The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
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 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.As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) Details

TitleThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780316310277
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Fairies, Fae

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    *tips mic* Thank you for joining me this evening. This song is called: Here's How I Feel About This Book. *screams for 12 continuous hours*This book just killed me in the comfort of my own home. My feelings are owed so many apologies because I have been emotionally compromised by Holly Black and I just want to lie on the floor and not think for a month or two. I mean, honestly, why read this book when you can just get hit by a bus and get the same feeling?Truly though, I wish I could get a tatto *tips mic* Thank you for joining me this evening. This song is called: Here's How I Feel About This Book. *screams for 12 continuous hours*This book just killed me in the comfort of my own home. My feelings are owed so many apologies because I have been emotionally compromised by Holly Black and I just want to lie on the floor and not think for a month or two. I mean, honestly, why read this book when you can just get hit by a bus and get the same feeling?Truly though, I wish I could get a tattoo of the way this book made me feel because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replicate the absolute love and yearning that came with the magic and pure dreaminess I felt whilst reading it.This is the kind of book you read and you're filled to the brim with glee at the author’s wording and characterization and imagination and ingenuity, so much that your eyes start skipping lines because you’re so impatient for what happens next and you have to force yourself to read every word. Sometimes, you even have to re-read passages because you've missed actual events while you were too busy anticipating and predicting. Oftentimes, you have to stop reading completely because the words are so good and you're so full of excitement and love that you need to expend some of that energy, otherwise you'll just spontaneously combust!It’s that feeling of finally finding something that is all-encompassing enough to hold your full attention and something inside of you just awakens and I love it!!✨ so what is this book about?Jude is the bastard daughter of the runaway wife of a Fae general who murdered both of her parents then brought her to a land coiled in the heart of the forest, brimming of monsters and wolves on the prowl, and raised her like a trueborn child of Faerie, despite not having a drop of faerie blood.Jude grew up where the wild is. She learned to keep her head down and pretend the fear away. She endured the contempt of the Fae, swallowed her fear and saw it through. She was the human girl who got pushed to the sidelines, written as a footnote in someone else's story, and always treated as an afterthought.Jude didn't fit into the borders they gave her. She didn't fit into the ways they saw her. She didn't fit and the moment she stopped wishing she could be and instead, held onto the lingering bitter urge to make them all hurt, she’s learned that being ruthless in the face of great terror was her best revenge for being made to endure it. “I want to win. I do not yearn to be their equal.In my heart, I yearn to best them.” So, she's traveled in the direction of her fear and let herself be spiraled up into a world of alliances, of fractured loyalties, of deceit, of political games and spilled secrets that chased everyone into their graves. She's joined a nest of spies and assassins and eventually, she's become one. However, now that she's tasted the brine of darkness, it threatened to swallow everything she has worked so hard to build. “I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.” This book was a wild ride. It was a whole blanket and it was near impossible to isolate the threads. My stress levels surpassed Joyce Byers in literally every episode of Stranger Things. Nonethless, just so you all know……. if at any point in my lifetime the opportunity arises for me to retreat into this book and into the world of Fae, and politics……….I'm gone. Especially if I could run in the hallways of a castle wearing an exquisite silk gown or given an ancient elaborate dagger with my name engraved into the blade as a gift!✨ the characters:My favorite thing about this book is how my feelings for the characters seemed to ebb and flow. The biggest plot twist that’s happened is probably the fact that characters I first wished I could strangle with limp noodles became my favorites and others I liked, I’ve grown to absolutely hate. Basically, what I'm saying is that most of these characters are like face masks for my soul; the rest, I’ll see in hell.🌟 JUDEI don’t know if anyone can put into words my unending love for Jude. In fact, I'm sure the only romance in this book was between Jude and whoever was reading it.Jude is a volcano, her heart made of molten, ready to burn the world alive. She radiates such a petrifying energy and I’m not sure I can quite describe it. It’s not exactly bad but it’s not warm either. I feel like she could seriously unhinge my jaw and drag me into the ocean like a kraken but she wouldn’t because it’s undignified, you know what I mean??I love how she was afraid, but did everything anyway. How she didn’t wait to be confident. How her actions stemmed in fear but she didn’t let it deter her from telling the world that she was important through the ways she carried herself and realizing that in order to be what she wanted to be, she needed to take it. “Instead of being afraid, I will become something to fear.” And honestly, I can't wait to see her fully transform into the wronged, fallen angel look she was meant for!!🌟 PRINCE CARDANSometimes, you just have to....you know, *makes heart gestures and motions that probably mean love* root for the most morally questionable asshole.Listen, I spent a good portion of this book violently wishing Cardan would get dry skin that no lotion can moisturize. However, by chapter 23, I was smiling at myself and thinking, “what a fucking loser” but like…in the purest and most loving way possible. Besides, if Holly Black really wanted me to hate him, she shouldn’t have given him a strong jawline and put a crown of flowers on his silky black hair. I am too damn weak!Cardan is the cruel prince but then again, they ALL are. The only difference, I suppose, is the High King's sentiment towards them, which roughly translates to: "when my sons were born, the sun shone bright upon their beautiful faces.....I found Cardan on the sidewalk outside a taco bell."Prince Cardan is an elitist prick (I mean, he is) and simultaneously a traumatized victim of years of neglect and systematic emotional and physical abuse. He was cruel by necessity. He grew up in a house where he always had to be clever and cunning to figure out the right thing to say, the right way to act in order to not set his abusive brother off, to estimate how to quickly diffuse bad situations, to find quick ways to escape an escalating argument. He became ambitious only in wanting to get away from his royal family. Cardan was a forged facade and oftentimes, not even he knew which face he was wearing.I am in no way condoning the many contentious actions he's done but my heart still holds a soft spot for him. Because underneath the armor he's built up for himself, there's a complete trainwreck of a person (shows up drunk on the day of his brother's coronation + copes with having a crush by aggressively writing her name on a crumpled piece of paper + has enormous character flaws that he had no intention of working on + has zero sense of self preservation + drinks wine & plays cards with his kidnappers because at this point why not + extreme cynicism towards self + is generally really sarcastic for someone who’s about to start crying most of the time).🌟 JUDE & CARDANWhy can’t I cope with life without depending on the relationship status between two fictional characters???I don’t even want a relationship. I just want to be like them and have a supreme enemy I can make out with sometimes in secret and who’s obligated to stroke my hair and tell me I'm the bane of their existence but they like me anyway!! 🌟 GENERAL MADOCMadoc would be so disappointed in all my life decisions, but I feel like I would need that and once he was done telling me to buck up, we would hug and he would give me a cool engraved sword and I would cry and it would all be fine!!Madoc is such a dynamic and well-written villain. And I appreciate his character while also recognizing the fact that he is evil and selfish and has done many terrible, terrible things. He’s full of good intentions that twist on the way out, a warped sense of loyalty and a semblance of love that is so misguided and yeah occasionally, it murders things. He’s built this contoured version of the truth with urban decay setting spray that he can stand to look at, because at the end of the day no one wants to believe they’re the villain in the story. “Some are good with pipes or paint. Some have skill in love,” he says finally. “My talent is in making war. The only thing that has ever kept me awake was denying it.” I also appreciate the fact that he refused to switch sides due to his own personal convictions, that not even his love for his family could sate his thirst for power and bloodshed and wasn't eventually “redeemed” by being forced into an out of character relationship. I just [clenches fist] really love it when VILLAINS ARE LEFT TO BE VILLAINS.🌟 VIVIENNEI loved Vivi from the get go BUT the minute I learned she was bisexual? she went from a 10 to a 52124822179 real fast.Vivi is Jude's half sister, and general Madoc's legitimate daughter. She's soft, kind and loving but also takes nobody's shit and she’s seen so much sadness and heartache because she’s that friend that everyone unloads on and I hope she takes a bit of me time for herself and her human girlfriend, maybe a hot bath and some jasmine scented candles too. Please, they deserve it!!🌟 LOCKEI have never, in my entire life, gotten into a fist fight but you best believe if I ever meet this piece of shit, I would immediately start swinging. I can deal with literally any ship in this book happening, but if my OTP (Locke/a horrible death) doesn’t become canon, I will throw a fit.I don't even know what to tell you about Locke. But, you know how some shows bring in a love triangle just to try and up the ratings?? that's basically what Locke is trying to do with his life. He’s wishing into existence his own revenge fantasy novel without taking into account real life consequences people face and gets off on watching girls duelling like we're in an episode of yu-gi-oh. what, pray tell, the actual fuck??🌟 TARYNOh, Taryn, such a delightfully paradoxical character: she's a dick despite not actually having one.I hate her so much I wish she would just go take a dip in a lava pool on a 130 degree day at the zenith of a southern summer in satan’s buttcrack. Honestly, the level of Done that I am with her is utterly insurmountable. Someone fly her to a golf halfway around the world and just leave her there. Please.Anyway, that's all!! if any of you guys need me, I'll be down here on the floor, dying and slowly fading into an elaborately constructed maladaptive landscape where my favorite characters are well and content and I don't have to wait an entire year to find out.BLOG | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    “He looks like a faerie lover stepped out of a ballad, the kind where no good comes to the girl who runs away with him.” If you guys ever want to see what my true heart’s desires are on paper, read this book. This book is a piece of heaven that was sent from above, this book is the perfection incarnate, this book is nothing short of magical, this book easily makes my top five books of all-time list, and this book is without a doubt the best book I’ve read in 2017. I’m not sure how I’m even go “He looks like a faerie lover stepped out of a ballad, the kind where no good comes to the girl who runs away with him.” If you guys ever want to see what my true heart’s desires are on paper, read this book. This book is a piece of heaven that was sent from above, this book is the perfection incarnate, this book is nothing short of magical, this book easily makes my top five books of all-time list, and this book is without a doubt the best book I’ve read in 2017. I’m not sure how I’m even going to attempt to come up with a review fitting for this masterpiece, but I’m going to try. If you can only preorder one book for the rest of the year, please pick The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Okay, maybe I should start this review off with a personal story. You know, full disclosure and all that. I was a young girl, at the mall with my mom, and we walked into a Borders Outlet. I’ve always been a rather ravenous reader, but at that time in my reading life I was reading only crime thrillers. Think things like James Patterson and John Grisham. Well, while I was perusing the new releases on this autumn day back in the 2007, a worker came up to me and started talking to me about her love for books, but more importantly her love for fae books. She was so kind and warm and enthusiastic, I couldn’t help but ask her to pick me one of her favorite fae stories. Well, she ended up handing me two, but one of them was Tithe by Holly Black, and this godsend Borders Outlet employee completely changed me and my reading life forever. After that day, and after I inhale read that book, Holly Black became one of my favorite authors and my parents couldn’t keep unread fae fantasy books on my shelves. And ten years later, I’ve never looked back. I’ve been completely obsessed with fae stories ever since. And if I ever develop magical powers, one of the first thing I’m going to do is track down that Borders Outlet employee and thank her for making me the reader that I am today. Okay, sappy and heartwarming story aside, this book was honestly perfection in every aspect. You want fae courts? Bloodthirsty fae royals fighting for a crown? Twists after twists and reveals after reveals? Heartwarming scenes followed by heart wrenching scenes? The slowest and most agonizing but also the most romantic and powerful and rewarding hate to