Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black || This entire review is just me explaining my *lack* of feelings

The Cruel Prince

The Folk of the Air #1

Holly Black

the cruel prince holly black

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 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.

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Published:  January 2nd 2018 



Bullying, Mention of Suicide, Physical and Mental Abuse, Murder, Death, Alcoholism

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

You know there’s an issue when I can put a book down and have no real urge to pick it back up???

I started this book in January… it’s March.

This book just felt very overhyped and I get it: murder and betrayal and characters that aren’t exactly nice or good and are power hungry and Faeries who are actually true to their archytype instead of just swoonworthy YA love interest which I will get to later. This is set up for greatness.

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“What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.” 

But because this was set up to such a high standard, that’s where I put my expectations. Hell, I might have put them even higher… and I shouldn’t be surprised that it kind of fell flat.

To be oh so honest, a few things:

  • If I would have read this when the hype was at it’s peak, I would have rated this lower.
  • Yet, even then, this barely passed the three star threshold. 
  • Which sucks, because this book has everything that could appeal to me.

Now, I know I’m harping a lot on this, but I do actually have some things that I liked. Jude, for example and her development. I appreciated that we see her grow into this girl who wants more. She doesn’t start off the book being power hungry and manipulative and cunning, she kind of grows into that, her defenses against her anger- seeing that growth was one of my favorite things about this book.

But the sad truth is, I mostly liked Jude because she was smart. But as for a personal connection? Me actually caring about her and her safety??? She could have died and I wouldn;t have shed a tear. 

Remember that I liked her, okay??

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I won’t talk about Taryn and her oh so evident 180. She’s clearly a character made to be hated. I do appreciate her focus on survival, family be damned…. major respect.

But that still doesn’t excuse her actions and she’s a terrible person and I hope karma messes her ALL THE WAY UP.

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“Father, I am what you made me. I’ve become your daughter after all.” 

My favorite thing about this book was the characters and the relationships each had with each other. The Jude/Murdoc relationship, or Jude/anyone in general correspondence. They were complex and I wish  they were expanded on a bit more rather than the plot of Jude running around being a spy because I was expecting more from that and I wasn’t getting it.

I do want to talk about Cardan for a second, who I thought would do way more than he actually did? I know I’m not the only one to point out that he was less cruel and more just a school bully? Yet, strangely enough, I felt the most sympathy for him. Man just wanted to be loved and have a drink or twenty.

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“If you hurt me, I wouldn’t cry. I would hurt you back.”

I’m not going to talk about how unhealthy this relationship is… what did we expect?? It’s called The Cruel Prince for a reason. But that’s not the reason I wasn’t feeling it. In a way, I just wished this book was about a girl, becoming more power hungry because of circumstance with life. Forget the boy(s), take what’s your right by power.

Now, I’m not calling this a romantic book, to be honest… I can’t even say any romance even happened here. But the implications were blatent and, again… wasn’t really feeling it.

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As for everything else: I wasn’t really paying attention to the world, though when I did notice anything, I saw that Black’s writing was very descriptive.

Now, of course I’m going to be continuing the series… I already bought book two. And if the last 75% which is where things started to finally pick up is any indication on how The Wicked King will be, I’m a smidgen interested. But I’m not rushing or even really anxious to get to it or anything. 

16 thoughts on “Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black || This entire review is just me explaining my *lack* of feelings”

  1. Really liked your points, even if I loved this book. The sequel is different, but I don’t know if it’s going to be in a better or worse way for you. Probably entertaining to hate as well, because everything surreal just steps up and the elves becomes more bland hah

    Liked by 1 person

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