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.
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.
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!
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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.
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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.