The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Rating: 5/5


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.

Why I Read It

This was definitely a decision based off of hype. But, obviously, worth it.

My Thoughts

So of course I wanted to like this book, since I spent money on it and I always want to like the books I read. Everyone does, right? No one picks up a book and thinks, wow I hope I hate this book. That would be a waste of everyone’s time, I think, and then there would be nothing but negative reviews and negativity everywhere and ew. No thanks.

However, I will say that I was nervous. I was worried I wouldn’t like this simply because it was so hyped by everyone. Like, EVERYONE. You were all talking about this nonstop! And yes, I’m using “you” because enough people have been talking about this book for “you” to be justifiable. You’ve probably already read the book. If not, here’s another review telling you to go pick it up.

Seriously, I loved this. I absolutely loved this book. There are only two characters I truly hate, and I feel confident that I can say their names without giving anything away about either of the characters: Taryn and Locke are The Worst. Just, ugh. I hate them both, oddly enough for very different reasons. Or maybe that’s not odd at all.

But that means I don’t hate Cardan, which seems not right. I feel like I should. I also think everyone is convinced he’s the actual cruel prince (not a spoiler), but I would argue that there are multiple cruel princes in this story. But I would gladly argue that with someone who has read the book already, not here on my spoiler-free review. Do let me know if you agree, though.

I love the characters but there are also reasons to sort of dislike them all as well. Black has done an excellent job of creating absolutely no character that we can straight-up just love and find nothing wrong with. Everyone has faults in this story and it’s beautiful.

Something I was unsure about in the very beginning of the book was the magical creatures. Creature names and types were dropped left and right as if we should just know what they are already. I was confused about it in the beginning, because she would provide tiny descriptions of these creatures but not really explain what they were. As I read on, though, I realized I didn’t really care? Not that I didn’t care about the creatures, but I didn’t need her to stop and give full-blown descriptions of every single one every time they were introduced. I’m very much into the concept of getting a feature or two about them and then just using my imagination to picture them inside my head. Sometimes authors can give us too much information and we don’t get to use our noggin to create what we want.

This writing style makes sense, though. As I read the book I had this weird feeling that it reminded me of the Spiderwick Chronicles, which I didn’t read as a child but my older sister did (and was obsessed with) and I saw the movie for, so I knew all about it. Her writing reminded me of that, and when I described it to my sister she agreed. Turns out Black wrote TSC and I feel like an idiot for not realizing it. But hey, I guess that just means I found a hidden talent.

Anyway, this book is so magical and I was so immersed in the world and the story. I got to the end and sat there for a few days, not knowing what to do next. I’ve been carrying the book around my apartment even though I finished it a freaking week ago. I read another book after and enjoyed it, but have still been thinking about TCP. So I got online and ordered the sequel, and it gets here tomorrow. I even read the little short story about Kaye in the back of the book to hold myself over until the next book arrives.

So there you guys go! Read the book if you’re into magic and fantasy and badass characters who are also very hatable, but you can’t help but love. And characters who you just have sketchy feelings about who turn out to be gross and horrible. And characters who seem fine and trustworthy and by the end of the book you’re banishing them from your mind.

If you’ve read the book, comment your thoughts! The comments are a spoiler-FRIENDLY zone, just a warning, so if you don’t like spoilers read my reviews but stay away from the comments! Discussion there is open and encouraged.

And if you decide to read the book after reading my review, if I somehow managed to influence you in some way, definitely let me know! That’s so cool and fun to hear, and I want to know if you liked it or not. And if you post a picture of it on twitter or instagram or something, tag me and I’ll check it out!

Until next time!

xoxo, Hayden

4 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

    1. Oh I definitely agree that the first half was slow. I mean, I was into it, but dang. Luckily I was invested early on so it didn’t really bother me too much? And also that’s so interesting that you can’t hate Taryn! Omg she has a special place in the hellish corner of my mind. Right alongside Locke. I will admit I hate him more though. Definitely interested in where this all goes in TWK!

      Thanks for the comment Tasya! ☺️💕


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