love romance in the world? Pick this book up. “Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.” And the writing? I mean, not only is Holly Black the literal queen of all things fae, she is also the queen at stringing together words that make me feel everything in the entire universe. The amount of sticky notes and highlights I have in this book is ridiculous, but Holly Black’s writing is so poignant and lyrical and honestly the most perfect thing my eyes have ever seen. This entire book reads like one giant tragic ballad, yet it is equal parts heartbreak and hope. This book is so haunting, so dark, and so twisted. “But I will not stand in front of your happiness. I will not even stand in front of misery that you choose for yourself.” Jude is a very young girl when she witnesses her parents murder. After that terrible night, she and her sisters are whisked away by the murderer to live in Faerie. Now, ten years later, Jude is trying to live among the fae, while constantly being reminded of her mortal human status. Yet, she soon gets wrapped up in a very elaborate game, from many different sides, which will cause a civil war to break out in the Courts of Faerie if the game isn’t played properly.The High King has ruled for centuries, but people feel like it is finally time for him to step down and give the royal crown to one of his children. In this world, the king chooses his successor; it doesn’t automatically go to the oldest child. And the High King has six children in line waiting for him to make his choice. Prince Cardan is the youngest son of the High King. He is wicked, and charming, and smart, and maybe even a little cruel. Oh, and he makes Jude’s life a living hell most of the time. He’s also one of the best characters I’ve ever read in my entire life. And with Cardan, comes his group of friends: Nicasia who likes power, Valerian who likes violence, and Locke who likes dramatics, but they all love tormenting Jude in very different ways. “That’s what comes of hungering for something; you forget to check if it’s rotten before you gobble it down” Even though Jude is the only point of view, and is the main protagonist of this amazing story, her two sisters play a huge part of this story, too. Taryn is Jude’s twin, who must watch all the torment that Jude endures, and Vivi is their older sister and one of the best side characters I’ve ever read. She’s unique and defiant and strong and devoted, and her romance with her girlfriend meant everything to me. Also, Vivi is on the page bisexual and that representation meant even more than everything to me. Oh, and speaking of adorable queer relationships; Ben and Severin, from The Darkest Part of the Forest, make a cameo in this and I was crying the happiest tears! I don’t think I will ever be over THAT whisper, and I’ve just completely accepted that. Be still, my heart.But Jude is our main character of this story, and you can tell from everything that I’ve written above that she doesn’t have the easiest of lives. See, the fae in this world are very dependent on humans, even though they remind them of their lower status constantly, because the fae women have a very hard and sporadic time conceiving and bearing children, therefore, they rely on humans reproducing for them. Well, Jude doesn’t want that life, she wants to make a name for herself and be one of the greatest knights that the Courts of Faerie have ever seen!Jude is strong willed and very determined, but she is also one of the most selfless characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading from. She is a very morally grey character, yet she will completely capture your heart. But she’s young and learning that love comes in very different forms, and sometimes we are unable to control what we feel. “I stand in front of my window and imagine myself a fearless knight, imagine myself a witch who hid her heart in her finger and then chopped her finger off.” One of the most beautiful things about this book is that none of these characters are perfect. Jude, Cardan, all of them do bad things, and none of them are ever excused of their crimes, but they learn to deal with them and the other ramifications that come from their actions. I mean, none of us are perfect people, and we all make bad choices at times. But this book accepts that and reflects that, but also highlights the importance of growing, and becoming a stronger person, and picking what battles you choose to fight. It’s a truly beautiful message and I really appreciated having a full cast of nonperfect characters that do nonperfect things. “But we all want stupid things. That doesn’t mean we should have them.” Also, this is a spoiler free review, but I just have to yell from the rooftops say that Chapter 26 is the best chapter I’ve read in all of literature. I will fight anyone that says otherwise. Chapter 26 tortured me, broke up, killed me, rebirthed me, and gave me new life. The end of Chapter 25 through Chapter 26 was the most romantic scene my eyes have ever witnessed. I feel so blessed to have even been able to read those glorious paragraphs. Like, I’m a different person after experiencing Chapter 26. When I’m sad or hurt or angry, I’m going to reread Chapter 26 so I know the true meaning of this life. “…like taking a dare to run over knives, like an adrenaline strike of lighting, like the moment when you’ve swum too far out in the sea and there is no going back, only cold black water closing over your head.” Also, fair warning, this book has a cliffhanger ending that puts all other cliffhanger endings to shame. Just typing that sentence gave me full body goosebumps, by the way! Oh, and the title of this book is absolute perfection, as well. This book has touched me in a way that very few books have in my life. This is the type of book that reminds me why I fell in love with reading in the first place. This is the type of book that makes me believe words have the most powerful healing magic of anything in this world. This is the type of book that completely sets my soul on fire and makes me feel utterly enchanted. I just know that The Cruel Prince is a once in a lifetime series, because this first installment was everything I have ever wanted in a book.Holly Black immerses me, captivates me, and makes me believe in magic. I have no words of gratitude for that, and I’m not sure what the world has done to deserve her stories, but I will forever be grateful. Holly Black helps me forget all the actual cruel princes in our world today, and their terrible choices that they are making for all of us. And honestly, I’d be super surprised if she isn’t an actual fae queen, that just escaped faerie to torture us with real stories that went on while she was ruling. Again, if you can only preorder one book for the rest of the year, please pick The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. It’s not only my favorite book of the year, it’s one of my favorite books of all time. And then read the rest of Holly Black’s work, because her books are truly the closest thing to magic and each is a tangible vessel of joy that I have an an unconditional amount of love for. “If I cannot be better than them, I will be so much worse.” Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch Content warnings for bullying, talk of suicide, and abuse. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.(Thank you so much, Diana. You've completely made my entire bookish life! This book means more to me than you'll ever know. I am forever grateful and will always remember and cherish your kind note. Thank you for giving me an ARC of my favorite book! 💖)[Reread: December, 2018]Yeah, this is still my favorite book of the year. Such a damn masterpiece! And rereading this was truly the best holiday gift I could have ever given myself. ❤
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    No matter how careful I am, eventually I'll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.I hate that most of all. 4 1/2 stars. Over the course of this year, I've read both books that I've liked and books I've disliked. I've read books that I've loved and, it's fair to say, books that are better written, more unique, and more groundbreaking than this book. That being said, however, I am struggling to recall a book that has left me this excited about a YA series in a very long time. No matter how careful I am, eventually I'll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.I hate that most of all. 4 1/2 stars. Over the course of this year, I've read both books that I've liked and books I've disliked. I've read books that I've loved and, it's fair to say, books that are better written, more unique, and more groundbreaking than this book. That being said, however, I am struggling to recall a book that has left me this excited about a YA series in a very long time. It seems like forever since I read a completely juicy YA fantasy with just the right amount of drama, action, surprises, nastiness and the tiniest hints at romantic possibility. The wait for the next book is going to be torture!Holly Black knows her audience so well. She's not kind to us because she knows we don't really want that anyway. So of course The Cruel Prince opens with a brutal murder that leaves Jude, her twin sister Taryn, and their older sister Vivienne at the mercy of the redcap general - Madoc. Jump to ten years later, and the three sisters are all living in Faerie. They've been raised as Madoc's own, more or less, and each is trying to find her own place among the beautiful but cruel, deceitful but always honest, fey.For Vivi, return to the human world is the answer. For Taryn, assimilation and playing by the rules is the only way. For our narrator - Jude - rebellion, bloodshed and winning her place in the King's council is what she desires. Nicasia's wrong about me. I do not desire to do as well in the tournament as one of the fey. I want to win. I do not yearn to be their equal.In my heart, I yearn to best them. It is extremely compelling. Even before the real drama kicks off in the later chapters, I was so wholly pulled into Jude's world. The bullying she endures at the hands of her fey classmates adds a heavy dose of unfairness to keep you pissed enough to turn the pages. Then we get to the spying, secrets, betrayals, side-switching and, oh wow, can I just have the next book please?In truth, not a single character is entirely likeable. All are complex, more than a little flawed, and nobody can be trusted. Even Jude. It's really quite wonderful. Cardan, the "cruel prince" from the title, is an asshole. A drunken, bullying, selfish asshole. And yet... and yet. We shall see.In case it wasn't obvious, I loved it. All the drama is absolutely delicious and, while Black does draw on some familiar tropes, the world, characters and politics feel fresh in her hands. It charges to a climax full of surprises and the ending doesn't disappoint. Nicely wrapped up but with enough to leave me desperate for the next instalment. I can't wait! "Nice things don't happen in storybooks," Taryn says. "Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it." Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    So, where to begin. Hype as we know it, is quite futile. The buzz it ignites is amazing. They create this excitement within you that has your mind wandering to all of the possibilities and direction the book can go in. Because of the hype, I assumed I would enjoy this book. I'm quite an easy-to-please reader, so usually when a book is hyped up, I tend to enjoy it. Or even if I don't, I will feel indifferent. But this book brought about a rage within me; I hated it with every fibre of my being. Y So, where to begin. Hype as we know it, is quite futile. The buzz it ignites is amazing. They create this excitement within you that has your mind wandering to all of the possibilities and direction the book can go in. Because of the hype, I assumed I would enjoy this book. I'm quite an easy-to-please reader, so usually when a book is hyped up, I tend to enjoy it. Or even if I don't, I will feel indifferent. But this book brought about a rage within me; I hated it with every fibre of my being. You may be thinking that because of the fact I 'succumbed' to the hype, it ruined the experience for me. That was not the case at all. I always go in weary, but with a sense of optimism when it comes to hyped books. As for the book, well, everything was wrong with it for me. Other than the slight addictive quality it had - which died for me after I passed the halfway point - this book was weak in every sense of the word. From the protagonist, to the characters, the plot and the world building. There was no development or growth that brought those aspects to live, not even the writing. The story-line started off quite tragic, with Jude's parents being brutally killed off from the bat. From that, I was expecting some kind of revenge story, or emotionally harrowing character development, because to witness that when you're young will obviously take a toll. But no. That wasn't explored. Right off the bat, our main character goes on to enter some kind of tournament she has no experience in whatsoever. There's nothing ingrained within her to take on this challenge, no power she embodies, intellectually or physically. Whilst it took place, all I kept thinking about was how flimsy the battle was, neither did it feel complete. Just rushed. Thus this was the narrative the story carried on. Our main character had no proper background that we as readers were exposed to in order for us to connect with, no experience, and neither had she trained to gain any of it throughout the course of the book. Everything was just thrown (characters and world) at the reader, and felt as if we were expected to go with the flow and further clarification was not given or explained. Event after event took place with no sense of proper progression of the overall plot. No aspect to it whatsoever felt substantial or concrete. I got angrier as I read on and when it got to the last 50 odd pages, I refused to carry on, because I couldn't bring myself to care one bit. It wasn't that it was even mediocre; the whole book felt pointless to me. INITIAL REACTION REVIEW:Well, I'm pretty sure my soul just died. No, it is dead.I haven't hated a book this much since Caraval and I don't tend to hate books that often. I'm indifferent most of the time, and I do enjoy a lot of the ones I read. But this... god. I have no words.Review to come when I can feel again.Ugh.
