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review 2018-08-19 15:34
The Cruel Prince
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black

A dark whimsical read full of deception in a bizarre and interesting way. This book honestly lived up to the hype and I need the sequel as soon as possible.

Faerie might be beautiful, but its beauty is like a golden stag’s carcass, crawling with maggots beneath his hide, ready to burst.

Some Fae are wicked at best. They lure you to the woods with their otherworldly beauty and manipulate your thoughts that will drive you to your own doom. The Cruel Prince rightly depicted what Fae folks really are like to humans: cruel, manipulative, and has a never-ending lust for power.


This book is not your typical story about a damsel being reluctantly brought to faerie land just to fall in love with a powerful Fae and get brainwashed to desire to become one herself. Holly Black offered us a different twist to this Fae-centered books stereotype. She owned the genre and I like how she made her female main character embrace her humanity and show the Fae folk who they are dealing with. Wow, I just mentioned a lot of  fae  there.


Devouring this book in one sitting was an easy task considering the combined world of magic and its problematic politics. Moreover, the characters sparked my interest since there’s just no way of saying who the bad guys really are. Every character has their own mask and to wait for the finale until they take it off was “letting out the breath I didn’t know I had been holding” worth it.


Holly’s writing style is so easy to grasp, no over the top descriptions, and no unnecessary fillers. Her words alone made me feel a lot of emotions like sympathizing with Balekin – their murdering Fae dad (even though he don’t deserve it) – feel like I want to carry Oak in my arms and pinch his cute cheeks. It also made me feel like I’m Jude myself and whenever she was bullied by Cardan and his posse, I just want to punch them in their faces and give that so-called cruel prince the worst wedgie of his life.


I also love how Holly just carelessly tossed in the bloodshed in the story. Seriously, I can hear her evil laughing while writing these parts. Well it did contribute a lot to the eerie feeling of the book overall.


I can give this book 5 stars straight up but I would like to ponder on these cons I noticed hours after my fangirling died down a wee bit.


•• We only witnessed mind control and no other form of magic. No – don’t count the magical horse the three sisters flew with into the human world.


•• Why the hell did Jude and Cardan kissed at the Court of Shadows when the entire book tells us they mutually oathe each other.


•• The Court of Shadows also known as Prince Dain’s assassins could have been given a better group name and aliases. Like don’t expect me to be serious when I read The Roach or The Ghost or especially The Bomb in every fight scenes.


•• Jude and Taryn should have had this connection that can’t just be broken by a cheeky playboy named Locke and his human chess scheme.

(spoiler show)


In spite of these cons, the enjoyment I experienced in this journey wasn’t affected even the slightest and I am very eager to have my hands on The Wicked King once it’s released. I want to find out what Cardan means with that last sentence in the book – about when his 1 year contract with Jude ends. I also want to know if Cardan really is the entitled Wicked King or maybe sweet innocent Oak is? Oh beats me.

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review 2018-08-08 18:39
Review (rating-4)
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black




                                                   The Cruel Prince by Holly Black



“You really do want me,” I say, close enough to  feel the warmth of his breath as it hitches.

“And you hate it.”


I actually regret that I didn't read this jewel of a book sooner. But I am equally sad about the wait for the second book in the series. I don't know how I'm going to read the second one after the long wait knowing that I'll have to do the same for the third. Uhh!

So now about the book-

It starts with the murder of Jude's parents and then focuses on her life with the Faerie and how she is a mortal who inwardly wishes to be a Fae. Jude is a headstrong, extremely brave and a wise character. Her personality may seem a bit uh uncaring, aloof but she's not. Apparently, with lots of wits she becomes the main player of the royal game. She has the upper hand to make somebody king from the two characters and she makes a decision. I knew whom it would be but I was still shocked by how it all unraveled. And I was amazed. Truly.

The cruel prince or Prince Cardan is like the parasite who sucks blood out of Jude everyday. He doesn't, actually. But that defines the relation he has with Jude.

And every evil has another story which nobody knows. Cardan has one too. I was shocked and filled with hate for the persons responsible for the evil surrounding his life. He hates mortals and that means he hates Jude and her twin too. Well, of course he hated Jude but heart knows different.  Cardan is a complex character whom I loved from the start. His mood swings, his cruelness, his wiseness were too much for my heart to hate him.

For her sisters- I hate Taryn with whole of my heart.

As for Vivi, I really liked her alot. And I loved Oak too.

Eagerly waiting for the next book!




I'd love to discuss books with y'all. And to connect with passionate readers like myself would be my pleasure. Feel free to suggest books so I can devour them and later review them too. Here are some of the genres that I love:

Young Adult Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, Romance, General Fiction, Fantasy and some more. I'll be posting some more of my reviews and opinions for other books.


For contact: diazcara25@gmail.com

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review 2018-08-04 13:56
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is just one of those books that is super difficult to review.

Overall, it was good.

I think my downfall was reading The Darkest Part of the Forest before this one. I absolutely loved that book. It was amazing. I loved everything about it. When I figured out this series was set in the same universe, I was ecstatic. After reading The Darkest Part of the Forest, I was disappointed that it was a standalone. I thought this would be a perfect fit for me. I cannot get enough Hazel.

