveals a little bit more of their true self as the story progresses.

Now for the negatives:

I thought the narration was a bit choppy. At first, it’s a normal narration as Jude tells the story through her perspective in a first person point of view. Throughout most of the book, she does just that, tells her story. But in between a couple times it’ll jump to a style where Jude starts listing things off to fill in the holes of the story, which I didn’t like. I’m not trying to accuse the author of anything, but to me it felt like lazy writing. It felt as though the author did not want to/know how to incorporate a very important part of the background of Jude into the story so she just thrust in a list. If the sort of informal narration was constant throughout the story, I would be fine with it. However, most of the story, Jude is just telling it as it happens with her thoughts intertwined into it. To have that informal narration made it very awkward to read.

That was my only main problem with the story. The rest of it, I enjoyed. It was intense at times, and it makes me question what would happen if we were to discover a different species like ourselves, but slightly different. What would happen? If it’s similar to what happens in this story, I would be scared.

I recommend this book to those who really like political games, spying, and power struggle. Also, if you like faeries, I think this book is for you because it’s filled with them.




She kind of reminds me of Juliette from Shatter Me because she’s been oppressed and shunned all her life and does some dumb things because of it.


Not sure I really like her that much… she’s just so passive.

Vivienne “Vivi”

I hated her at first, but then as the book when one it was hard to keep hating her.


One word: bloodthirsty.

Prince Cardan

He’s a bully, through and through. Hopefully he’ll come to terms with his emotions so I can fully ship him with Jude.


The name Locke reminds me of Loki, for some reason.


His name reminded me of Game of Thrones and how some of the best swords are made of Valyrian steel. Nothing to do with the character, but thought I’d share.


Nicasia is the mean girl in this high school, so to speak.



I give this book 3.5 / 5 Sherlock heads. It was alright.



Until next time….


9 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | Book Review

  1. Chizurue 03/13/2018 / 9:57 am

    I’m reading this one soon! Aside from the hype this one has been causing, I’m going to pick this up because I do love faeries. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 03/13/2018 / 11:09 am

      I think you’ll really enjoy this book. I can’t wait to see what your thoughts are 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tiana (The Book Raven) 03/13/2018 / 5:52 pm

    I really want to read this book even if it is soely for my enjoyment. It’s one of those books that would be a cleanser to more mentally taxing reads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 03/13/2018 / 8:06 pm

      I agree. It’s a great break from books with heavier topics. I hope you like it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sara 03/16/2018 / 7:53 am

    I’ve seen this book everywhere and I could get behind Faerie courts and all, but then I hear “political games” and spying and like NOPE.

    Thanks for the review and the heads up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer 03/30/2018 / 10:56 pm

    So good to see a non-5 star rating Jessica! I’ve not been impressed with Holly Black in the past so wondered if this was just over hyped but an almost 4 sounds about what I may give it so I think I’ll give it a go. Thanks for the review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 03/30/2018 / 11:06 pm

      I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve read some of Holly Black’s other works and was disappointed. This book was definitely better than her previous books, but I don’t think it lived up to the hype everyone was giving it on Goodreads. I hope you like it and I can’t wait to see what your thoughts are 😊


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