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  • Marie Lu
    January 1, 1970
    WHAT IS THIS BEAUTY. Someone please revive me because I am dead from the awesomeness of this book.If you want to read a masterpiece of character and story, look no further. The Cruel Prince showcases Holly Black at the top of her game: it is exquisitely dark and delightfully wicked, set in an intricate world of highlighted sensation--the taste of faerie fruit, the feel of rich, decaying fabrics, the smells of dangerous old chambers--and populated by a cast of characters that left me dying from f WHAT IS THIS BEAUTY. Someone please revive me because I am dead from the awesomeness of this book.If you want to read a masterpiece of character and story, look no further. The Cruel Prince showcases Holly Black at the top of her game: it is exquisitely dark and delightfully wicked, set in an intricate world of highlighted sensation--the taste of faerie fruit, the feel of rich, decaying fabrics, the smells of dangerous old chambers--and populated by a cast of characters that left me dying from feels. I mean, seriously. Jude is a *glorious* lead: a shrewd and determined survivor with exactly the kind of cunning that I love. YES. And then there are her sisters! Cardan! The princes of Faerie! Her complex family! As always, Holly's language is as precise as it is beautiful, and I frequently found myself pausing to reread turns of phrases because each could pack so much into so few words.AND THAT ENDING. OMFG.My review is not doing the book justice. Read this immediately. You'll be so grateful that you did.
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  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this a lot! I completely get why so many people didn't enjoy this and there are plenty of things certain characters do that are inexcusable. There were just so many other things about the book that I enjoyed! The plot itself was a wild time. One of the later chapters had me staring at a wall in a state of disbelief in regards to what had happened. The world was such an interesting one to explore! I've got more to say on this, but my mind is just asdfghjkl; after reading it so that's all I liked this a lot! I completely get why so many people didn't enjoy this and there are plenty of things certain characters do that are inexcusable. There were just so many other things about the book that I enjoyed! The plot itself was a wild time. One of the later chapters had me staring at a wall in a state of disbelief in regards to what had happened. The world was such an interesting one to explore! I've got more to say on this, but my mind is just asdfghjkl; after reading it so that's all I've got for now.
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  • Victoria Aveyard
    January 1, 1970
    I require book 2 immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen.
  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse. Jude (and her twin, Taryn) are human but their older sister (Vivi) belonged to another world. Their mother fled when she was pregnant with Vivi and escaped to the human world. Their mother gave birth to the half-fairy Vivi, married and soon had Jude & Taryn. But their little family could not stay hidden. Madoc (her mother's ex husband) belongs to the fae and according to their wild ways, he was honor-bound to murder their mothe If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse. Jude (and her twin, Taryn) are human but their older sister (Vivi) belonged to another world. Their mother fled when she was pregnant with Vivi and escaped to the human world. Their mother gave birth to the half-fairy Vivi, married and soon had Jude & Taryn. But their little family could not stay hidden. Madoc (her mother's ex husband) belongs to the fae and according to their wild ways, he was honor-bound to murder their mother for abandoning his family and stealing away Vivi. Operating by that same sense of honor, he took in the now-orphaned children to be raised as his own. Father, I am what you made me. I’ve become your daughter after all. Jude and Taryn embrace this wondrous and fearsome world - finding their place among the crazed and the creative, the beasts and the beauties, the tragedies and terrors. However, as much as they try, fairyland is no place for humans. If you hurt me, I wouldn't cry. I would hurt you back. As Taryn cringes in fear, Jude stiffens her spine. If they get tormented, Jude taunts back. And when Jude is pushed, she attacks. Cardan looks at me as though he's never seen me before. He looks at me as though no one has ever spoken to him like this. Maybe no one has. Simply a stunning modern fairy tale a la Holly Black. The beginning was a bit slow, so if you aren't feeling it at the beginning - keep going! Once the setting and characters are established - wow. Seriously wow. And that ending - I literally cannot wait for book 2. Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale. The 2018 ABC Reading Challenge- CAudiobook CommentsRead by Caitlin Kelly and she absolutely rocked it. An absolute pleasure to listen to!!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    You know a story is good when, at night, before falling asleep, you eagerly replay the story in your mind, but this time with you as the main character living an exciting adventure full of intrigue, danger and romance. It’s one of my preferred ways of falling in the arms of Morpheus. What we have here is Holly Black’s best work if I dare say so myself. I am amazed with this author’s ability to paint scenes of faerie romance, glamour, deception and terror that make your heart pound and stop, poun You know a story is good when, at night, before falling asleep, you eagerly replay the story in your mind, but this time with you as the main character living an exciting adventure full of intrigue, danger and romance. It’s one of my preferred ways of falling in the arms of Morpheus. What we have here is Holly Black’s best work if I dare say so myself. I am amazed with this author’s ability to paint scenes of faerie romance, glamour, deception and terror that make your heart pound and stop, pound and stop, pound and stop. I’m glad she experimented so much with the faerie world in the past, because it led her to write this precious book.Holly Black doesn’t reinvent faeries, but she does give them flair. Before I came across her stories, I thought of faeries as annoying little snickering creatures you have to try hard not to step on. But these faeries are… powerful and sexy. They’re in full control, because the story is set in their territory. This isn’t about faeries invading the human world; it’s about a human girl doing everything she can to gain strength against the creatures who have kept her from having a normal, human childhood.Jude is so flawed it’s beautiful. She doesn’t pretend to be strong, she knows she isn’t. Still, she tries to be and tries harder than anyone else, because she knows her species is at a disadvantage. She lies, she cheats, she kills. There is nothing she isn’t willing to do if it means accomplishing her goals. At the same time, she is not unreasonable and devoid of compassion. I loved her dark side. One element that could have been better is the writing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very addictive and effective, since it manages to crawl deep into your soul, but the syntax is far from perfect (e.g. Mom screamed. Jude screamed. Taryn and Vivi screamed. Everyone seemed to be screaming, except the tall man. page 5). I’m all for writers taking certain liberties, but this is pushing it. I needed to mention this, because while I do think this book is a great addition to the fantasy genre, I will always value a book with beautiful, well-formed sentences more. Anyhow, read this if you’re in need of a fast-paced, unstoppable adventure. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    Sorry folks, I don't get it.2.5? Maybe...Unmemorable. Another YA fantasy with fairies and humans, clichés and cringe romance similar to all the other fantasy/dystopian books that have been coming out. I don't understand the hype because there was nothing I found good in here. There wasn't anything horrible either which leaves me with a "meh" review. Won't continue the series. Don't recommend it.
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  • Emma Giordano
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved this read!! A wondrous fantasy novel that is easy to get invested in. So many great plot twists and high-intensity, suspenseful moments!TW: murder, physical abuse, sexual abuse, suicideHolly Black is truly the queen of creating exquisite worlds. Her interpretation of faeries is always so fascinating and glorious. It’s hard to fully capture what it is about her world-building that is so magical, but her books are always my favorite when it comes to faeries. I believe a part of it Absolutely loved this read!! A wondrous fantasy novel that is easy to get invested in. So many great plot twists and high-intensity, suspenseful moments!TW: murder, physical abuse, sexual abuse, suicideHolly Black is truly the queen of creating exquisite worlds. Her interpretation of faeries is always so fascinating and glorious. It’s hard to fully capture what it is about her world-building that is so magical, but her books are always my favorite when it comes to faeries. I believe a part of it is that she flawlessly captures the danger and darkness of fey while also displaying the beauty of their magic. There are few words to accurately describe her talent for writing intriguing and beautiful fantasy worlds.I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Jude is a great protagonist – her fierceness is complimented by her vulnerability, which makes her very realistic considering her circumstances. The relationships between characters are also fascinating, especially the family dynamics. The way Jude views her sisters and “adoptive” family are very unique in my opinion. I also enjoyed the fact that this is not a romance novel. Though it is weaved in here and there, I feel the overarching plot becomes full of politics as the story progress. I will admit, I did lose focus at sometimes while listening to the audiobook because so much of this novel is centered on political relationships, the complications of monarchies, dynamics between different courts, and plotting to overthrow. That being said, it is so well developed and different from many YA books that I overall had a great experience with in.In total, The Cruel Prince was fantastic. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy, faeries, political intrigue, or just an all-around immersive novel.
