Book Review

The Cruel Prince By Holly Black | Book Review

Hey everyone! Guess who has finally decided to return to this blog? Me. I hope all of you still recognize me as it has been a while since I last released an article on my blog. Just in case you are new here, my name is Max and today, I will be reviewing The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. 

For your information, this review will contain spoilers but I will inform you when the spoiler section appears, so feel free to read my ‘non-spoiler’ thoughts on The Cruel Prince and come back to read the spoiler section when you have finished reading the novel.

So, without further ado, let us dive right in.

Disclaimers:

All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

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Synopsis:

Jude was seven 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.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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.

My introspection:

Honestly, I do not know how or where the hell I should begin. This book is a whirlwind of emotions and I think we should all applause Holly Black for doing the thing she did with this novel. Alright, I got to calm down and run through the tortuous thoughts in my head because this novel messed me up in the best way possible.

The writing style in this novel is extremely alluring. The author weaves sentences together like she is embroidering a dress and after she finishes, she proceeds to refine and embellish the details on every inch of it. Each sentence never fails to impress me with the author’s skilful writing style. She uses vast vocabularies which I really enjoy reading and discovering and I cannot wait for more of her delicious writing style to enter the depths of my brain.

The prologue of this novel is absolute gold. Ugh, that sounds kind of terrible because Jude’s (the protagonist) parents are literally murdered in the prologue [not a spoiler, it is in the synopsis] but I really enjoyed it. It kept me on the edge of my seat with my heart thumping fast and hard in my chest as if it was also trying to find out what was coming next as well. Then we have the first 160 pages which I thought was sensationally crafted and for your information, the political intrigue and the power shift happen later in the book but the first 160 pages will keep you piss off enough to make you fly through the pages due to the bullying the protagonist has to endure in Faerie. 

The politics and power shifts are, for lack of a better word, mind-blowing. The amount of scheming, lying, twisted words and betrayal are balanced meticulously on the scale. Holly Black really knows how to create multiple plot twists that you will not see coming and I swear, a few of the chapters in this novel mystified me to the point where it got my lips carving a big O on my face, in other words, my jaw dropped. Some of the plot twists end in violence and some don’t but overall, they are still fucking amazing and I cannot stress that enough.

The characters in this novel involve Jude; Taryn who is Jude’s twin sister; Vivienne who is Jude’s older sister; Madoc who is the murderer of Jude’s parents; Oriana who is married to Madoc; Oak who is Jude’s younger brother but not blood-related in any way; Cardan who is the prince of Faerie and also happens to be a jackass for bullying people who are weaker than him; Locke who is… erm he can drown in a lake and I would say thank you; Valerian who also happens to be a jackass like Cardan and; Nicasia who is Queen Orlargh heir and she is disgusting. These are the central characters and of course, there are more characters in this novel but I do not want to spoil the story by naming the others so I am going to leave it at that. 

The characters are so well constructed that you find yourself rooting for some of them and also, you will often find yourself wanting, desperately, to drown them personally in the river with your bare hands. Well, among all these characters, I would like to say that Jude has the most character development throughout the entirety of the novel because she is the one narrating the story but not only that, I thought her growth was gradual as she realizes her mistakes, takes guidance from other people and learns from it. Compare to the beginning of the novel where she does not, she clearly does take other people’s suggestions into account in the end.

For people who have not read a lot of Faerie books, you definitely need to know the basic knowledge of the folklore to understand the world a little better. I went into the novel with the mistake of not knowing anything about the folklore but I searched it up along the way so I can still kind of grasp the delicate line of knowledge of the world. Other than that, I thought the culture, the food and the social etiquette were very well formulated.   

However, I do have a scarce amount of complaints. Let’s inaugurate this section of the review with the ‘romance’. The romance, if you could call it that, feels really forced. It happens out of the blue and there is not any build-up to it. The romance section took me out of the story but luckily, it is quickly replaced by other plot points. 

Moving on, we have some character decisions that I could not comprehend. For example, Jude says ‘My father’ as in Madoc and not her biological father in the previous page and in the next page, a character says ‘your father’ and she quickly counteracts and says ‘He is not my father’… like dude, make up your mind. Sometimes, she makes a decision and it is not addressed ever again.

Therefore, my final verdict for this novel will be a solid 85%. Time to force every single one of you to read this novel and drown in the sea of emotions with me. Please read it, thank you very much. 


[SPOILER SECTION!]

I love how Holly Black annihilates Taryn good persona for me. I hate Taryn as much as Cardan because how in the world could you do that to your sister? How? I don’t understand. For goodness sake, Taryn is so cruel and she doesn’t even know she is just that- cruel – like the rest of the bullies.

THAT ENDING GOT ME LIKE:

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I totally did not see that coming. Like are you kidding? The crown is on Cardan’s head instead of Oak’s. Moreover, that scene where Madoc and Jude are fighting and that END RESULT. I cannot. I am deceased. 

The chapter before part 2 rolls around got my eyes going wide. I totally did not expect characters to be dead in a single sentence. The massacre of the royal family AHHH I can’t. 

I think that’s all I am going to say for this section. If you have any more to add on to this section, do state [SPOILERS] in your comment so people who have not read this novel will not be spoiled. Thanks! 


This is the end of my review for The Cruel Prince By Holly Black! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!