REVIEW: The Cruel Prince

“Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

I read this book as part of The Reading Rush and this book helped me tick off four of the six challenges. This was a book that was completely out of my comfort zone and I hardly ever read YA or fantasy fiction, but I see and hear a lot of people raving about this book so I was excited to delve into its pages…

What Did I Think?

The opening chapter sets this book off with a bang and I should have realised that from this point, this book isn’t for the faint-hearted. There is a lot of violence in this book and its dark story was something I was not expecting. Having never read YA fiction before, I just assumed it would be like a children’s book but my initial opinion has now well and truly changed thanks to The Cruel Prince.

What I found most interesting about this book was the contrast between places and characters. I really liked the contrast between reality and faerieland, and I like how the real world if often referred to by all the characters. I think it makes the book more relatable and realistic despite its fantasy elements.

The contrast between sisters is really intriguing too. I thought it was great that Holly Black chose to feature a lesbian character and that this sister preferred to live in the real world. Our world. Yet Jude’s other sister, Taryn, was a complete opposite to Jude. Taryn was a girly girl and was preoccupied with finding a suitable partner to marry. I think it is really interesting to look at this contrast between sisters, as it allows Jude and her personality to stand out more.

Jude, in my opinion, is everything a heroine should be. Strong, confident, ambitious, wise. Although she is naive to some of the plot twists, she is definitely the most clued up Duarte sister, making her he perfect spy. I did feel sorry for her though when no one would believe her power, passion and strength. Being constantly overlooked by everyone around her was probably the motivating factor in why she became a spy.

It is interesting that this book is named The Cruel Prince because I would argue that nearly every male character in this book is cruel. All the male characters are unlikable and awful. The way they bully Jude is awful and it was hard for me to pinpoint exactly who Holly Black is referring to with the title.

I managed to guess some of the plot lines but that’s what I enjoy from a book like this. I knew there would be some plot twist coming and it was fun to try and work out what was going to happen. It reminded me of Game of Thrones in its violent and magical elements and I cannot wait to continue with the series.

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

The Cruel Prince

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Published: 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
# of Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: abuse, murder, suicide
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells

12 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Cruel Prince”

  1. Ooo great review!! I love how you talk about Cardan (I mean YES) – I think it’s my favourite Fantasy at the moment. It’s so addictive! I didn’t want the world to end after this book, so I recently bought the cardan novella. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but I’d definitely recommend! Here’s my review of how the king learned to hate stories 🙂


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