Is It Worth The Hype? The Cruel Prince Review

April 21, 2018Krisha

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Of course, I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

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

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

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

Rating: 4 stars!


Tread carefully when reading hyped books—- that’s what I always tell myself. The Cruel Prince is just that: hyped. Bookstagram was practically buzzing with it— before, during and well after its release. And I’m so glad that it did not disappoint.

I got my copy of The Cruel Prince through MermaidCrate, the PH-based subscription service. They’re my very first bookish subscription box ever, and I’m also glad that they didn’t disappoint either. 🙂 You can check out my unboxing here. And no, this is not sponsored. (I wish it was 😉 )

Now, on to the review!

First, this one’s a total cover-buy. It’s gorgeous! Underneath the dust jacket, the book is just as pretty. I fell in love with it on sight.

Next, the premise. If you’ve been hanging out here with me, you’ll know just how much I love my faerie stories. I just love everything about it— the lore, the otherworldliness, the complex nature of the fae. Holly Black, who’s known for her Spiderwick Chronicles, couldn’t have been better for this tale. She created a version of Faerie that’s just as cruel and colorful, but with a curious twist: she added a human girl like Jude into the mix.

At first, I had a bit of difficulty understanding Jude’s motivations. She’s a human child spirited to faerieland. Raised by her parents’ murderer, she now desperately wants to be part of this cruel, twisted, magical world. And I had to wonder: why?

Why bother to be a part of them? Why not escape? Why please your parents’ murderer and treat him like a father?

Her complex relationships with the people around her was a lot to wrap my head around, and it made the story all the more interesting. I felt like I was getting to know her and her motivations with every turn of the page.



And then there’s Prince Cardan. I heard a lot of people in the book community compare Cardan with Rhys from A Court of Thorns and Roses and that had me really curious.

I hate to break it to you guys, but Rhys is like a 100x more better than Cardan, practically because Cardan’s just a kid. He’s a literal teenage fey, who likes to drink and be a moody bully. He does have his charms, though. I spent 80% of the book trying to figure him out and 20% of the book sympathizing with him. By the end of the book, I was at a loss for words.

Ultimately, what I loved about this book is that it makes you think. It’s like one huge puzzle piece and you want to figure out which pieces fit with which. It’s full of complex characters and even more complex relationships. The story seemed to drag a bit at parts but compared to the rest of the book, it’s really a minor hiccup.

All in all, I enjoyed this book a lot. Can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Wicked King!

Don’t have your own copy yet? Get one from Book Depository! They offer FREE shipping worldwide!





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