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  • ❄️Nani❄️
    January 1, 1970
    384 pages. ZERO SUBSTANCE. Unless you call pages littered with problematic shit... substance.I don’t get it. I just don’t fucking get it. ✨ Before: This book is my 1st experience with Holly Black. It’ll either make or break our future relationship. ✨ After: Any plans for a potential future relationship is hereby terminated. Over. Done with. Null and void. Cancelled... you get the point.when you go into a book expecting gold and it ends up being your worst read of the year. In January…Oh, the rag 384 pages. ZERO SUBSTANCE. Unless you call pages littered with problematic shit... substance.I don’t get it. I just don’t fucking get it. ✨ Before: This book is my 1st experience with Holly Black. It’ll either make or break our future relationship. ✨ After: Any plans for a potential future relationship is hereby terminated. Over. Done with. Null and void. Cancelled... you get the point.when you go into a book expecting gold and it ends up being your worst read of the year. In January…Oh, the rage…
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  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    January 1, 1970
    "If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse." I see why people call Holly Black 'Queen of the Faeries'. Hoooly wow. What a delightfully dark, twisty novel.If you know anything about me, I'm all about the court politics & intrigue, villains & anti-heroes, and schemes within plots within schemes. This book had my name written ALL over it.Okay so here's the basic rundown without giving away too much. Jude and Taryn are twins. Vivi is their older sister. It turns out, V "If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse." I see why people call Holly Black 'Queen of the Faeries'. Hoooly wow. What a delightfully dark, twisty novel.If you know anything about me, I'm all about the court politics & intrigue, villains & anti-heroes, and schemes within plots within schemes. This book had my name written ALL over it.Okay so here's the basic rundown without giving away too much. Jude and Taryn are twins. Vivi is their older sister. It turns out, Vivi's real father, Madoc, is fae. When the girls are young, he comes for Vivi, kills their parents, and sees Jude and Taryn as his responsibilities since their mother was his... ex. To put it lightly. He whisks them away to Faerie to be raised alongside his family. Having grown up with Madoc as the only father they knew, Taryn and Jude have come to love him like a father, while Vivi promises to always hate him for what he did.Being the general's daughters, Jude and her sisters are raised alongside the High King's sons and daughters. Each sibling has their own group of friends, spies, etc. Enter Cardan.Cardan is the youngest prince, and on the surface, the cruelest. Anyone who gets in his way, annoys him, or disrespect him, ends up paying dearly. Jude hates him with a passion, to say the least. He has that whole 'school bully' syndrome and is impossibly arrogant (all the makings of a delicious prince, amirite?)Jude just wants to belong. Unlike her sister, she loves the land of Faerie. Her dream is to become a knight. She wants a position of power that will earn her freedom and respect. But after being bullied and harassed by Cardan and his lackeys, Jude is fed up. "My good intentions evaporate on the wind. My blood is on fire, boiling in my veins. I do not have much power, but here is what I have - I can force his hand. Cardan might want to hurt me, but I can make him want to hurt me worse." So we have a bit of a prank war, but a life-threatening one. Jude stops trying to control her temper, and she starts fighting back. She gets in a few good swings at Cardan, which royally pisses him off in the most delightful way. It catches the attention of the rest of the royal family, including Prince Dain. He meets Jude in secret and offers her a position of power if she spies for him. Dain is the chosen son, the one that will inherit the crown via his father's favor. So Jude accepts his offer and becomes part of his 'Court of Shadows'.Political games insue. Jude gets in over her head. (Or does she?)I don't want to say more than that, but that's the general idea of the opening. Only, it becomes so much more. Jude discovers secrets within secrets about the court, and with the coronation coming up, things get especially intense. Not to mention, her twin sister says she has a secret lover but she refuses to reveal his identity. When shit hits the fan, oh man, it gets SO good. The ending was phenomenal, and the sequel is set up to be AMAZING and I dont know how I'm going to wait... *screams into the void*That. Epilogue.Help.Bah, ok. Anyway... Jude is a fantastic main character. She's cunning, witty, and so supremely dark. Perhaps darker than Cardan himself at times. She's complex (so is everyone else) and relatable and easily has one of the strongest voices I've come across in a YA novel. I loved how complicated things get with her sisters and Madoc's family, and how buried some of the secrets are. Oh man. What a cool (and awful) family dynamic. I also looooved how vivid the royal family is. Of course, Cardan is my favorite, because I am utterly helpless when it comes to characters like him. Is there ever something between him and Jude, you ask? I admit nothing, but if you could pass me your fan...Ugh, and the world. Holly Black's writing is lush in every way imaginable, and she excels in bringing such a fantastical world to life. None of it felt made up. She doesn't shy away from anything dark, either. This isn't a pretty fairie land, folks. Here be monsters.My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
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  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    Read 2 | January 2019because one must prepare for an eternity of internal screaming, I reread this before The Wicked King and just let me say: aaaaaaaaaaaa wHY IS IT SO GOOD THOUGH. It is vicious and merciless and gorgeous and bloody and ajdfkslad I don't know what this says about me, but this is my favourite type of book. I really didn't ship Cardan/Jude the first time but I do now. Look at these two completely dysfunctional slytherin darlings go.*:·゚✧*:·゚✧Read 1 | January 2018I CAN'T GET OVER Read 2 | January 2019because one must prepare for an eternity of internal screaming, I reread this before The Wicked King and just let me say: aaaaaaaaaaaa wHY IS IT SO GOOD THOUGH. It is vicious and merciless and gorgeous and bloody and ajdfkslad I don't know what this says about me, but this is my favourite type of book. I really didn't ship Cardan/Jude the first time but I do now. Look at these two completely dysfunctional slytherin darlings go.*:·゚✧*:·゚✧Read 1 | January 2018I CAN'T GET OVER HOW FREAKING BLOODILY FANTASTIC THIS WAS. I WAS GOING TO BE CHILL ABOUT THE WHOLE THING MY LMAO NO. THIS BOOK IS STABBY AND MARVELLOUS AND I WANT 9 MORE.I'm actually reeling okay?! Holly Black has been a favourite of mine for years and I was craving more murderous dark faerie books. This is not about Tinkerbell. This is about the monsters in the woods and enchantments and torture and massacres and conniving. This book is, most definitely, about cruel wit. And I absolutely love it. Although honestly I thought it'd actually be a bit darker? But I probably shouldn't mention that because I can literally see you all throwing salt at me and asking if I was a stolen malicious changeling baby which......yes? I totally see how that could be.Anyway, onwards.+ First off, this is the ultimate Slytherin book.It's really complex and twisty with the fey royalty plots and the conniving courts and the intriguing and the backstabbing and twisted plotting. Like the fey do REALLY well to get around the "we can't lie" thing. I have taken notes. Because obviously this is the kind of book you learn from. #NoPleaseDontRunawayFromMeImNiceSometimesImSure But it's CLEVER and complex and I crave that in a book and I got so so much of it.+ And it's fully set IN the fey world.Usually books about fey are more about the overlap, but this is like 98% set in Faerieland! I'M SO FREAKING HAPPY ABOUT THIS. It's saturated in the rich luscious world. The descriptions were gorgeous and just popped off the page. And everything was beautiful and pure deadly. Like hey welcome to my hOME where the fruit will kill you and there are death monsters in the pond and also if you piss off a gentry fey you'll die and also EVERYTHING IS GORGEOUS SO THERE'S THAT! Basically I was so in love with the gorgeous and brutally nasty world.10/10 chances that if I got lured into faerieland I'd be like Jude and stay too. (I can handle the stabbing, ok? Once I even killed a fly.)+ There's plenty of blood and stabbing.Like, mate. We aren't going to muck about. There is MURDER and it's chilling.+ I really loved Jude, our protagonist!She's such a complicated person, born fully human and being fostered by, basically, her parent's murderer (also her human mum's ex husband...look the fey world is complicated). She's been raised in a world where the fey will ALWAYS despise her for her mortality. And the bullying, I think, was done really well and actually quite relatably. I mean, we're in the fey courts, for goodness sakes, but you have a relatable story line of a girl who is never fitting in or accepted because of who she was born + putting up with the cruelness of the other fey kids in her classes. And Jude was just NOT going to be run over. She wasn't overconfident or heartless, but she was badass and terrifying and clever and such a schemer. <3 <3+ There's a lot of emphasis on family too!Although I kind of thought Taryn was a flake and Vivi had little to no point to the story but heyyy sisters!! I do love books with SO many interesting women. Plus Oak was an adorable brat. And I loved how morally grey Madoc was. Like the dude was bad but also good?!? But BAD. Nice.+ I admit I totally feel things about Prince Cardan.He's so nasty and cruel and makes Jude's life miserable...which is 100% the recipe for me to hate him. I do NOT like the "ooh I like you so I'll be mean to you" story lines but it wasn't like that! I loved the twists in their interactions, but this isn't the kind of ship you'd expect. It's not even a ship?!?? Is it?!? I DON'T KNOW. (FYI I guessed what was going on with Locke VERY early.) But Cardan was mean and actually a little tragic underneath and I'm desperate to know what happens next.ajfdsklad I didn't mean to care about this boy ajfkdlsad why why + I also really took my time reading and it was worth it!Every page was gorgeous and satisfying and interesting. I can't even with how detailed the world was and how smoothly the plot ran. I LOVED Jude's narration and watching her change from someone struggling not to be walked over, to someone an acorn and a thumbprint away from manipulating the world. Ugh Jude. I love everything about you. + PLUS THE ENDING. HOLY YES.EVERYTHING ABOUT IT MAKES ME DESPERATE FOR BOOK 2. Is it too early to declare a favourite of the year?! Or favourite of ever?!?BASICALLY: READ THIS.If you like dark fey stories and books that aren't afraid to get bloody and girls with swords and clever crafty plots -- this one. This. Eat it. Be entranced. It's terrible and beautiful and everything I was hoping for.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    If I cannot be better than them, I will be so much worse. The Cruel Prince has just about what you'd expect from Black: court intrigue, an atmosphere of terror, vaguely dark romance, and a main character who is a terrible person. Plus some interesting dynamics and setup for an even better sequel. Needless to say, I found it delightful.I think Black's tendency is to start a story with a badass opening, then spend 200 pages on slow buildup. At first I thought it was just because this is a series If I cannot be better than them, I will be so much worse. The Cruel Prince has just about what you'd expect from Black: court intrigue, an atmosphere of terror, vaguely dark romance, and a main character who is a terrible person. Plus some interesting dynamics and setup for an even better sequel. Needless to say, I found it delightful.I think Black's tendency is to start a story with a badass opening, then spend 200 pages on slow buildup. At first I thought it was just because this is a series beginner, but the more I think about it, the more I realize her stories never have a typical growth and climax. Instead, she slowly escalates tension until suddenly the situation is horrible and you're left wondering how these characters even got there. It's an odd style, and one that will be divisive among readers, but it works for me. The plot here is just as slow-burning as usual, perhaps even more so. I personally thought it suited the story quite well. Even when I was slumping, this book was easy to come back to and enjoy. I have to admit, at spots the court intrigue got confusing. Main characters were easy to remember, but I couldn't tell most of the Elder King's children apart. Maybe my favorite part of this book was the character work. Holly Black is very talented at getting side characters to read real, even without much focus on them. But the real strength of this book is Jude's flawed, morally grey character. I fucking loved her. She's a bad person and she's so unapologetic about it and so aware of it. I also wanted to spare a paragraph for the romance. There is a sort-of romance in the first half, and it is honestly the weakest part of the first three-quarters. [See my updates for this book.]Thankfully, this thrown-in and tensionless romance is improved upon further into the book. I'm not going to spoil it, exactly, but Holly Black has a certain dynamic that she really loves, and this is... that dynamic. In really good form. Funnily enough, the dynamic between the two characters who I think will get together really turned me off in the first half; I was looking out for some kind of lacking-in-consent bad-boys-are-hawt type thing. That's not what you'll find here. This is much more of a genuine Hades/Persephone dynamic than a bad-boys-are-hot romance. I've written about the difference before on my blog, but this is one of the better handlings of it I've seen. There was one scene in this book between them that... well, I think my brain just screamed “holy shit” for a minute straight. One of those scenes I'm going to bookmark and reread over and over again. Brief note before I finish this review, and this doesn't need much commentary: Ben and Severin had a cameo in this. I almost cried, embarrassingly enough, because the The Darkest Part of the Forest is one of my favorite books ever. According to a couple other reviews, some of the side characters - Kaye and Roiben from Tithe - are also cameos from her first fae series, if you're at all interested! I didn't notice because I've never read it. But I do like that she's built a whole world, without requiring you to read every book for comprehension. Anyway, I adored this. It is dark and messed up and all the characters have a lot of issues, but I adored this. Recommended for anyone who likes dark, atmospheric, badass reads. When is book two coming out again? Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | YoutubePreReadI got an arc from my local bookstore. This does not influence my rating. It's Holly fucking Black, do you really think she needs the help?5/20/2017: anyway I finally started this after three fucking weeks 5/12/2017: I can't believe I got an arc of this honestly!!
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  • Val ⚓️ Shameless, Skanky & Bitchy ⚓️
    January 1, 1970
    Well, despite marking this as "currently reading" (I put books there that I plan to read within the next week or two) I finally cracked this bad boy open today...and finished it in one three-hour siting.So, if that's not an indication of something being a seriously above average read, I don't know what is. Jude was a really edgy, imperfect, relatable character and I really liked her. So often, I want characters to do something - maybe say something or do something I want them to do in a specific Well, despite marking this as "currently reading" (I put books there that I plan to read within the next week or two) I finally cracked this bad boy open today...and finished it in one three-hour siting.So, if that's not an indication of something being a seriously above average read, I don't know what is. Jude was a really edgy, imperfect, relatable character and I really liked her. So often, I want characters to do something - maybe say something or do something I want them to do in a specific moment - and I am left feeling frustrated and annoyed when they don't. They DON'T deliver the nasty comeback I feel someone so amazingly deserves. They DON'T punch the face of the asshole who has done them wrong.They DON'T say "fuck you" to the person who just betrayed them. But, Jude?Home girl DID all of those things and more and I loved it. She saw that proverbial high road on some occasions, the one other characters sometimes begged her to take and she said:Get it, girl. On top of that, the plot here was pretty well thought out and I enjoyed the twists and turns, none of which felt convenient or trite. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens with the plot and certain character relationships in the next book. The wait will be long. Oh and PS...fuck you, Taryn.
