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.