TITLE: The Cruel Prince
AUTHOR: Holly Black
SERIES: The Folk Of The Air (#1)
PUBLISHER: Hot Key Books
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
RATING: 4/5 Stars
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.
What I Liked:
- The last third of this book knocked my socks off. Honestly, it had the perfect mix of court intrigue, well thought-out plot twists, amazing character development and sizzling chemistry (*swoon*) that I'd hoped to see in this book the whole way through. It just felt like a huge reward after I'd struggled with the beginning and I read it all smiling!
- I struggled with Jude to begin with, but in the end her characterisation led itself down a dark path...and I liked it! She was so badass! Normally cold-hearted schemers aren't my thing but she felt so real. She still had depth, even if she was dangerous. In fact all the characters did, and I liked her relationships with everyone she interacted with.
- The land of Faerie was really cool to read about, and built really well. At times there was a little too much over-explanation but as Black's 'Modern Faerie Tales' series is very much urban fantasy, it was nice to see her create a whole new world of the fae! Speaking of her other series, I loved Roiben and Kaye's little cameo! So glad to see these books connected in some way!
What I Disliked:
- I mentioned loving the ending, but boy, getting there was rough! It wasn't bad per se but it felt like nothing happened. It was just Jude and her sister attending lessons, explaining Faerie lore and getting very severely bullied (trigger warning by the way, it's pretty intense). I almost gave up with this because I felt that Black really didn't know what kind of book she wanted to write to begin with. Either that or she thought up the cracking ending first and didn't really know how to get there.
It's weird, because I wasn't going to rate this book highly to begin with. For most of it, while the writing was good and world intriguing, there seemed to be a lot of info-dumping and filler plot-lines that didn't really lead to much. But the last third totally blew me away and made my opinion of this book sky-rocket. I'm so excited about the sequel that will come, because I know it's going to be phenomenal without having to worry about all the build-up.