Cruel Prince by Holly Black

January 29, 2018     erinthebooknut     Book review

Cruel Prince by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black
on January 2nd 2018
Pages: 370

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 years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

4.5 Nuts

Ohhhh man was this book an unexpected beauty. I’ve read a couple of Holly Black books before and while they were good they weren’t FANTASTIC! At the beginning of this book I thought it was going to go the same way. It was going to be alright or pretty good and I was going to move on to the next book, la de da.

How wrong I was.

CRUEL PRINCE maybe be a slow starter but it has one hell of a finisher on it. Starting off in the modern human world my expectations were low. I’m not a fan of portal fantasy or any of this jumping back and forth between worlds stuff. Luckily CRUEL PRINCE only has a few scenes in the mortal world and none are particularly long. So happily I got to spend all my reading time in the lush, beautiful world of faerie.

Holly Black is a faerie master. She certainly should be by now, considering how much time she has spent there in her writing career. But Black truly knows her stuff. She’s got faerie lore DOWN and she uses it with deft and imaginative effect. She takes all you know of faerie and enhances it, giving the world just that little bit more depth to keep you enraptured the entire time.

You want court politics? You’ve got it. Faerie lore? Check. Murder and intrigue? Got that too. Plenty of blood and badass heroines doing their thing, Princes with all their scheming and plenty of rivalries. Plus family drama of course. This book has it all.

I found myself so pleased that it took me so long to catch on to the big twist of this book. Yes I figured it out before the reveal but just barely. I mean like a page before it came out. CRUEL PRINCE had me guessing for a really long time and I’m incredibly impressed.

My reactions went a little like this.

Me: Hmmmm…

Wait a second….

No it couldn’t be…but what if..?



*lots of swearing*


I’m still trying to get a handle on all of my feels. They are mighty and they are many.

This is easily my favorite Holly Black book. I so badly just want to fall down a rabbit hole and marathon the rest of her faerie books I haven’t read yet but I currently don’t have any room in my schedule. But believe me, as soon as I can make it happen I will be.

I cannot wait for the next book in this series, and now I have so long to wait. Ugh, why is this my life? You can bet I’ll be preordering it and book three just as soon as I can.

Which is your favorite Holly Black book?

What did you think of CRUEL PRINCE? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

From my shelf to yours,




2 responses to “Cruel Prince by Holly Black

  1. This has been mentioned on my Goodreads so many times now, that I must take a closer look. It sounds like it’s right up my alley. Great review!

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