The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thank you very much, Hachette Book Group, for sending me a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ❤
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.
What a great way to start 2018! This book is such a treasure, and I wish it would be adapted into a film ASAP so that I could see its beauty come to life on screen. ❤ I do not give 5 stars to books carelessly, so I hope that you will trust me when I say that The Cruel Prince is beautiful both inside and outside. It’s one of the best books in my personal collection, and I will surely reread it just for the sake of making myself happy and nostalgic.
Before I explain my love for this book, I want to clarify something. Contrary to what is being said on BookTube, The Cruel Prince is not about a mortal defying the High King of Faerie. Instead, it is about a mortal defying the youngest son of the said royal. This confusion was probably caused by the vague pronoun reference in the second paragraph of the official summary. With that in mind, please don’t go into this book expecting the High King to be a very important or fleshed-out character; he actually doesn’t have any interaction with Jude, the heroine of the story. The stars of the novel are Jude and Cardan (the “cruel” prince). Okay? Okay. Let’s get back on track.
I absolutely loved this book primarily because of its unpredictable content. There were a lot of cleverly crafted plot twists that made me gasp and grin like a lunatic. I guess I was too obsessed with the story that I didn’t bother to logically (or jadedly) anticipate certain plot points. The second half of the book was amazing because Jude’s political machinations made every chapter seem like a cliffhanger. In other words, I was hooked, helplessly invested in Jude and the world of Faerie.
Jude was a very well-developed character. She strongly reminded me of Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse in that she always had a clear head on her shoulders. She was an excellent fighter and schemer, so much so that she made the Fae (who were supposedly superior) insecure or intimidated. I was also intrigued by Jude’s complicated relationship with Madoc, her adoptive father. Madoc was the one who murdered Jude’s biological parents, but she learned to love him as the years went by. I wasn’t sure if Jude had some kind of psychological problem (i.e. Stockholm Syndrome), but I acknowledged the possibility that Jude’s love for Madoc wasn’t born out of something dark or twisted.
As for Prince Cardan and his troupe of jerks (Locke, Valerian, and Nicasia), I had so much fun hating them. The author clearly didn’t intend them to be “good” nor “likable,” so it would be silly to lower my rating because of the latter annoying characters. However, I must disclose that this book depicts violence against women (i.e. Jude) in the form of choking and intoxication. I personally wasn’t triggered, but I understand if you would want to stay away from such content. I would like to thank my friend, Amber, for calling my attention to this potential flaw.
Prince Cardan was not my favorite character for legitimate reasons: he was petty, arrogant, and vengeful. In a way, he was worse than pre-Feminist Rhysand from ACOTAR. It was quite disappointing that Cardan’s cruelty was a result of…(whisper whisper). xD Looking at the bright side, The Cruel Prince would’ve been less addicting if Carden hadn’t been so…cruel. Hahaha. Furthermore, he was less despicable than Taryn, Jude’s twin sister. Oh man, I am so tempted to give some spoilers because I need someone to understand my hatred for Taryn. LOL
The Cruel Prince deserves all of the hype; I cannot overemphasize how much I enjoyed it. It isn’t a perfect piece of literature, but it met all of my high expectations. I hope that it will also meet yours. 🙂
Oh what a great review! I really want to read this book now 😀
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