Synopsis: 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.
Overview: Oh man, I am absolutely floored by this book. Even though the year has just started, I’m sure it will stay on my top ten list for 2018. It’s a remarkable book and a must-read for everyone. I need the second book right now and I hate that I’ve to wait another year for it. Is time travel possible yet? I swear I’d only use it for games and books that take too long to release.
What didn’t work for me: I’m starting my review with this section because what didn’t work for me wasn’t even an issue with the book. The Cruel Prince was the complete opposite of what I’d expected. When I picked it up, I thought that perhaps it might be more romance-filled, its story something akin to that of Sarah J Maas’ books. It really wasn’t. In fact, it was better.
On a side note, I probably should start paying more attention to the synopsis of books instead of just giving them a brief glance…
What I loved about the book: Everything. I love everything about this book.
Let’s start with Jude, the protagonist. There was so much depth to her. She wasn’t this silly girl without ambition, much unlike her twin sister, Taryn (or so it seems for now). Jude was so strong-willed and cunning that her plans drove the story. I loved that she was so willing to take charge for a future she wanted. It didn’t matter that she was scared, or that she might be in danger. She was brave nonetheless, and no one had to (or could) coddle her. She is The Queen.
Cardan. Oh my god, you little shit. No one’s meant to like you. Go away and stop being so compelling. I don’t like that your backstory makes me like you more. I don’t like that you’re perhaps the least cruel of all faerie royalty. I don’t like that you’re sweet in the best way you could allow yourself to be to Jude. You’re still a bit of an asshole. And by a bit, I mean a lot. There’s no excuse for how much of an asshole you are. I like you anyway. 😦
I’m dying to know what’s to become of Jude and Cardan, especially after that ending. This is going to be keeping me up at night. Damn you, Holly Black! *shakes fist*
I also love Vivienne, and need more about her. And Locke, who’s way too drama-seeking for his own good. I feel like there’s more to be explored there, in both cases, which will be in the future books. Have I mentioned that I need book two yet? Because I do.
The writing was so impressive. Every page had me at the edge of my seat in anticipation. I kept holding my breath. I admit, the writing was a bit shaky at the start, but it got stronger and stronger as the pages turned. The words got under my skin and shook the heck out of me. So many parts of the story held so much weight, thinking about forgetting any of it was like turning your back to someone holding a knife. Your mistake was bound to slap you in the face at any second.
Favourite passage: “Nice things don’t happen in storybooks,” Taryn says. “Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”
Conclusion: Please, please, please pick this novel up. If you love old school fairytales and a dark, twisted plot, then you must read The Cruel Prince. I’m still amazed and cannot stop thinking about it. For the nth time, I need The Wicked King. I desperately need to know what happens next.