Book Title: The Cruel Prince
Book Author: Holly Black
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publishing Date: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date Read: May 5th, 2018
Synopsis: 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.
The Cruel Prince was one that I really wanted to fall in love with. And, I did, to an extent. Superficially, it was alluring and enchanting, and captivated me in the moment. Depth-wise, it just didn’t stick with me like I had hoped.
This isn’t to say it was a bad book. The story was magical and intense. The writing was absolutely gorgeous, but, every time I put the book down to come back to it at a later time, I found it to be less than memorable. I struggled to remember what I had previously read during those gaps of not reading, and found myself backing up to refresh myself before being able to continue.
The imagination of the world was spot on. It was vivid and colorful, and had a darkness to it. The characters within the world were a different story.
I never felt fully invested in any of the characters. I was never sold on any of their personalities, and never felt like they grew. Then, of course, there was the bullying.
Bullying is not necessarily a trigger for, though I was bullied in high school, but in this story, it was pretty intense. Definitely hard to read at times, and something I felt needed to be mentioned. Yes, it was part of the story and made for some shocking moments in the plot, and with the characters, but it was a pretty heavy theme.
Overall, I still really enjoyed the book. Despite my negative tone in my review, Holly still made me feel while I was involved in the book. I felt like I was in a dream the entire time. It was vividly enchanting and full of beauty, intrigue, and some shocking and entertaining moments. I loved the ending, and was left wanting more. I will definitely be reading the next book! 3.5-4 stars (or 4 mermaids).
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