YA Book Review

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Book:

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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.

           banlink           goodreads

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The Review:

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).

Mermaids 4 2

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26 thoughts on “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

      1. Right. Like, most times those situations don’t bother me because I know you need conflict in a story, and it’s fiction anyway, but I felt like more people should have mentioned it as a trigger warning for those who are sensitive to it.

        And I totally agree. It was a hate to love thing that just didn’t feel right at all.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. And, I know as super young teenagers, sometimes that is a thing (not saying it’s right) to “be mean” to a crush so your friends don’t know you like them, but his bullying was way out there. All of it was.


  1. First; I love the new layout for your blog! Second: I agree with the bullying. I really liked the book, but the bullying really got to me, too. (Middle school was HELL.) I didn’t mention the bullying in my review but I’m glad someone did. Can’t wait to see what happens in the next one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you, I felt the book was underwhelming and I kept putting it down to go read other books and just never got back to it. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it though!

    Liked by 1 person

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