Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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After a traumatic attack, Jude and her two sisters are taken to faerie to be raised by the man who killed their parents. Fast Forward 10 years in the future and Jude just wants to fit in and be in the King’s Guard.

Unfortunately, Prince Cardan, the youngest son of the High King, will do anything to make Jude miserable. No matter how hard she tries, she’ll never be one of them. Jude wants to prove Cardan and his friends wrong, she can be just as smart and tough as them. 

An opportunity arises for Jude to make a name for herself, which requires her to go undercover. As Jude gets deeper and deeper in faerie politics, the more she starts to question about the world around her. No one is what they seem and alliances can change in the blink of an eye.

Jude has to decide how to save herself and the one’s she loves, but at what cost? After all, faerie is a dangerous place for a human. 

The Cruel Prince has been seriously hyped in the YA world since its release in January 2018. It’s been on our TBR for years and we recently got around to reading it. 

While it started off a little slow, the action picked up as soon as Jude started working undercover. We really liked Jude’s character and how she evolved throughout the story. Our experience with faerie typically comes from Cassandra Clare books. From those we knew how horrible the conditions can be for a human. 

We loved how Jude and Cardan’s relationship progressed. Black kept their banter strong and eventually let us learn more about Cardan’s difficult childhood. There’s more than meets the eye. with him.

Jude’s twin Taryn drove us crazy! That was the point, but she annoyed us from the beginning because she didn’t have her sister’s back. We did like Jude’s older sister, Vivi. She had a fun personality and truly did not belong in faerie anymore. 

The number of plot twists left us guessing Black had multiple surprises in the last 100 pages, which made us not be able to put the book down. Jude has a strong ability to scheme, but we can already tell the consequences of her action will be major in The Wicked King.

One problem we did have was that there were so many characters introduced at the same time that it was easy to confuse some of them. We wish she introduced them slower so we got to know them better. 

Overall, we understand the hype around this series and can’t wait to read The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

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

  1. Soo happy you enjoyed this!! This is one of my favourite series ever! I loved how cunning and ambitious Jude is! She can do no wrong in my eyes! I also dislike Taryn and I thought she was a nice, quiet “villain” but Dain is THE WORST!! Great review! and i can’t wait to see what you think about the next books in the series 🥰💕

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Like you, I find it confusing when a lot of characters are introduced in short order. If I know this in advance, I’ll actually create notes to keep them all straight! Thanks for sharing your review of this book!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This book has been on my TBR ever since a bunch of people on Booktok has been recommending it. I have it on my kindle waiting for me, but I want to finish the six of crows/Grisha verse/ and acotar series first, so I have quite a few books to read haha. I’m excited about the sarcastic banter and building romance. I haven’t heard about them introducing too many characters, but I get what you’re saying. Especially since their fae names, it’ll be harder to remember them. Thanks for sharing! This review just made me want to read it more haha.

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  4. I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince, but I absolutely wanted to throttle Taryn! She made me crazy. Like you said, she just didn’t have Jude’s back. Other than that,I found the book was impossible to put down. I’m excited to hear what you think of the rest of the series. Thanks for sharing your review!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is definitely a hugely hyped series. It didn’t live up to the hype for me, personally, but I’m also INSANELY picky with my faerie stories and I don’t care for enemies-to-lovers/bully love, so that threw me off a bit with this one. However, I can definitely understand why a lot of people love it! I hope you enjoy the rest of the books as much as this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have heard about this book, but I never considered reading it. It does seem like a good book though, but I agree it is confusing when a bunch of characters are introduced at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This has been on my list for so long and I keep saying that one day I will get around to it. Your review is making me really want to read them now – they sound like such enjoyable books. I hope the rest of the series continues to be good. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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