TITLE: The Cruel Prince

AUTHOR: Holly Black

Rating: ★★★☆☆

PAGES: 370

PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


GENRE(S): Fantasy

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black - The Contented ReaderOf 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.


I don’t think I’ve been more conflicted about a book in my life. Do I like this book? Are these characters as annoying as I think they are? Am I actually rooting for these characters? Do I seriously want more?

I honestly have so many questions running around in my head, and it’s crazy!

There are many moments in this book that are slow. As a result, it made me bored. The book has two sections: book one and book two. I feel like the first book is the most slow for me. This is mainly because it has a lot of character development rather than plot.

After reading the book, I understand why it is written this way. But it did make it difficult for me to get into it. The second book has so many moments that captivated me and I seriously want more!

Jude as a protagonist is extremely unlikeable and I don’t think I’m the only one thinking that. She’s unlikeable (at least to me) and manipulative. She’s also greedy and determined. But I do think this is on purpose. I absolutely LOVE Vivi and Oak. But since they’re such minor characters, I didn’t get as much of them as I wanted.

I also feel like the title of this book should have been “The Cruel Princes” because wow! The entirety of the Royal Court is just cruel and vicious. You never know whether to like them or hate them because they’re such tricksters!

I will say though that the second book totally redeemed this book for me. There are so many plot twists, betrayals and moments of deceit that really have me curious about the sequel, The Wicked King. The ending leaves it to be a very promising sequel and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds. That epilogue sure does leave me wanting more!

One aspect of this book that is refreshing is the faerie world. Holly Black writes the fey in this novel in such a unique way. I’ve read numerous books with faeries and their usually depicted as powerful and charming characters. This book takes that approach but adds alluring darkness, tragedy and cruelty. It’s almost like the perfect mix of dark and light magic. It’s definitely an interesting and fresh take on the faerie world – and one I love.

While aspects of this book are conflicting to me, this is a solid read. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book before that I’ve found boring yet at the same time, I didn’t want to put down.

I definitely recommend this book to fans of Holly Black and the faerie world. It’s also great for those who love dark stories and betrayals! But please note that there are a few trigger scenes because of strong violence!

If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.

Favourite Quote

About The Author

Holly Black Author Photo - The Contented Reader

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black - The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!


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