The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

“I don’t like faerie books,” I’ve been known to say.

Then Holly Black writes a faerie book. And I read it. And I love it.

So maybe I do like faerie books? At least I certainly do when Holly Black writes them, and her latest – The Cruel Prince – is no exception.

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.

Here are some of the things I loved about this book:

1) A deliciously twisty turny plot — it kept me on my toes and eager to keep reading and discover more

2) Complex characters! A friend complained that she found everyone unlikable in this book, and while I can see her point — no one is exactly great — it didn’t bother me at all. None of the characters really struck me as completely good or completely evil, and I liked the way this questionable morality played out throughout the book.

3) Modern world meets Faerie world. Most of the book takes place in the faerie world, but any reference or brief visit to the human world is set in modern day, and I loved this juxtaposition of what is so familiar with the weird and magical. That we can go from a Target store to the fae court within a few pages is pretty cool to me.

I might have liked to see a little more romance, but I’m hoping that develops more in book 2 — and considering what a great job Holly did of laying the foundation in this book, I can live with that.

Look for The Cruel Prince in stores now!


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