Fantasy · fiction · YA

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince has been everywhere. I love Holly Black and I was thrilled that she had a new book. But, I made a New Year’s Resolution that I wouldn’t buy any new books. Sigh. I resigned myself to waiting until after the backlog of books was taken care of and then I would zoom out and purchase it right away.
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Then, I received an OwlCrate Subscription for Christmas. And in one of my delightful boxes…The Cruel Prince! I put it aside to read after my test and it was well worth the wait. Plus, just look at the gorgeous OwlCrate exclusive cover. So pretty.

I have loved Holly Black since The Spiderwick Chronicles and I will pick up anything with her name on it. She has a way with magical stories that never fails to engage and surprise me. Her tone varies depending on her target audience but her writing is always tight and masterful. There have been books of hers I have adored and there are others than I appreciated but did not fall in love with completely.

The Cruel Prince is difficult to discuss without spoilers and, truthfully, it has been so hyped that at this point I will be surprised if anyone doesn’t know the basic plot line. Still, for readers venturing outside of their preferred genre into YA – here goes.

It is safe to say that the main character, Jude Duarte, and her twin sister Taryn are human. Their older sister Vivi is half human, half fae and the three of them are taken from their human home and spirited away to live with the Fae by Vivi’s Fae Father. There Jude and Taryn are raised among the Fae with access to the Court but their humanity always sets them apart. They are humans under the protection of the same powerful man that stole them from their home. They are commoners being educated amounts royalty. They live in fear of their present safety and neither girl has any guarantee of a future at all.

Admittedly, for at least the first half of the book I was unengaged. Wait, that is not right. Rather, I felt removed from the action. I felt apart from the story and off-kilter. Approximately half way through the book the threads started to weave together and I realized that my off-kilter matched Jude’s inner turmoil. And when Jude found her purpose I was with her stride for stride.

In the end, I loved The Cruel Prince because it was so much more than a dark Fairy Tale.


Tell me, please!

If you read the book, which character was your favorite?


 

13 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

    1. Yes, too young! There are some super mature themes in this story. I tagged it as YA which, for me, is 16+. Thank you for asking the question – perhaps a guideline for my tags is in order. However, Holly Black does have some amazing middle grade books (Spiderwick is my favorite!). Also, if you use my drop down menu on the right side I sort them by middle grade, all ages etc if Spiderwick has already been read or looks less than interesting to you. Thanks again for the question!

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  1. Tooootally agreed that the first half of the book has a completely different feel to the second end of it. The first half has more of a typical Fantasy YA feel to it (still good, but, typical), but the second half felt very AHA, YES. And I think a lot of that is down to the fact that in the first half she’s more or less a pawn, whereas in the second half she becomes not just a player, but a really high up piece. Also, THE ENDINGGGGGG <3. #Queen. I also love the bit with the crown and her twin sister. It is super hard to talk about without spoilers…

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