The Cruel Prince by Holly Black // A Dark Fantasy Ft. Murderous Faeries and Heavenly Food

I finally read this book…and I’m not happy.

I mean, I’m glad I did, but let’s just say that I was disappointed with this.*

I have so many mixed feelings about this, but first, please transport me to Faerieland so I can do the following: stuff my face, smack Cardan, and dance until I can’t feel my legs.

*Warning: there may be spoilers. Proceed with caution.

THE CRUEL PRINCE

Holly Black ll January 2, 2018

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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. 

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I’d heard so many good things about this one, and I finally gave in to the hype. Little did I know that it killed the book for me. I had extremely high expectations for TCP, but it turned out to be just good. That’s not what I wanted. I wanted my expectations to go through the roof. I wanted mind-blowing plot twists and A++ world building. I was mildly satisfied.

I like for things to happen, for stories to unfold. And if I can’t find a good enough story, I make one.

Jude is one of my top morally grey characters of the year, but also one of the most annoying. I mean, I did love her, but she was so ugh (just go with it). She never ever stopped complaining about being mortal and wishing she was faerie to the point where I was practically sick of her.

She’s also very short-tempered (like me), but she just gets so angry at the tiniest things. When she gets angry, she gets angry. 

Another reason I dislike Jude: some of her actions were just so reckless, and I like! reasonable! characters! Maybe she isn’t for me after all.

If you hurt me, I wouldn’t cry. I would hurt you back.

Cardan. Everyone’s favorite cinnamon roll, everyone’s favorite fictional boyfriend. He’s literally a K-pop idol of countless YA readers. I don’t get all that. Let’s be totally honest here: he’s an absolute jerk. I don’t know why I don’t like him. I wanted to like him so badly. But I ended up hating him instead. Maybe I need his backstory to–I dunno– actually care about him?

One specific scene really rubbed me in the wrong way. So Cardan’s tied up in a chair, defenseless, and Jude’s pointing a knife at him, about to kill him. Then Cardan suddenly admits that he likes Jude romantically and I just passed out from disbelief. He’s such a fraud. Only admits that when he’s about to die. How romantic. And even more: JUDE. BELIEVES. HIM (only one example of her being stupid). And then she kisses him. wHAT. That did NOT just happen.

Overall, I liked TCP okay. Before I started this, I though it was a book you either loved or hated, but I guess I was wrong.

This book is one of those really overhyped ones, but I can see why so many people loved this. Originally, I was going to stop reading the series. But for the sake of Faerie, I’ll continue.

:: rep :: bisexual SC

:: content warnings ::physical abuse, emotional abuse, bullying, violence, murder, suicide

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have you read the folk of the air trilogy? does it deserve the hype? what other fantasy books do you love?

happy halloween, everyone!!

Credits for image in my featured image >> Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Credits for side image >> Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash

30 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black // A Dark Fantasy Ft. Murderous Faeries and Heavenly Food

  1. Ooo great review!! I love how you talk about Cardan (I mean YES) – but sorry it didn’t live up to your excpectetions. I’d recommend the others, it gets better. I recently finished the series and didn’t want the world to end after this book, so I bought the cardan novella. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but I’d definitely recommend! Here’s my review of how the king learned to hate stories 🙂 https://hundredsandthousandsofbooks.blog/2020/12/06/how-the-king-of-elfhame-learned-to-hate-stories-review-and-my-fav-art/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great review! I also didn’t like TCP that much when I read it compared to how praised it is in bookish internet spaces. But I ended up loving the series when I picked up The Wicked King and went on, I feel like this one is the weakest out of the three. I’m interested to hear your thoughts if you continue reading them 🙂

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  3. Great review, I loved hearing your thoughts! I’m lowkey kind of disappointed you didn’t like Cardan since I did 😂 buuuut, I thought Jude was so annoying as well! I did enjoy the series, but I do think that it was too over-hyped in my opinion as well. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Omg I totally agree about hating Cardan in TCP. When it first came out, I read it and really, really didn’t see what was so amazing about it. It was only when The Queen of Nothing came out, that I decided to give it another try reading TWK and see if it was worth finishing the series. And it definitely was! TWK was MUCH better than TCP!😍 Ahhh loved your review, Katie!💖

    Liked by 3 people

  5. i agree with you, katie! even though this was one of my favourite book, i was quite surprised about where cardan just admits that he likes jude. i mean, he just had to say it when he was about to die. typical of him (as per usual) but overall, the fantasy of faerieland was one of the thing i kept reading for this series.

    when you read the next book, your mind will be officially blown away. believe me.

    but lovely review!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ah I loved your review… yeah the hype around The Cruel Prince *did not* do it any favours at all. And true true, Jude isn’t the most likeable character and when I don’t like the characters, I generally don’t like the book as well. And agree 100% that scene you mentioned was just weird and rushed and just weird haha. Hope that TWK was better for you! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh! We have the exact same opinions on this book! Okay seriously. Why does everyone love Cardan? He is totally a jerk. Maybe he gets a little bit better throughout the other two books but overall…meh. No thank you. And yeah, Jude’s a little…. wow I can’t find the right words for it either. I think ugh is a good way to describe it. I feel like Holly Black really tries to highlight her ambition and her recklessness and her fearlessness and her….-ness throughout the books and to some people it may be like, ‘a strong female character willing to do anything to get what she wants!’ but to me it’s like… ‘a pushy character willing to murder people for her own good.’ Umm sorry that’s not exactly what I’m looking for?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ahh thank you for this review Katie! I’m sorry you didn’t love this book… I’m personally really conflicted over whether to start this series? I’ve heard the most amazing things, but do I really need to invest my time in a trilogy in which both the main characters are defined by their murderous tendencies? 😂🤷‍♀️ This review put some things into perspective for me, so thank you for that 💚 I hope you enjoy the rest of the series if you decide to continue with it!

    Liked by 1 person

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