24 September, 2019

[Review] The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Cover image from the goodreads website.

Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Release Date: 2 January, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books/Hachette Audio
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Dark Fantasy May Contain Themes of: Bullying/Abuse & Torture
ISBN: 978-0316310277 
Edition: Audiobook (also available in Kindle, Hardback, and Paperback)
Rating: ★★★★
Review Written: 11 February, 2019
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.

See more by Holly Black at her Website.
Ten years ago Jude's life was turned upside down. Her parents murdered in front of her, and she with her siblings whisked off to Faerie in the care of her parents murderer - her older sister's father. Now, Faerie is the only life Jude has known through her formative years. Unlike other mortals who long to return to the Human World, Jude wants a place in Faerie. To prove that she is worth their time and above their scorn. Most off, she wants power. Power to shut down her bullies, to protect her sisters and herself, and most off, to ensure that she is treated like an equal among the folk. But as her step-father has told her, power is much easier to take than it is to hold.

With this return to the beautiful world of fae and magic by Holly Black, I was immediately reminded of when I found Tithe so many years ago and became immersed into the world created by Black. Tithe, the first book in her Modern Tale of Faerie series, introduced readers into the world of Fae. The Cruel Prince brings readers further into the lore and rich world that exists alongside the human one, and more about the courts that divide it.

In this intriguing entry into the real of Faerie, Jude Dearte must learn to navigate the politics of Faerie as a human who has grown accustom to the realm. Her step-father's role as High General provides her opportunities for growth if she could just endure the torment from the youngest prince of the realm, Cardan Greenbriar. Cruel and often bored, Cardan tends to focus his efforts of humiliation onto Jude - in part because she is not as demure and proper as her twin sister Taryn. When Jude finds herself inducted into Prince Dain's court with geas to protect her from magic and enchantments of Faerie, she must tread carefully to try and stay alive as a civil war between the princes and princesses begins to broil.

Ultimately, Jude will have to decide if everything she learns is true, and who she can trust to hold the throne to protect everyone she loves. Readers of all ages will enjoy the mystery and mystique of Holly Black's world of Faerie and its many inhabitants.

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