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I already knew it was coming but here is my Fairyloot box =) Clink link below pic to see about the items! FAIRYLOOT STUFFOMG! Click on my link below the picture to see close-ups and my synopsis of the items =) OWLCRATE STUFFHoly sh*t balls! I love it =) I love Jude! She's my new bad to the bone girl! She gets dragged away with her two sisters to Faerie by the man that killed her parents. Lives in Faerie most of her life. Is training to fight and can handle a sword very well. She wants to be a Kn I already knew it was coming but here is my Fairyloot box =) Clink link below pic to see about the items! FAIRYLOOT STUFFOMG! Click on my link below the picture to see close-ups and my synopsis of the items =) OWLCRATE STUFFHoly sh*t balls! I love it =) I love Jude! She's my new bad to the bone girl! She gets dragged away with her two sisters to Faerie by the man that killed her parents. Lives in Faerie most of her life. Is training to fight and can handle a sword very well. She wants to be a Knight but she turns into so many other things. She takes bullying every day and doesn't let them get her down. You go girl! She plots and plans and gets it done!!!!! Well, this is only the first book. We have to see how she can handle it all in the next book/s. I love some of the side characters in this book; The Bomb, Roach, The Ghost. I love Bomb the most. She's awesome, hence her nickname. We have little Oak who is the little brother. Madoc who is an off and on jerk. Oriana who is an off and on jerk. Prince Dain who I never trusted to begin with and Locke who I never trusted to begin with either. Prince Cardan is a jerk face too. But, he has his reasons. There are more peeps -er-faeries that are jerks in the book but it's pretty common. Lol Anyhoo, I loved it and I'm glad because I own 3 copies of the book in all the beautiful covers =DHappy Reading! Mel ♥MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading ListAMAZON: REVIEW
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  • Katerina
    January 1, 1970
    Brace yourselves, folks, we're jumping on the hype wagon! “If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.” First Stop: Elfhame With all the raving reviews about The Cruel Prince, how could little ol' Katerina resist? The Hype (yes, Hype with a capital H because it's a being of its own that swallows the innocent and the weak) was a siren, luring me to dive into its dark waters, and, thankfully, I was not eaten alive. With a successful blend of modern world and faerie lore, Holl Brace yourselves, folks, we're jumping on the hype wagon! “If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.” First Stop: Elfhame With all the raving reviews about The Cruel Prince, how could little ol' Katerina resist? The Hype (yes, Hype with a capital H because it's a being of its own that swallows the innocent and the weak) was a siren, luring me to dive into its dark waters, and, thankfully, I was not eaten alive. With a successful blend of modern world and faerie lore, Holly Black created a dangerous and mesmerizing tale, a gripping saga focused on intrigue, schemes and backstabbings. Jude was seven years old when a cruel fae showed up on her doorstep, murdering her parents and taking her and her sisters to the realm of the Immortals, a realm so beautiful and imposing that hid how rotten and tainted it was on the inside. Despite her best efforts, Jude was always humiliated and taunted, a worm daring to live and train among their perfect kin. And her greatest tormentor? Prince Cardan and his band of merry evil men minions. With the coronation of the next king approaching, Jude found her opportunity to shine, to grab a place for herself and hold it with her bleeding hands. But with plots set into motion, and disorienting deceptions, maybe finding her place means giving up the little humanity that's still left in her. “Because you're like a story that hasn't happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.” Next stop: Lake of Backstabbing People who compare The Cruel Prince to Game of Thrones are not exaggerating. The conspiracies, the hidden agendas, and the masterful way they unfold manage to keep you at the edge of your seat thoughout the story, you sweat and sweat and wonder who has the upper hand and who is going to perish, whose blood is going to spill, who is the good guy and who the villain (well, in all honesty all of them are the villains but a girl can hope, right?), and you can't help but feel a rush of adrenaline each time those horrible creatures plot and stab and spy and then plot some more. And when all this plotting and stabbing and spying takes place in idyllic landscapes, manors and balls, you can understand why I'm such a goner. Next stop: Temple of Hate A curious thing happened with The Cruel Prince; I didn't like the main characters. At all. Was I fascinated? Of course, they were beautiful and monstrous, and that combination sparked a flare of curiosity to see how their stories will play out, but come on, they're horrible! (expect Vivi, you go girl!)Beneath her frail mortal body and her too-short lifespan, Jude was a hungry, ruthless beast craving power, scheming, betraying, and wanting with a fiery need to become one the creatures that tortured her and rejected her. I was rooting for her to an extent, if only to teach those awful fae that expendable humans can outmaneuver them, but she really needs to calm down, this hunger consumed her thoughts and didn't leave place for other, more pleasant sentiments. Don't get me started on her parade of stupid decisions. And Cardan was not better. Fine YES I had a tiny crush on him (thumbs up for dark jerks who hide their pain), but that doesn't erase the fact that he's cruel, irresponsible and petty, a true bully. Madoc, Locke, Dain, Taryn, they were hideous, but let me tell you this, that is not a bad thing. Sure, I didn't particularly connect with them, but this detachment liberated me from the usual fear for their lives, or sorrow for their misfortunes, only the occassional anger and disgust. I was invested in their story and not in them, but somehow this magnified the reading experience! I was there for the bumpy ride, for the malice and the power bid, I sank my teeth into their rotten fruit and was bewitched by their depravity. “There's always something left to lose.” Terminal station: Vale of Fangirling The Cruel Prince was a beguiling, wicked tale of power, lust, secrets and magic. The world Holly Black painted, with her lush descriptions, the revels and the colourful creatures that came straight out of a storybook is a place worth visiting, and cherishing. Drunk on enchanted wine, exhausted from dancing in fancy dresses until my foot hurt, clammy from the swordfights but deliciously invigorated, I am all too eager to return to Elfhame and be a part of the High Court!You can find this review and more on BookNest!
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  • Helena of Sparta ✰
    January 1, 1970
    “Nice things don’t happen in storybooks. Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”PERFECT. This book is PERFECT. So…BUCKLE UP! ‘CAUSE YOU’RE IN FOR A WILD RIDE!Holly Black, you are going to be the DEATH of me! I loved the Spiderwick Chronicles as a child (so cute!), mildly enjoyed the Modern Faerie Tale series (kinda cringey, not gonna lie :-/), appreciated The Darkest Part of the Forest (so much faery tale-esque w “Nice things don’t happen in storybooks. Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”PERFECT. This book is PERFECT. So…BUCKLE UP! ‘CAUSE YOU’RE IN FOR A WILD RIDE!Holly Black, you are going to be the DEATH of me! I loved the Spiderwick Chronicles as a child (so cute!), mildly enjoyed the Modern Faerie Tale series (kinda cringey, not gonna lie :-/), appreciated The Darkest Part of the Forest (so much faery tale-esque whimsy!), tolerated the Coldest Girl in Coldtown (vampires are passé, okay?), and adored the Curse Workers trilogy (a magical mafia, need I say any more?!)…but the Folk in the Air trilogy is on a WHOLE ‘NOTHER LEVEL!!! Authors’ writing obviously improve over time. That’s a given. But Holly Black practically did a 180° from her début, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, to this release, The Cruel Prince. Both involve faeries, which Holly is known for as the Queen of the Faeries in YA literature (Yes, she predates Sarah J Maas, having practically kick-started the faerie obsession in YA in 2002), but the similarities end there. My goodness, THIS BOOK! The plot, the characters, the world, the romance, the political intrigue, the faery lore…anything you could possibly want from a novel is HERE! WELCOME TO FAERIE.“What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.”Personally, part of my enjoyment of this book has to do with the unpredictability of the storyline itself, so I’ll be brief in terms of the plot. The prologue begins with your modern American mortal family: a mum, a dad, an older sister, and a younger set of twins. Lo and behold, a redcap faery, General Madoc, shows up, slaughters the parents, and takes the children back with him to Faerie. The older sister also happens to be Madoc’s biological daughter, making her half-faery. Fast forward a few years and the children have been reared as Gentry faery children, without truly belonging there. The older sister, Vivienne, longs to return to the mortal realm and disavow everything that makes her a faery. The twins on the other hand, Jude and Taryn, seek to find their places among their faery peers. They want to belong, despite not being faeries themselves. In fact, they are constantly bullied by Prince Cardan and his friends, Locke, Nicasia, and Valerian, but that doesn't deter them. Taryn wants to belong by marriage and Jude wants to belong by knighthood. The real question remains…just how far are they willing to go, in order to finally gain their rightful place in Faerie?“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”Jude Duarte has sky-rocketed to my top 10 list of favourite protagonists. She’s definitely no Mary Sue with her swordsmanship skills and political strategising! At Holly Black’s book signing for The Wicked King, she stated that she intended for Jude to be the female version of the antihero with a tragic backstory trope, you know, with her parents being murdered before her eyes and being bullied throughout those crucial childhood development years. As a result, Jude begins to become very violent and makes some pretty unhealthy choices. She starts fighting back by challenging people to duels and then it’s all downhill from there. It’s at this point that we witness Jude’s descent from your run-of-the-mill YA protagonist to an utterly ruthless antiheroine. Her childhood bully, Prince Cardan, even explicitly recognises how “terrifying” Jude has become. She wants what she wants and she doesn’t care what she has to do or who she has to step on in order to get it…and THAT I RESPECT! “Father, I am what you made me. I’ve become your daughter after all.”One of my favourite relationships is, funnily enough, the one between Jude and her foster father, Madoc. She might inherently hate him, as he is the murderer of her parents, but she is also, slowly but surely, turning into his mirror! Of all of his children, she is only one as enthused about duels, swordsmanship, and strategy as he is. In all honesty, I looked forward to all of his interactions with her because you could see how much he genuinely does love his girls, even if two of them aren’t biologically his. When he hears of the bullying that Jude endures, he’s basically ready to kill whomever hurt her. What a great, if slightly bloodthirsty, dad! Gah! I love them SO MUCH! This is a perfectly morally grey familial bond, and I am so grateful to Holly for actually including parental figures in this trilogy. They always tend to conveniently disappear in YA literature, for some reason. *shrugs* I hope that we see just as much, if not more, scenes with the two of them in the next instalment! “Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It's disgusting, and I can't stop.”Cardan. Oh, Cardan. Just where do I begin? ;) When we first encounter Cardan, he is nothing more than a common bully. But then, as the novel develops and the plot thickens, we begin to see that there is MUCH MORE beneath the surface. Cardan, in comparison with Jude, is only KIND OF terrible. Jude, on the other hand, surpasses him completely. He makes the appearance of being terrifying, whereas Jude actually IS. In addition, he, like Jude, is rather tragic, as well. He has an awful home life, is perpetually drunk on wine, and is completely unable to cope with his feelings for Jude. Needless to say, their sexual tension was so hot that I’m surprised that the pages of my book didn’t catch on fire. They take the enemies-to-lovers trope to new heights, and I thought Magnus and Cleo from Falling Kingdoms had sexual magnetism! Oof! Never have I been so invested in a YA ship before. But I am ALL ABOARD for #Jardan!!! There better be more kissy-kissy scenes in the next book, or I shall confront Holly with ALL of my grievances!!! As is the case with most of Holly’s novels, we were blessed with quite a few cameos from her previous books! My favourite, of course, being my faery crush, Roiben. What a sexy faery…sigh. If only Kaye would let me have him. That’d be the dream! :D“I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.”I’m not even going to discuss Locke and Taryn. Those pathetic wastes of space don’t even deserve the energy that I’ll use to type. They deserve each other and I hope that they’ll be completely miserable for the rest of their sorry lives!So…I’m going to go and read The Wicked King now. And then I shall mourn the fact that I have to essentially wait two years for the finale of this AMAZING trilogy! I’m not even going to bother recommending this series. Anyone who hasn’t read it should just feel ashamed of themselves and go remedy that IMMEDIATELY!
