The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince

Book - 2018
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Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2018
Edition: First edition
Description: 370 pages : map ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780316310277
Branch Call Number: TEEN Blac
Additional Contributors: Black, Holly. Cruel prince


From the critics

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May 17, 2020

Pure escapism which is welcome at the moment. Mortal girl in the land of the fae uses her cunning to ensure the crown passes to a just ruler.

*This* is how you write about faeries.

Where to begin...basically, I loved every aspect of this. The faerie world, the juxtaposition of the real world alongside it, the characters. Actually, let's start there, because my heart is so full of love for all of them.

Jude is such a warrior queen. I adored her and every cunning decision she made, every calculated move that I thought I had figured out until BAM NOPE I knew absolutely nothing and Jude is brilliant. But besides my anti-heroine babe, everyone surrounding her was so well-rounded and real-feeling. Even little Oak had such a personality! Taryn dealt with living in Elfhame in such a different way - equally valid and thought-provoking, but so very opposite from her sister, which made me love her too. Vivienne, oh, my Vivienne - I adored her as well.

And Cardan? I hated him as I was led to do for about half the book. I read a few updates and reviews discussing him and could not figure out where the love came from. Alas, now I understand, and I have e m o t i o n s.

The plot twist here was so cleverly done that I gasped and paused reading for a moment just to puzzle it out and realize how I had been duped along with the other characters. This book is worth reading for that twist alone, because so often plot "twists" become predictable and boring, and I'm so excited to find one that actually got me. But aside from that, this book is so beautifully written. The world is complex and lush and mystical and deadly, and just so freaking well-developed as a secondary world that it may as well be real to me at this point. I adore the way Holly Black writes, and I'm so happy that this series is in my life.

Feb 25, 2020

I'm so glad that I finally got around to reading this book, but I'm so mad that it took me so long!! I absolutely LOVED this book! There were so many twists and turns, and I honestly didn't see them coming at all. Holly Black does such a good job of building this amazing world, and creating such interesting characters that I never wanted to stop reading. This book has totally reignited my love of fantasy, and I can't wait to start The Wicked King! (Spoiler: The Wicked King is JUST as good!!!)

Reading this because of all the hype! And now all the books are out. But it was just okay for me! None of the characters were particularly likable for me, but maybe that will change in the later books. We'll see. I did like the world Black created--it was intriguing and full of lots of magical things. Definitely still reading the next one!

JaneCowell Feb 10, 2020

Do you love entering into a dark world of the Fae? Then Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy is for you. Black has given us a tale that is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and filled with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life. It also encompasses high school drama as it appeals to a teenage audience. But do not be put off by the teen genre as if you love the dark side of the Fae then this is definitely a story for you.

We meet the three sisters, Jude, Taryn (mortals) and Vivi (Fae) when their father, Madoc, comes for them in the mortal world after their mortal mother had escaped his control. They see him murder their parents and he brings them all to the Faerie world to live, each having to find a way to survive. Cruelty and disregard for mortals is what they need to navigate in the dark world of the Fae, where mortals can be slaves, where a sip of a drink can lead to humiliation, and traps are everywhere. Vivi, who is Fae, just wants to return to the mortal world. Taryn just wants to belong, and her twin Jude wants to fight and become a knight. The Fae are bullying, deceitful and manipulative – to each other as well as with the three sisters. Black seamlessly takes us from the Fae to the real world and expertly shows us why there is such fascination with being ‘more’ than human.

I was instantly hooked on the fates of Jude, her sisters and the Cruel Fae Prince Cardan. The plots are many and intricate with sly reveals of the past that impact the present. It is clever, fast paced and nuanced as we are challenged by the actions and relationships of all the characters. Political undercurrents abound, betrayals are gut wrenching and we want Jude to prevail in the face of every danger. Once hooked by this first book you will definitely be waiting spellbound for the next two parts of the trilogy to hit your bookshelf.

Jan 09, 2020


Dec 30, 2019

Book #1

Dec 16, 2019

This author has moved up in the literary world, going from the children’s series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, to this debut young adult trilogy involving the world of Fey. Most of us think Faerie Folk are cute and sweet. Not so! They are cruel, deceptive and tricksy. And poor Jude and Taryn, mortals who were spirited away at a young age, must negotiate a way to survive and thrive in this magical, cruel world.

lgmosher Nov 16, 2019

Honestly I have no idea how this book is rated what it is and how it is as hyped and popular as it seems.

There is absolutely ZERO SUBSTANCE in this book.

Things happen, feels move barely, and life turns. The entire time I was trying to figure out what the goal, what the PLOT of the book was.

Sadly, I never found it. And a book without a plot isn't worth reading and continuing.

The only character that seemed to have any personality as at all was Cardan. He was the only one consistent in what he did and how he did it

as for Jude, oh sweet honey she drove me crazy. "Yes he's my daddy I need his approval" 3 hours later "he's not my father! What do I care what he thinks...." girl, PICK A LANE. Either you think something or you dont.

Not to mention that she is "good at" being a spy when we get no evidence of that. The end of the book makes her seem like she's been in the business for years and years when she's been in training for a handful of months.

Then she kills someone and it doesn't even matter. Honestly I think the author was tired of writing the character so she killed them off and they were never heard of. She was held to no consequences for murdering someone. Not to mention that it didn't seem to phase her at all when it was the first time she killed someone. With the little about her background that we do know it should have effected her more.

All of the characters were thrown into the book and then thought of no less. There was no growing, no development. She had them do things that we should have known we're their personalities but we didn't because she failed to mention that.

To sum up the book in one word: POINTLESS.

Nov 11, 2019

This book was absolutely not what I expected. The first half of the book... was borderline juvenile.. but the writing and world building and characters were all so fantastic I kept going.

I’m so absolutely glad I did. The power plays, the trickery and fun.. oh man. This book turned into something wonderful. No spoilers but book two kept the same thrill for me and this has turned into my favorite series this year.

The protagonist is unique.. powerful, clever, honest with herself... I loved her. The male lead... not really even a main character til the second half of this novel... is delightful. He is so fun to imagine... and I absolutely adore him.

The fae are terrifying.. as they should be, and beautifully described.. the author did an outstanding job making a world seem so intoxicatingly magical.... and dangerous... and lovely. Ahh I can’t get enough of this book and this series. I preordered book 3. Hope you give it a chance and love it as I did.

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Jan 23, 2020

orange_crane_59 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 21, 2020

Lunartic2231 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Dec 03, 2019

green_cat_7425 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 06, 2019

gurleena thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

OPL_KrisC Mar 31, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary
Jan 23, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Jude and her twin sister, Taryn, are mortals who have lived in Faerie since they were children, raised by the Faerie general who murdered their parents in order to retrieve his daughter, their half-sister Vivi. Despite this violent beginning, Jude longs to find her place in the High Court of King Eldred, and dreams of knighthood and acceptance. However, many of the high fey will never see a mortal as anything more than a servant, to be used and discarded at will. Worst among these is Prince Cardan, youngest of the High King’s sons, who seems to have a special hatred for Jude, and the way she had been raised as if she were part of the Gentry. When the High King announces that he will abdicate his throne, and pass the Blood Crown to one of his six children, Jude is caught up in political intrigues and violent betrayals, and is quickly reminded why the Faerie Court is no place for humans.


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Jan 23, 2018

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.


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