Review | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Spoiler Free

51EotxSuO7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_He has no idea what I am. Maybe I don’t know, either. Maybe I never let myself find out.

Published: January 2nd, 2018

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 370 (Hardback)

Series: The Folk of the Air #1


4 Stars


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


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.


Wow. Guard your mortal heart is right. This book was a ride. 

I haven’t read any Holly Black books before this but I sure plan on reading more now! Not only was this book great, but the writing style was phenomenal. I certainly plan on picking up a few of her other books at the library.

First and foremost, shout out to Jude for being a total bad ass. Her transformation from defiant but timid girl with a dream to brutal hero is probably my favorite part of this book. There are so many things she goes through that gives her such a unique perspective as a main character and I genuinely enjoyed her. All the other characters were so intriguing and there was so much that was hinted about that I was dying to know, and the ending really lived up to the suspense building up throughout the book.

The world that Holly Black wove throughout those three hundred or so pages was so deep and enthralling that I had trouble coming back to the real world after I was done reading. There was so much backstabbing and no one was who they said they were, it was all so crazy. The plot in this novel was so expertly crafted and I really can’t wait to see what happens in the following books, especially if they’re all as intense as this.

One of the things I liked the most about this novel, honestly, was the fact that neither the author or the main character shied away from death. It made it seem like everything was so dire and the multiple murders happening in the story only enhanced the royal intrigue. I was really into it and I’m excited to see how Jude protects the crown in the following books. I don’t want to go too much into the plot because spoilers, obviously, but the fact that this book was brutal was so important for how the plot played out and was conveyed.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t give this book a full five stars. I just wasn’t as obsessed as I thought I would be. The other reviews for this were all highly starred, the synopsis reminded me a lot of ACOTAR, and the idea of a sexy villain really drew me to this book. I even went so far as to break my buying ban (BTW only bought three books this year so yay me!), but it just wasn’t everything I craved. I wanted more romance, to be honest. I missed the steamy element that laces throughout a book. It’s no secret I prefer my YA fantasy to have a strong romance running through it, and this book fell flat on that account. I’m not saying that it needed it to be great, because it certainly didn’t, I just wanted more where that was concerned.

Overall a really great read and a wonderful release to start off 2018!

Happy reading


Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM


The Folk of the Air Trilogy



4 thoughts on “Review | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

  1. Pingback: My Best Reads of 2018! | Tonkin About Books

  2. Pingback: Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black | Tonkin About Books

  3. Pingback: Review | Queen of Nothing by Holly Black | Tonkin About Books

  4. Pingback: Reading Guide | Young Adult Fantasy | Tonkin About Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s