Book ReviewYoung Adult

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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 moments throughout this book that I was 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 having read the book, I do in fact understand why the book is written this way. But it did make it difficult for me to get into it. During the second book, there were so many moments that I was completely captured by what was happening and seriously wanted more!

Jude as a protagonist is extremely unlikeable and I don’t think I’m the only one thinking that. I actually do think this is on purpose. I feel like Jude is meant to be unlikeable and manipulative, while also greedy and determined. 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 I did find extremely refreshing is the way in which the faeire world is written. The fey in this novel are written in such a unique way. I’ve read numerous books with faeries as characters and they’re usually written to be powerful and charming characters. This book heightens this sense but adds alluring darkness, tragedy and cruelty. It is almost like the most perfect mix of dark and light magic. I think it’s an interesting and fresh take on the faerie world!

Overall, this is a solid read for me, even though parts of it were conflicting. 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 ReaderHolly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. 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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Did you read The Cruel Prince? What are your thoughts? Do you plan on reading The Wicked King when it’s released?

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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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