Hello everyone, I hope you’re all well. Sorry for the long absence I’ve been preparing for very important exams. But as that period is coming to an end I can finally read more and write reviews! So here’s my review for the Cruel Prince by Holly black with spoilers!
Synopsis: Jude was seven 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.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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. (Goodreads)
Review: 4.5 stars!
Now that’s what I call a plot! The intrigues were woven together perfectly. I read it in two days (because you know, sleep) and it never failed to keep me on the edge of my seat (erhm, bed). What a page-turner! The way the story unfolds makes you feel guilty for even putting the book down because the suspense is simply unbearable. I liked how we went from surprise to surprise, until that final climax! The plot twist is really what made me like the book even more! I liked how the author left small clues such as how Oriana was overprotective of Oak, the acorn on her bedside, that prophecy and lineage of that mysterious child…It was very clever. I also like how the author plays with appearances: the ones seen as good are evil and the evil ones do have a good side to them. Their world is not all white or all black; it’s grey and I liked how the author painted all the greyness there is, and all the shades in-between. However, I loved how the plot twist was not that Oak was Liriope and prince Dain’s son but the fact that Cardan was crowned King! I did NOT expect that and I always love a good surprise. I’m excited to read how it all unfolds in the next book!
Now, prince Cardan(or should I say king Cardan?!) is a very interesting character. I liked how Jude did not completely lose her fear towards him just because of their attraction to one another; it helped make the story feel more believable and genuine. I liked how we did not get a hint at their attraction whatsoever. It kind of felt sudden, yes, just how it felt sudden for the both of them but it did not change their dynamic, it did not make everything fall into place; which I really liked. I guess there truly is a thin line between love and hate haha. I also liked how their story did not fall into the cliché: boy likes girl, girl likes boy, so boy and girl irritate each other. Their dynamic was a little more complex than that: first, because Cardan is mean to EVERYONE and because Jude is not the innocent, sweet girl people want her to be. I feel as though Taryn is the precise image of everything we expect in a female character and particularly what is expected in their world: sweet, docile, obedient. Jude is the complete opposite, she owns her fears, she uses it to become stronger. Her strength and intelligence were truly personality traits that the author wonderfully painted and despite her many flaws, she becomes a loveable character because she stays true to who she is. She isn’t afraid to deceive, she isn’t afraid to be power-hungry and I feel that girls are often shamed for that and I really appreciated the fact that Jude embraced those aspects.
Madoc is also a complex character. The reader witnessed first hand how cruel he can be by the murder of the girls’ parents. But it turns out that he can also be caring and kind, as he acted as a father figure for the girls when he didn’t have to. I like how ambiguous he is; the author puts us in the same situation as the girls; though Madoc is flawed we find it impossible to see him as a villain. And let’s talk about the true villain of the story; prince Dain! How unexpected! I know we shouldn’t trust authors when they paint someone as “good” or “nice” and I have been very gullible but I didn’t know HOW wrong I was! Okay, we did have a glimpse of how deceitful he could be with the question of the lease and when he made Jude stab her own hand but it seems the title applies both to prince Cardan (whose cruelty pales in comparison) and prince Dain. He poisoned his father and organised the murder of his own child just so he could have power. The quest for power shouldn’t come as a surprise in the fae world but the length he went to, in order to achieve his goal is what makes him a very wicked man; though, thanks to him we have a great story! And just like Locke (dirty bastard), I love a good story!
“Instead of being afraid, I will become something to fear.”
The only reason I haven’t started the second book in the series is that the third one comes out next January and I cannot wait that long so I’m stalling haha! Have you read this book? Tell me what you think! xx -Karla