book reviews

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Hi guys! I just finished The Cruel Prince a few days ago, and I have mixed feelings on it. Just so you know, I will duly warn you when spoilers come up.

Also, you will be getting a lot of book reviews because I’m reading a ton because school’s slowing down. I’ve read about one book per day for the past few days.


Jude’s parents were murdered when she was seven, and since then, she and her sister Taryn have lived with the faeries and their older sister’s father, a renowned general named Madoc. The family of the High Court are all dangerous, but Prince Cardan is the worst of them all. They hate each other with a passion. Their hatred is spurred on by the fact that Jade is a human, and Prince Cardan is a faerie.

“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this is the least of what I can do.”


As a mortal, Jude hardly stands a chance against the fae, but she strives to become more powerful than any of them could ever be.

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


To gain entrance into the Court, she must defy Prince Cardan and deal with his threat. As she gets entangled in Court intrigue, she realizes her true capacity for evil.

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


When betrayal wrecks havoc in the High Court, she must risk her life to save her sisters and make it out alive.

“I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.”



In the beginning , the whole thing with Prince Cardan seemed to be like a typical middle school story. The main character hates the bully (in this case Prince Cardan) because they’re being bullied, they try to avenge themselves and then realize that the bully has a bad past and forgives them to the best of their ability.

However, I was wrong on that point. In the end, I realized that he’s actually kind of cool. He does get drunk too much, though.

“Have I told you how hideous you look tonight?” Cardan asks, leaning back in the elaborately carved chair, the warmth of his words turning the question into something like a compliment.

“No” I say, glad to be annoyed back into the present. “Tell me.”

“I can’t.”

~Prince Cardan

[spoiler alert]

Locke, however, is a betraying, backstabbing idiot. To be honest, I trusted him at first, but now I know better. I don’t hate him, but he’s definitely not good enough to be with Taryn. She’s way too good for him, and I feel bad for her. She just wants him for social status, and she threw her life away for him. He pretends to be sweet but then turns on her and takes advantage of the fact that Jade’s a human.

[spoilers over]

I loved Jade. Though she made stupid decisions for most of the book, it worked out, and that made it more realistic anyway. She’s amazingly powerful, and I love how she pushed on even though she was a mortal in the middle of a treacherous world.

I felt so bad for Taryn though. She thinks status is the only thing that matters in life and misses out on so many opportunities. She’s also really pessimistic, but I love this quote from her.

“Nice things don’t happen in storybooks,” Taryn says. “Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”



I expected it to be more intense and to hook me, but (in the beginning especially), it was really slow. The last third of the book though, was intense and dramatic. I couldn’t put it down at that point.

[spoiler alert]

I found the end oddly satisfying, and I liked Prince – well King Cardan’s and Jude’s relationship, even though it wasn’t resolved.

[spoilers over]


Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I don’t usually like books that get into the whole faerie aspect of fantasy, but I liked this one. I couldn’t give it a whole five stars, just because of the slow beginning and such, but it was an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to read more of Holly Black’s books and the rest of the The Folk of the Air series.

Have you read The Cruel Prince? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments!


5 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black”

  1. I LOVE this post!!! Yes, I’ve read The Cruel Prince about a month ago and I loved it!!! Also, I’m gonna say something since I’ve FINALLY found someone who’s read this book…

    I hate Locke so much. (e_e) It’s so annoying how he played with Jude just to test Taryn’s love for him! It’s just so sick of him, ugh. 😡

    Oh, and also, Jude and Cardan’s relationship will be resolved…soon…but not soon enough, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s