Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


One of my goals this year was to read NEW books, not just books that have sat on my shelf since 2005. One of my most anticipated (and notably hyped on booktube) reads was The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Now, I’ve been a fan of the fae since Lord of The Rings (helllooooo Orlando Bloom) so when I heard that Holly Black was the Queen of Faeries, I couldn’t not pick this up.

Luckily, I wasn’t too disappointed, but I doubt it will be my favorite book of the year. Here’s why…

Jude is a human child born into a family that includes a half fae sister. When the kids are young, Vivi’s father, Madoc, shows up at their door and wants Vivi to come back and live among the fae. Except Jude’s parents won’t allow it, and they are promptly murdered. Yes. Right in front of the kids.

Now, that’s not the weirdest part to me. The weirdest part is that Jude and her twin sister Taryn are cool with it eventually. They know Madoc murdered their fam, but they are eventually like “whatev, he raised us”. However, Vivi refuses to live like the fae and could care less about being cool with Madoc, which I completely resonate with. The relationship with Madoc was just awkward to me.

I was really into this book for the first 3/4 of it. The world, the description of the different faeries… if I ignore the weird relationships, I was here for it. However, the last 1/4 had me a bit bored. The story seemed to loose steam and was definitely lackluster compared to the rest of the book. And somewhat predictable (for me at least).

What I DID like was the conflict between Cardan and his friends and Jude. Totally believable and actually made me uncomfortable. That was powerful writing.

I’d be interested in reading the next book, but hope we can get some clarification on parts of the story.


5 thoughts on “Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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  1. Fun to read your thoughts on this!
    I think the parents get brutally murdered simply because that’s the Fae’s nature. They’re cruel and I love the fact that these faeries aren’t all “beautiful and magical and good” in this book.
    As for the children’s behavior towards Madoc.. I’m thinking that’s more of a case of Stockholm syndrome really and it could easily be explained that way? But that’s my thoughts on it.. 🙂


    1. I agree, it’s a totally different Fae world than what I thought it would be. And as for Stockholm Syndrome, you could definitely be right! I think I honestly just preferred Vivi over Jude 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely review! I’m sorry to hear you felt like the story lost a bit of steam by the end of it all, but glad that you found some positive points to this story 🙂 I haven’t read this just yet, but I have seen so many raving reviews about it… I’ll have to think about reading it ahah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marie! There was definitely a lot of positive points to the book so I can see why many people enjoyed it. If you can get past the unlikeable characters and some things that probably could have been thought out better, you would enjoy it :). The fae descriptions are great.

      Liked by 1 person

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