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  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    *clears throat*Excuse me, uh. Who cares?This is not a rhetorical question. I truly want to know. I read this whole ass book and I am still at a complete loss for something, anything, to care about. Not a plot point, not a character trait, not a single line of quirky banter I could get myself emotionally invested in.This is a book about fairies and it was a trial for me to get through. Me, a person who loves fairies so much she spent her entire third grade year absolutely convinced, in a non-iron *clears throat*Excuse me, uh. Who cares?This is not a rhetorical question. I truly want to know. I read this whole ass book and I am still at a complete loss for something, anything, to care about. Not a plot point, not a character trait, not a single line of quirky banter I could get myself emotionally invested in.This is a book about fairies and it was a trial for me to get through. Me, a person who loves fairies so much she spent her entire third grade year absolutely convinced, in a non-ironic manner, that she was one. It doesn’t get much more dream audience for this book than me. And I couldn’t give two sh*ts, or one sh*t, or even a fraction of a sh*t, for so much as a moment. So. Who among you was able to pull off such a feat?Okay, to be fair, maybe I’m not the dream audience. Holly Black and I have a rocky past. I grew up on the Spiderwick books (well, mostly the Field Guide, which I used as a means of learning about my own species. See the above “I thought I was a fairy” admission). But The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is one of 9 books I’ve DNFed in my entire goddamn life, and The Darkest Part of the Forest was another snoozefest.I like character-driven stories. I like slow books with beautiful writing. But I don’t like Holly Black characters, and I don’t love Holly Black’s writing, and basically all of her books put me to sleep every time. And also make me feel like I’m reading the exact same book over and over. Seriously, they all read the same. Including Spiderwick, which is shocking because that 1) is middle grade and 2) has a good deal less sexual tension than a lot of her other stuff.Anyway.This book was so, so boring.Nothing really happens until past the 200-page mark, and by then everything is so silly and ridiculous that I was mostly along for the ride. What, you say? More of the synopsis is out the window? We’re just deleting more character development from our brains? Delightful. Because, again, who cares.I know a lot of people love this book because they love Jude. I don’t know why they love Jude. Is she supposedly “strong” or “powerful” or “badass” or one of those words we assign to characters when there isn’t much to describe? Because I’m not seeing anything to fall in love with.I know a lot of people love this book because they love Cardan. I know exactly why they love Cardan. It is because he is one of three or four YA boy character archetypes that draw in blatant adoration (and delightful fan art) from readers WITHOUT. FAIL.Basically, here are the acceptable YA male traits. You pick a combination of these, and you have your flat, uninteresting, repeat character.- handsome OR beautiful OR hot- funny OR mysterious OR charming- banter-y OR bully-y OR flirtyAnd that’s it. I often like the handsome/funny/banter-y archetype. From time to time, I’ll enjoy a hot/charming/flirty one. I always, always, always hate the beautiful/mysterious/bully-y one. I hated Will Herondale, and boy oh boy do I hate Cardan. And I know a lot of people love this book because of the plot and the world. But the plot to me was nonexistent, because for 200 pages this book largely made me drag myself through it, with no action or momentum to pull me along. And the world is just Every Holly Black Book But With A Slight Twist, Maybe. And that world hasn’t worked for me since I was nine and thought myself a resident, my dear boy.Bottom line: I guess the thing with Holly Black is that if one book works for you, they all will. But baby, that goes both ways!---------------pre-reviewthis book is...lame.review to come!!!---------------buddy reading this with lily and may and we are definitely all thriving and having a good time. no rage or boredom involved at all---------------just received official word that i WILL be excommunicated from goodreads if i do not have this book on my shelves
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  • Elena
    January 1, 1970
    If you hurt me, I wouldn't cry. I would hurt you back. Um, then why didn't you, Jude? I think I need to get it out of the way: YA fantasy is not suited for me anymore. I've made a quite very easy choice of letting go of the genre slowly. Although I'm no longer going to be checking out YA fantasy from my library, I'm still planning on reading and finishing the ones I own and then donating them to my library, the book store there, and some donation centers in my city.Before starting this review If you hurt me, I wouldn't cry. I would hurt you back. Um, then why didn't you, Jude? I think I need to get it out of the way: YA fantasy is not suited for me anymore. I've made a quite very easy choice of letting go of the genre slowly. Although I'm no longer going to be checking out YA fantasy from my library, I'm still planning on reading and finishing the ones I own and then donating them to my library, the book store there, and some donation centers in my city.Before starting this review, I had thought about what I would have to say that hasn't been said, and I also thought if I should even say anything. The Cruel Prince has got to be the most hyped up book I've encountered as of now, and I can't say I feel the same about it like everyone else. I think the biggest problem is that I'm no longer such a fan of YA fantasy that it's gotten to the point where I don't even wanna read these type of books anymore, but it's also because I kind of knew what I was getting myself into. I had already been familiar with the characters, the plot, and the ending. Like many others say, this is my opinion, and everyone and anyone is entitled to their own opinion. I’ve said this numerous times, but I actually enjoy seeing other people love books I didn’t enjoy at all. It’s nice seeing a book I didn’t praise be praised. With that being said, please don’t attack me. Sometimes I read to better myself and sometimes I read for pure fun and I rate books based off enjoyment, and in this case, I didn’t enjoy the book at all. Like I said, if you enjoyed this book, great, if you didn’t, cool! If you don’t agree with anything I said, well, I’m sorry, but not every book is written for everyone. At least I gave it a shot.Anyways.I said in an update this book was binge-worthy, and by that, I meant I wanted to finish it in one sitting. Everything was going so well, until Holly Black decided to just throw in everything as if I knew every little detail of Jude's background and of every other character; as if I just somehow knew how and why Jude was so eager to enter this tournament we had never heard about until she mentioned it; as if I knew what Jude really did after she was taken from the mortal world into Fairie. You're no killer.He has no idea what I am. She may not be a killer, but Jude is used to keeping her head down and her lips shut, used to accepting her flawed mortality, and used to being treated as nothing but a mortal who has no place in Faerie, being told she has nothing to lose because of what she has never earned. Having had to endure it for 10 years after witnessing her parents murdered and being taken to a world she had never heard of and had never thought she would consider her home, Jude is tired of not being seen as no one and nothing but a mere human who should follow the rules. But Jude thinks and acts differently, and she's no longer the seven-year-old girl she was when she and her two sisters were taken by a general whom she now refers to as her dad at times. Jude wants to prove herself worthy for a place in the court, Jude knows she has to accept the consequences she will begin facing if she does not listen and give up. Used to being isolated, unwanted and seen as useless, she begins tasting the true taste of darkness. She sees through the tunnels she had never walked through. She becomes the human girl the fey never thought would fight back. She's not like her twin sister, always following the rules and thinking that's the best choice, and she isn't like her half-blood older sister, Vivi, who wants to return back to the mortal world. Instead, Jude wants to become the human girl the fey never thought would fight back. I honestly thought Jude would end up getting herself a place in the court, but she got stuck in her own mess.I'm honestly just confused. Not at the book, but at myself. Majority of the time, I end up disliking very hyped up books while I end up loving very underrated books, so I don’t even know why I bother keep trying. It feels as if these hyped books should be read by me before they actually become hyped, which is never the case because I had bad habits of reading books that will soon become movies or tv shows or I end up reading books after the sequel is released and has taken over all the hype the first book received.I wanted to love Jude and root for her from the bottom of my heart. After she had to witness her parents be murdered, I expected her to grow from it and teach herself ways to defend herself, but Jude, instead, let her weakness get to her and didn't grow as a character at all. Like other novels and even similar ones, the protagonist sometimes says she will get revenge, whether it's for her or for who she's avenging, but Jude was none of that. She wanted revenge for herself and wanted to earn herself a high place in the court, but that never happened. It's as if the author had made her strong at first but then decided to throw every obstacle to make her weak. At times, she even reminded of Kate from This Savage Song. Both characters had started off strong in a way where they didn't take anyone's bullshit, but then they ended up getting too caught up on the own web they started and it's as if they got too strangled to the point where they couldn't escape from it.I didn't mind Jude calling Madoc her dad at times, but it was annoying how she would refer to him as her father and the next day, she would say she isn't his daughter while saying she is the next day. She asked him for permission for certain stuff, wanted him to accept her, train her, help her, but then she would remind him that she actually isn't her daughter, even if he raised her and has provided her with everything she has needed. Adding on to that, he's the only reason she's "strong and able to defend herself with the knife she carries" because, after all, she didn't train herself. Unlike Jude, there wasn't a moment where I ended up supporting Cardan or rooted for him. I really wished Jude would have killed him or made his life miserable. Instead, she ended up helping him and then realizing she actually fucked up. Typical of her though, to realize her dumb mistakes after they're done because of how obviously fucked up they are.One of the biggest problems I had with Cardan was his personality. Apparently, he's charming and sarcastic, but I feel like the sarcasm is so natural that it's just part of his attitude and instead of charming, he's an actual douchebag. He makes Jude's life miserable and uses his past as an excuse to being a dick to Jude. Seeing that he can't redeem himself from the misery he had to live through, he uses them as his power in order to get what he wants. Personally, I didn't find it attractive and I just couldn't accept his reasons as justifications for his actions. I constantly saw reviews praising Cardan and saying how Cardan shouldn't be blamed for his actions because of how he had to live and what he had to put through. For example, he was beaten up by his brother, his father hated him and his whole existence, no one helped him in any way, and he was never loved by anyone, so in order to put up with it, he would get drunk on wine, push little boys who didn't bow at him, and would have a group of friends who had a love for violence, dramatics, and power. So many people sympathized with him that I feel like I'm either heartless or just don't get the memo here. The whole I was also hurt so I'm going to hurt you too idea can be sympathetic to me even if it isn't done right. I mean, I haven't read enough fantasy books with morally questionable characters who are cruel and ruthless, so maybe that has a connection with this and how I'm one of the only people out there who does not feel bad for Cardan one bit. All in all, I feel like you either like Cardan or you just straight up hate him. Instead of being afraid, I will become something to fear. That all just became true in the ending, but throughout the whole book, Jude would constantly say she will never want to be one of the fey and that they have no idea who she really is, for she is not just any human girl getting in people's business as if it was hers. It got to the point where very time Jude described herself as strong, ruthless, or as anyone who is capable of doing so much, I ended up visualizing her as the typical female protagonists we always read about in YA fantasy. Those female leads who pretend to be strong but in reality, they still walk with their weakness on their shoulders, giving them all the weight which is why they fall down so much and are incapable of getting up. In reality, that never happened, but she felt like that, like a character who carried so much weight that it dragged her.Moving on, I'm also confused about the enemies to lovers trope. I'm simply confused even more as to why that trope is being used. I can see the enemies, but the lovers? Uh, not so much. I see them more as puppets for each other instead, both getting in each other's head to the point where they despise each other but then end up letting themselves be controlled at the same time.I mean, I haven't read a lot of enemies-to-lovers type of books, but I don't mind the trope being a main plot device in the book, as long as it's actually . . . the plot device.Oh right, we also have Taryn, who I hated. There isn't anything good I can say about her, so I'll leave it there.The only character I truly adored was Vivi. I think Vivi was the only one who helped Jude in the best possible way. Not only that, Vivi is bi and wants to go back to the mortal world to be with her human girlfriend AND leave Madoc because Vivi actually kept her promise and the vow she made of hating Madoc forever. Adding on to that, she vowed to hate Madoc, and she never broke that vow, but she also made Madoc so angry and annoyed, it was hilarious. Seeing her carefree when she noticed how annoyed Madoc got when she didn't listen to him made her satisifed. After all, her goal was to annoy him, and she lived up to the promises she made and never went back to it, unlike Jude.Also, I won't even lie, I liked Locke for a while. But then his true identity was revealed and it turns out he was another one of Cardan's puppets who pretended only to control Jude as well. The Cruel Prince was obviously not for me. I think, overall, these hyped up fantasy books are not for me at all. The genre is not for me anymore in general. As I haven't read it for a while, especially a hyped one, it seems as if I had never read it at all. I used to be conflicted about it, but I think now, according to the ratings I've given to the fantasy books I've read, it's probably best I should just let go of it once and for all. Maybe it's because I can truly never connect with the characters in any way, whether it's emotionally or personally. I mean, the last time I read a fantasy with a female lead was in November of 2018. I also think that, sometimes, it's best to stay away from hyped up books or to read them before they get super hyped. Or, maybe, not have any expectations at all because then it all works out and there are no surprises. We don't have forever to wait for them to let us do things we want. I don't care if they don't like my being in the tournament. One I become a knight, I'll be beyond reach. I wish that would have been the case, Jude, but you ended up letting your weakness really get into you that the little hope you had left inside of you was completely forgotten and thrown out the window you were looking at when you imagined yourself as a knight.
