Book Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

book, read, leisure

Title: The cruel prince

Author: Holly black

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Publishing date: January 2018

Standalone or Series: Book 1 of the series Folk of the Air


Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardon 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.
If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.
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.

Review: The first book in the series “Folk of the air” series by Holly Black. It follows a girl named Jude whose parents are killed by a fae general. Later she and her two sisters end up living with him in the fae land. Faes are magical creatures who are immortals and live their eternity scheming and playing the dirty game of power and ambition. Our main character Jude, being a mortal finds herself powerless against these beautiful yet dangerous beings and strives to gain power in order to survive. Her eternal enemy Prince Cardon with whom she has a love/hate relationship is the one she must defy in order to get what she wants.¬†

 Rating: 4.5/5

Spoiler Review
The story is conveyed through Jude’s perspective. The story revolves around Jude, her twin sister Taryn and her elder half sister Vivienne who is half fae and half human. At the age of seven Jude’s parents were killed by a fae, who was her mother’s ex-husband and Vivienne’s biological father whom her mother betrayed when she ran away from Faery with her human lover. She ends up living with the man who killed both her parents in the faery land and also develops attachment towards her parents murderer. Being mortals Jude and her twin sister Taryn were bullied and many times were driven to their deaths in this mysterious land which became a source of motivation for Jude to grow into an ambitious girl to attain power in order to protect herself. Among the others is the youngest prince Cardon who intimidates Jude the most with is vile and cunning approach towards her. Prince Cardon is the youngest prince of the High court of Faery also the most evil and  cruelest.

As the story progresses, Jude uncovers secrets which can either overthrow kingdom or build it a new. Jude is our main protagonist in this story whose growth is impressive throughout the story-line. As in the Faery land all is about power, politics, schemes and blood lust. Jude plays it all too well and schemes strategies and plots to achieve her goals in securing her family and herself. When the coronation of new high king of the faery land turns into a blood bath and unexpected twist, Jude seizes this opportunity and schemes a new plan which takes the story to a new level of unpredictable twists and turns. 

Overall this book is all I have not expected it to be in all the good ways. The fantasy/magic element does not take away the dangers one may find in an alien land. Moreover the magic element is adding the dark dangerous vibe to the story even more. Our protagonist is hard to put in a box because she sometimes does come across as a morally correct individual and sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going in her head. That does not take away from her lovable character though. Holly Black has done a very good job sketching her character which is a strong independent girl trying to survive in a foreign land. The other main protagonist or antagonist Prince Cardon is equally impressive. He has a character graph which makes you grow fonder with him especially the way Jude sees him. This book became one of my favorites of all time. Please do let me know how did you find it.

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