The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Book Review

“Father, I am what you made me. I’ve become your daughter after all.” ― Holly Black, The Cruel Prince


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 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.


Wow, it’s been a week.

In the last two weeks, I’ve managed to read three books, which is about three more than I read the month before. I think it’s safe to say that I’m back from my disaster of a slump and literally I don’t even know if I can choose a bad book right now.

The Cruel Prince is a novel that I added to my “to-be-read” category on Goodreads about three years ago. Literally, Holly Black made the announcement that the book was going to be her next big thing, and I was already counting down the days to read it.

Once I got it after it came out it took me a bit to get to reading.

Actually, I was supposed to kick off my summer with it, however, I never managed to get around to it.

Lucky for me, I started reading it this past weekend and fell into it in no time.

I loved everything about The Cruel Prince: the pacing was amazing, the storyline was interesting, even the flatest characters seemed to have more to them than we we’re being given.

What I loved most was that we were given a strong female character that wasn’t searching for love, but for safety and stability. While this isn’t exactly an unusual plot point that we see in YA novels now, it’s still really nice to see a story focus mainly on deeper problem than the main character trying to figure out if they have the confidence to be with a guy.

There is one thing about The Cruel Prince that bothered me, and maybe someone can convince me that I’m being ridiculous. However, I felt that Carden’s behavior was quite similar to Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses, which was bothersome because I liked Cardon. Even though I liked him, I can’t excuse his behavior, which was quite, well, cruel. Honestly, I don’t even think Black was trying to excuse his behavior at any point. I think I’m just conflicted about shipping our main character, Jude, with someone who is clearly not a very good person.

Altogether, I gave The Cruel Prince 5/5 stars because it was just so good.

Have you read The Cruel Prince?What did you think?

11 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Book Review

  1. I have to say that I was disappointed with the book (sorry!) Yes it was great having a female lead role in the book -loved that!- but I found her character so annoying! Throughout the entirety of the book, she is reminding the reader that she is the outcast all the time…we get it, Jude.

    I also really despised Jude’s ‘laid-back attitude’ towards the death of her parents. I mean come on, if you witnessed the death of your parents at such a young age, you’d react a lot more like Taryn and Viv whenever their names are mentioned or they are mentioned full stop.

    The only aspect I did enjoy really was the political side of the novel showing how corrupt nowadays governments are. That part was really interesting for me personally, which is the only reason why I am now impatiently waiting for the next book. 2.9/5 stars

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have a lot of really good points. I do agree that Jude was a bit annoying. I had moments where I just wanted to surpass all of her inner dialogue (we get it, you despise Cardan). I think part of what made it great for me was that even though it was a bit drawn out for the content, I still held on for the rest of the story. Plus, I’m very excited to see what’s next in this world.

      Liked by 1 person

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