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    “I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed.”Um yes, I totally gave in to the hype and for once I am glad.After reading The Darkest Part of the Forest, I developed a sudden thirst for more faerie stories and more Holly Black. The Cruel Prince was like a gift from heaven. By the way, if you have only read one of these two books, you might be interested in checking out the other. You might recognise a few characters.This book is like paradise for fans of young adult fantasy. Naturally, I “I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed.”Um yes, I totally gave in to the hype and for once I am glad.After reading The Darkest Part of the Forest, I developed a sudden thirst for more faerie stories and more Holly Black. The Cruel Prince was like a gift from heaven. By the way, if you have only read one of these two books, you might be interested in checking out the other. You might recognise a few characters.This book is like paradise for fans of young adult fantasy. Naturally, I was captivated right from the start. I had no idea where the story was going to go. So many unexpected things were happening, and even though some of them were somewhat predictable, I was caught off guard several times. However, I cannot decide whether I think the plot was chaotic or refreshing. The events in this book could have gone in so many directions. And this book tipped the fine line between a complete mess and a good structure.This might also be related to the main character. I could not get a good feeling for her, as in, her goals and motivations were clearly spelt out, but her voice did not match her actions. On one hand, Jude is this ruthless human with a backbone like a lion, and on the other hand, she is a typical young adult main character that could be interchanged with several other MCs from different novels. I could not make these two aspects fit in one person. I hope she grows into her skin and goes through strong character development in the sequels.Now, the hate-to-love trope is one that I love. It can be so much fun if it is well-written. However, I condemn volatile and unhealthy relationships in novels. That is not romance. It troubles me to see characters that hurt and treat one another in the most despicable ways develope a romantic relationship based on such feelings. This sends a wrong message to the readers. I cannot see such behaviour turned into a pairing and I seriously do not know how this relationship would ever work in the future. I hope Holly Black does not plan a happily ever after for the characters that I have in mind.Other than that, I am so looking forward to The Wicked King. The Cruel Prince was already wicked, thrilling, nerve-wracking and enchanted, and I must admit that I am a little scared to see what will happen next.Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Eryn
    January 1, 1970
    Reread December 2018-January 2019This is easily still one of my favorite books, ever. It's hard for me to find much that I don't like about it. Either way, here's to book two which comes out in less than a week!______________________________________∿4.75/5∿This was absolutely lovely and magical. Ya'll, the hype surrounding this book is all very real. Please do yourself a favor, sit down with a large cup of tea/coffee and READ THIS.Where do I even begin? My mind is still reeling from all of the t Reread December 2018-January 2019This is easily still one of my favorite books, ever. It's hard for me to find much that I don't like about it. Either way, here's to book two which comes out in less than a week!______________________________________∿4.75/5∿This was absolutely lovely and magical. Ya'll, the hype surrounding this book is all very real. Please do yourself a favor, sit down with a large cup of tea/coffee and READ THIS.Where do I even begin? My mind is still reeling from all of the twists and turns! Holly Black really outdid herself with this one, you guys. She really did.The characters were amazing. Not all of them were, but the ones that had to be were brilliant. I mean, I love Holly Black for making Jude the way she was. As a girl with a heart who cares for her family and whatnot, but can also kill you and make serious threats. I mean what?! Are we finally getting strong and evil and cunningly awesome females? I seriously hope so! And, of course, I don't condone villainous people, but if it's in a book, I freaking love reading from their perspective. And let me tell you, Jude isn't that nice girl next door. She's absolutely ruthless.Then there's Cadan. I saw someone write an update saying that "Bad guys turned to good guys is so overused," when describing this book and Cadan. I guess I agree with them, in a way. However, when it's done well, like the way Black made you despise Cadan in the beginning and then come to love him, is just magic in its own way. Seriously! I knew I should hate him but I couldn't stop loving him.I just realized this review has a million exclamation marks and is probably one of the worst reviews I've ever written. Oh well. I can't help myself. This was too good, and I can't coherently put words together.But honestly, if any of ya'll love magic, deception, spies, forbidden love, a kick-butt heroine, beautiful people, folklore, etc... Then, this is a book for YOU!Overall, I don't know what you're still doing here, 'cause you really ought to be out there getting into that horribly sad, yet flawlessly written, prologue. Go on. You know you want to.
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    #1 The Cruel Prince ★★★★★#2 The Wicked King ★★★★★#3 The Queen of Nothing ???If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse. It had been years since I’d picked up a Holly Black book, but I loved her writing as a kid, so I was a little bit apprehensive about re-entering her little fae world. Believe me when I say, though, that this book was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Her writing is impeccable, the lore is woven seamlessly through the tale, the characters are lovab #1 The Cruel Prince ★★★★★#2 The Wicked King ★★★★★#3 The Queen of Nothing ???If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse. It had been years since I’d picked up a Holly Black book, but I loved her writing as a kid, so I was a little bit apprehensive about re-entering her little fae world. Believe me when I say, though, that this book was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Her writing is impeccable, the lore is woven seamlessly through the tale, the characters are lovable and disastrously grey (which is my favorite, forever), and I just wanted more. “I promise you this” – I throw his own words back at him – “this is the least of what I can do.” → Jude ←I’m going to get this out of the way early: if you asked me what my favorite thing about this book was, I would probably take three years to decide between Holly’s writing voice itself… or this fantastically grey, authentic, human protagonist. She is angry, terrified, clever, and determined. I’ve heard many people say they thought she was annoying, and while I totally respect everyone’s opinions, I can’t see it – if anything, she just felt tremendously real to me. Even if, by some miracle, I could be better than them, I will never be one of them. She has undergone incredible traumas, and continues to live through daily abuse – be it verbal or physical – yet, she manages to shove down her pain and fears for the most part. The fact that she was willing to admit to herself that she was secretly terrified, every moment of every day, made her a three-dimensional character that I could relate to. Despite her fears, she does everything she can to even the playing fields, which I found rather admirable.And then… that ending? I mean, I won’t spoil, but damn. Jude is more than willing to vilify herself to do what she thinks is best for the people she loves and hopes to protect, and it just made me love her even more than I already did. I am coming unraveled. I am coming undone. → Prince Cardan ←For all that I loved Jude’s moral greyness, Cardan’s left me feeling conflicted a lot of the time. I feel like I have a little bit of an unpopular opinion in that I wasn’t left swooning for the prince; unfortunately, a lot of his behaviors were borderline unforgivable for me.That said, I do understand that Cardan’s life has been far from easy, and a lot of his behaviors can be somewhat explained (though not justified) by his circumstances. And, I won’t lie, the shift in his attitude towards the end of the book is adorable and far more lovable than his entire existence in the first half of the book, so I still have high hopes that he’ll win me over in the sequel! Despite myself, despite what he’d done and what he was, I came to love him. I do love him. It’s just not a comfortable kind of love. → family ←Reason #347 why Holly is such a fantastic author: she can make your feelings for a character shift so quickly in one direction or the other, with little to no warning, and Jude’s family is evidence of this from start to finish.• Madoc – Jude’s “father figure”, who took away her parents only to take her in and raise her. He’s brutal, yet doting, and Jude’s feelings for him were a really interesting and realistic view of Stockholm syndrome, in which she constantly was reminded of the terrible things he had done for her, yet she couldn’t seem to stop herself from loving him and wanting to please him. The best part of this is that his character arc is written so flawlessly, I fell for it, too.• Taryn — her twin sister, who ranges from “meh” to downright infuriating and hate-worthy, depending on which scene you’re reading. (Mostly the latter.)• Vivienne — she’s bisexual, rebellious, fun, caring, snarky, and one of my favorite characters in this book by far. I loved each chance that we got to spend time with her, and if there was ever a novella about her life with her cute little mortal girlfriend, I’d be so here for it.• Oriana — the other half of Jude’s makeshift parenting duo, who strikes out as aloof and cold, but has a surprisingly love development process throughout the story that made me genuinely hope we see more of her in the future, as I think she could be a valuable ally for Jude in the coming trials.• Oak — Oriana’s son, who is tiny, adorable, and wild. He’s the perfect portrayal of Fair Folk in that, despite how lovely and charming he can be, he has a vicious and mischievous streak in his bones that few fae are wholly exempt from. “Plenty of mortals are better at plenty of stuff than the Folk. Why do you think we steal them away?” → fair folk ←One of the many things I enjoyed about this story is how many side characters there were, and how fleshed out most of them felt! My favorite side character was easily one of Jude’s fellow spies, Ghost, who takes it upon himself to spend immense amounts of time training her in how to sneak, steal, and kill. It’s not just that he mentors her, though – it’s that he respects her, and treats her as his equal throughout all of their interactions. So help me, if he does not get MAJOR screen time in the following books, I WILL RIOT.Among other noteworthy characters were Locke, who is a complete raging asshole that I will never forgive in a million years ever, and the rest of Cardan’s posse, who were also, well… complete raging assholes that I will never forgive in a million years ever. Faerie might be beautiful, but its beauty is like a golden stag’s carcass, crawling with maggots beneath his hide, ready to burst. → final thoughts ←All in all, while there were some aspects to the story that I didn’t love, I thought this was such a phenomenal story with a delightfully bizarre and varied cast of characters. I felt like I couldn’t get enough of the world that Holly Black wrote, and the idea of having to wait an entire year to see what happens next physically pains me. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories of fair folk, political intrigue, backstabbing, love, family, and conniving schemes.Content warning: Let me emphasize that, when you see TWs for abuse, people are not joking – as someone who has been bullied and abused, parts of this book were actually incredibly difficult for me to swallow. If you are triggered by scenes of abuse and harassment, please practice self-care before, during, and after this read.Buddy read with Julie! <3
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  • Fables&Wren
    January 1, 1970
