The Cruel Prince - Holly Black
"Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls and brings them to the world of Faerie. Mocked and tormented for being merely mortal, Jude soon realises that to survive in the treacherous, dangerous world of the royal court, she needs to be as cunning and deceitful as the Fey themselves.
But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan."
Ok, so I have a confession to make before getting into this review...I have had The Cruel Prince on my bookshelf for ages - as well as The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing but we're not going to get into those just yet! 😂 I loved the look of the trilogy and I kept meaning to read it but I kept putting it off mostly because of the massive hype that was surrounding the series. I'm always wary when a series is so hyped up because I don't want to get over excited about it and then end up disappointed which has unfortunately happened before. However, I finally took the plunge and WOW this book definitely didn't disappoint! I totally understand the hype now and I am 100% obsessed with it.
Also, on an entirely unrelated note I was obsessed with The Spiderwick Chronicles when I was a kid and I've only just recently realised that Holly Black was one of the writers! So as soon as I realised this I knew I had to get into The Cruel Prince because it was more than likely that I was going to love it!
In The Cruel Prince, our protagonist Jude Duarte is a human in the world of Fae. Her parent's murderer took her and her sisters in when they were young and cared for them like they were his own. Elfhame has been their home ever since, a fact that some are happier about than others. I thought that this was a really great concept and it was really interesting to see how each of the sisters dealt with it.
I absolutely loved the three sisters. I'm the youngest of three sisters and all of the squabbles and random conversations that Jude and her sisters had were so relatable to me! Honestly, one minute we can be arguing with each other and the next we're laughing about the most strange things. There's definitely something special about having a sister.
Due to their human status, Jude and her twin have never really fit in with the other Fae. They're protected to a certain degree due to their adoptive fathers' status but they do tend to be targeted for the Fae's cruel tricks, especially by Prince Cardan. Fed up with this treatment, Jude starts to stick up for herself against Cardan and his friends. She has high ambitions, she's tough and she is going to prove it - even if it does start to drive a wedge between her and her family.
I really liked Jude as a character and she had an element of ruthlessness to her that I was not expecting! She is smart, calculating, strategic and ready to prove herself. These traits lead her down the path to becoming a spy in the court, making new friends and keeping an eye on the other members of the royal family trying to take the crown.
"My real skill lies in pissing people off."
The Fae are equally as dangerous as they are gorgeous and they can be just as vicious to their own as they are to others. When it comes to Cardan, I'm not going to lie, at first I thought "what an ass!" I couldn't understand why he and Jude were shipped so much, they genuinely had a strong hate for each other. However, after finishing the book I do get it now - I mean once you tip someone's chin with your sword there is no going back. Honestly, that trope will never get old for me!
Jude and Cardan are definitely the classic enemies to lover trope. While reading this I realised I haven't actually read many enemies to lovers books and I need more in my life because I am loving it! If you have any recommendations, please let me know!
I loved the worldbuilding in this book, Elfhame sounds so magical and so realistic, I'm sure that it could be a real place and Holly Black just hasn't told us 😂 Plus I loved how the sisters also visited the mortal world, it added another layer of reality that was really cool.
Just in case you couldn't tell from my word vomit, I really enjoyed reading The Cruel Prince. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait to pick up the sequel! Plus, Netflix seriously need to give this it's own series!
Thank you for reading my thoughts and I hope you enjoyed my post! What did you think of The Cruel Prince? Let me know if you have any recommendations for what I should read next! You can find me on Twitter and Instagram!