However, what I got instead was Jude, a cheap Hazel knockoff who is whiny, self-centered, clueless, and thinks way too much. Like way, way too much. Someone needs to get this kid out of her own head. 

There was a lot of interesting stuff going on in this book, but I think it was a little too political and murderous for me. It was like Game of Thrones but with fey characters. For the most part, I found it kind of dull. And Jude's narration drove me crazy. She felt the need to overexplain everything, but was completely clueless as to what was going on around her (Come on now, we all know why Cardan hates you the moment we met him. And Taryn's secret lover is not so secret if you pay any attention at all.) Once she figures something out, she rehashes every encounter with the person as if the reader didn't know the person's intentions after reading one page about them. Jude, just stop talking. Go fight someone. For someone who has so much battle strategy, you know nothing about interpersonal realtionships. 

I realize this sounds like an overly negative review, but I promise there were good parts. I really liked a lot of the characters (The Ghost, The Bomb, and The Roach are all fantastic in their own ways. And Oak is just so cute.) There were tons of twists and turns, which keep the reader on their toes. It definitely wasn't all predictable. 

Plus, Hazel makes a cameo in the book. Squeeee! (Yes, that's the first and last time I will probably ever make that noise. But so worth it.) 

So overall, it was a good book. It just wasn't as good as The Darkest Part of the Forest. I will probably continue the series, but I am in no hurry (plus the library doesn't have the next book in audiobook format yet, so the wait is on anyway). Starting Holly Black's Magisterium series next week and hoping for something a little more entertaining.
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review 2018-07-26 23:15
Beautifully Brutal and Peculiarly Predictable | The Cruel Prince
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black

This is not a story about Tinker Bell. There is no Neverland where all of the fairies happily live together. There isn't any pixie dust, but there is a lot of blood. Holly Black's faeries aren't tiny wisps of whimsy who endeavor to help humans. This is not a fairytale but a faerie-tale.

Black's tale is tangled with the a beautiful darkness that accompanies magic. The separation between faeries and humans is blurry, with the main character Jude and her family falling in between the cracks. The story follows Jude's journey to fight the monsters that killed her parents, stole her from her home, and gave her a new, magical life or to become the same monster.

Just like all of Black's books, The Cruel Prince is a complex book that goes beyond the basic look at faeries. There is the conflict between family, faeries, and Jude against herself. There are rules of conduct, violence, and rules for lawlessness. There is a complex code of propriety, which was explored and broken with the addition of Jude's humanity into the hierarchy.

I loved the brutality of the faeries, with nothing spared for the faint of heart. Faeries are the walking contradictions of extreme beauty and relentless cruelty and sometimes I couldn't even tell the two apart. The writing was versatile enough to beautifully emphasize the gruesome violence and the ethereal magic of the faeries. The world-building was my favorite part, constructing a complete culture (even more than one with the different Courts) of faeries with their rituals, beliefs, and excruciating details of their lives.

However, the characters were not as good as the world-building. Characters drive the plot, but it just seemed like Jude was driving on the wrong side of the road for most of the story. The pivotal moment was so predictable to me and not to Jude which undermines her whole persona as the strategist and cunning hero. In the end, she redeemed herself by hatching a plan that I didn't (fully) predict, yet I am still not convinced of her all-knowing, confident persona that the book hinges on. I will grant that she is an interesting morally gray character who doesn't cry at the sight of blood, even if she is the reason it was shed, but I couldn't buy the tough girl act.

In addition, I couldn't see the focus on family that Jude emphasized so much. Her twin disappears after the first fourth of the novel, only to reappear briefly for shock value in the plot twist. Taryn was used more as a plot device than as an actual character. Jude's relationships with Oak and Vivienne were more fleshed out and I enjoyed the conflict between Madoc as a weird surrogate father to foster child relationship.

My final hesitation with The Cruel Prince lies with the romance(s), if I can even call it that. The romance is not the central conflict, which separates it from some of the other YA books dealing with faeries. The romantic encounters were full of desire, playfulness, danger, and confusion, which is consistent with Black's branding of faeries. The relationship (and I am being vague on purpose to avoid spoilers) is messy and ambiguous, but I did not fall for it like I believe the book wanted me to. Regardless of my wariness, I will give it a shot in the second book. I have a feeling that a piece of the story that we are missing and Black is just preparing to properly pull at my heartstrings later on in the series.

If you are looking for a faerie story that doesn't sugarcoat anything or rely on romance as the only plot point, then The Cruel Prince might be the book for you. The portrayal of family is not as complete as I wanted and the twists were not particularly surprising, but the world-building and writing are worth acting surprised at the "plot twist". 



This review was originally posted on my main blog, Crazy for YA.


See the original post here to join in on the conversation!

Source: 4evercrazyforya.blogspot.com/2018/07/beautifully-brutal-and-peculiarly.html
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review 2018-05-17 19:20
Wait There Must Be One More Page
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black

To Ms. Black author and torturer -What ?!?!?  Ms. Black that is how you left it ? You went along basically on a straight path till you blew up the direct path replaced it with a spiral lined with deadly thorns.  I never saw it coming, there were no hints, so sneaky. So how long do I have to wait for the next book ? Forever ? Yep that's what it'll feel like. Thanks for leaving me hanging here. 

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