    I want to begin with saying that what probably killed this book for me was the hype. I was literally expecting the feels I got when I read A Court of Mist and Fury or Strange the Dreamer. Instead, I would have gotten the feels like when I read A Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Caraval: It was good, but like it wasn't astonishing or mind-blowing.So, story begins with a Fae coming and murdering the parents of a pair a twins and their half-Fae older sister. After witnessing this tragedy, Jude and her I want to begin with saying that what probably killed this book for me was the hype. I was literally expecting the feels I got when I read A Court of Mist and Fury or Strange the Dreamer. Instead, I would have gotten the feels like when I read A Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Caraval: It was good, but like it wasn't astonishing or mind-blowing.So, story begins with a Fae coming and murdering the parents of a pair a twins and their half-Fae older sister. After witnessing this tragedy, Jude and her twin sister Taryn and her older sister Vivi are forced to live with the Fae-murderer as their father figure in the world of the Faes. Fast forward ten years, and Jude is well on her way to becoming a warrior. She knows she isn't ever going to become as good as the rest of the fae with their skills in weaponry and their reflexes, but she is trying her best if she is allowed. But, her classmates and the faes never let her and her twin sister forget that they are mortal. Always playing cruel tricks on them and pushing them around and glamouring them. Jude is done being the butt of the jokes, even though Tayrn just tries to keep her head down. One of these bullies happens to be a prince. When Jude pushes him too far, she finds herself in the middle of a game of politics that could cause a war between all the Fae Kingdoms. Doesn't that sound so legit and epic?The writing was exquisite and I just could feel the world building around me and through me and it was such an amazing experience. The faes in this world have horns or tales or different colored skin like blue or cat eyes or wings. I absolutely love those kind of fae books, which makes me believe I should pick up more of these books.Then.. there's the reason why the stars are so low: Jude. Jude was beyond A N N O Y I N G . She was aware that she wasn't a fae and she wanted to be one of them or better than them. But she never stopped complaining about being mortal. Ever. I get it: You hate being human and want to be fae. I get it: You are mortal and you want to be fae. I get it: You are weaker than the immortal beings and you want to be like them. I get it: You are slower than the faes and you want to be one of them.She never shut up about it to the point that I found myself rolling my eyes. And her character half the time did exactly the opposite of what she said she would be doing. I was just completely over her; but not to the point that I didn't love the book and wouldn't want to continue on with it. I mean, the end was a little more calm for me than I would have liked (I need more war/blood/twists.. because I obviously need to see a professional about that) but I still enjoyed it well enough. But I didn't think it needed the hype it got. It's good, but it isn't obsessively dramatically good. Blog • Bookstagram • Goodreads • Twitter • LinkTree • Club • Club Bookstagram- - - SoOoOoOoOo... did I read the same book as everyone else or am I getting punked? RTC. - - - I’m so excited about this.
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  • Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
    January 1, 1970
    “Love is a noble cause. How can anything in the service of a noble cause be wrong?” Story ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐One day a stranger knocks at Jude’s home and kills her parents, only to take her and her sisters to Faerie. A land of magical creatures, where they’re treated badly for being human. The king has many heirs, but only one stands out for Jude. Cardan, who hates her so badly that he makes her life a living hell. Until she fights back. This book was so freaking addictive. I just couldn’t put it down. I wa “Love is a noble cause. How can anything in the service of a noble cause be wrong?” Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️One day a stranger knocks at Jude’s home and kills her parents, only to take her and her sisters to Faerie. A land of magical creatures, where they’re treated badly for being human. The king has many heirs, but only one stands out for Jude. Cardan, who hates her so badly that he makes her life a living hell. Until she fights back. This book was so freaking addictive. I just couldn’t put it down. I was always on edge always thinking the next surprise or betrayal would happen. There were secrets to reveal and feelings to discover. I absolutely loved it! ♥️ Definitely one of my favorites now. Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Jude was one of my favorite characters in this book. And there were a lot of characters to like. She was a badass, brave and really violent some times. But she was also kind and had a good heart. She was the perfect mixture of both, without seeming too perfect. Cardan was the most interesting character. He was cruel, but even at his cruelest actions i saw something different in him. Some other feelings hidden beneath his facade. World ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Next to the human world there is Faerie, a world full of magical creatures and the Fey. A powerful king rules there with a lot of heirs to take the throne when he’s finished. There are humans in this world that made the wrong bargains or the best deals of their life. Relationships ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️First I was a little skeptical about the relationships in this book. First of all there were some love stories in it. But not the kind, cute ones. There were strange and confusing, but that made the whole story so interesting. But the most confusing part was the love between sisters. Whereas Vivi always stayed loyal to her family and i never doubted her feelings toward her sisters, I was always a little suspicious about Taryn. The way she left her sister by herself sometimes was really strange. Especially because they were twins. Writing style ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️I liked Holly Blacks writing. It was entertaining and definitely addictive. I loved that there were flowers at every beginning of a chapter and sometimes little beautiful swords separated parts of the chapters. And the cover is also absolutely gorgeous.Reread 1 in German ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️That was actually the first book that was in German as good as in English. I absolutely love it and I can’t wait to read Wicked king! ♥️
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  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    If they don't hate-f*ck in the next book, I'm rioting
  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars / There were things I really liked about this book and other things that were misses for me. I definitely don't think this is the groundbreaking, earth shattering read that many are making it out to be, but I'm glad I read it and I think later books in the series will be stronger. Full review and spoiler discussion to come on my channel :)
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  • amy ☂︎
    January 1, 1970
    how did holly black figure out my biggest weakness (evil arrogant asshole faerie prince with no morals and a jawline that could cut a bitch) and use it against me like this???? i just hope she knows that i love her but i will not hold back in combat ✧ first buddy read of the year with my loves; marami, jiabee and the grinch no offense but this is the one of the best ya fantasies i've read in a while and you're kinda missing out by not jumping on this hype train!! choo choo we're leaving the how did holly black figure out my biggest weakness (evil arrogant asshole faerie prince with no morals and a jawline that could cut a bitch) and use it against me like this???? i just hope she knows that i love her but i will not hold back in combat ✧ first buddy read of the year with my loves; marami, jiabee and the grinch no offense but this is the one of the best ya fantasies i've read in a while and you're kinda missing out by not jumping on this hype train!! choo choo we're leaving the station bitch so better HOP ON➳ plot: ok. you're thinking it and i'm thinking it, the only difference is that i'm brave enough to say it out loud: if a court of thorns and roses had a younger, darker, sexier, more talented, beautiful sister it would be this book!!! (#no tea no shade) without wanting to give too much away, the cruel prince tells the story of a mortal girl named jude who, along with her two sisters, gets stolen away into the world of the fey. (this is kinda vague and nondescript but i stand by the opinion that going into books blind is always better)honestly i don't know how holly black manages to intertwine our modern world with the idea of fey so perfectly, but this book jumps from the coronation of an evil faerie prince to 'i stand in the middle of target' in one second and somehow it fucking works??? don't ask me how➳ characters: literally 97% of the characters in this book are ✨ complete dickheads and generally awful people ✨ and it's splendid. i haven't seen such an assembly of morally-grey characters since six of crows, probably☼ jude:i always take notes while reading and one of them says: jude; relatable bc constantly angry and doesn't know when to shut the fuck up, so, that's the main character for youthe fact that she's a power-hungry, cunning and morally questionable asshole is delightful and interesting and different, and i thoroughly enjoyed her point of view."if i cannot be better than them, i will become so much worse", is such a good quote to capture the mindset of jude. her brain is always going 'what if i do this, what if i do that, what are the consequences, how can i trick them, how can i get what i want' and i??? love that??? she's always looking for a solution, always planning 934765 steps ahead and slowly working her way up to seize the power she so desperately wants☼ cardan: cardan: *is being an absolute asshole*me:💘💗💕💓💖💞my flower crown prince!!! light of my life!!!! i swear i was doing my absolute best to hate him, but emotionally crippled shitbags are, sadly, my type.i just wish holly black hadn't given him a tail......... like my brain keeps trying to Forget.... then holly reminds me of said tail.... and i'm like nooooooooo sto p......... please......☼ taryn:i know this is a fictional character but.......... i hate that bitch. i genuinely don't think i've loathed a character this much since UMBRIDGE. DOLORES UMBRIDGE!!!! i think that says it allalso........ can i just add............ that holly black literally named a character 'the bomb'. ??????? @ holly black ????????? she did that➳ romance: enemies to lovers is always a HARD YES from me and when both parties are both absolute motherfuckers that makes the whole thing even more [throws confetti] FUN!no but really, you know when you're reading a book and the tension between two characters is so intense suddenly everything but them becomes a subplot to you?? like eventually you'll just be like ok yea this is about political intrigues and death and war and shit but CAN THESE TWO PEOPLE JUST FUCKING KISS.that's what happened between me and the main pairing in this book, basically. 11/10➳ all in all, i've gained: +1 obsessionthis a delightfully dark, twisted, enthralling and magical story and i loved it so much! definitely recommended.rating: ★★★★½
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  • Bibi
    January 1, 1970
    It's gratifying that my first read in 2018 is a five-star read which, fingers crossed, clearly portends a robust book-tiful year.When a book opens with a double murder you wonder if the author did it for the shock value until that is, you realise this is actually a foreshadowing of grimmer twists to come. From the first and until the last page, The Cruel Prince had and held my attention. Black wrote a compelling coming of age story all wrapped in political and familial intrigue. I can't wait fo It's gratifying that my first read in 2018 is a five-star read which, fingers crossed, clearly portends a robust book-tiful year.When a book opens with a double murder you wonder if the author did it for the shock value until that is, you realise this is actually a foreshadowing of grimmer twists to come. From the first and until the last page, The Cruel Prince had and held my attention. Black wrote a compelling coming of age story all wrapped in political and familial intrigue. I can't wait for the sequel.
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