Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

**This review is SPOILER FREE**

I’m sure you’ve seen a million review for this book recently, being as it was so highly anticipated for so many people, but here’s my two cents regardless

I loved The Cruel Prince, although it was not a perfect book, I’m here to tell you why.

In case you haven’t already heard, The Cruel Prince is a reverse changeling story, with out protagonist and her sisters being taken to live in Faerie after the murder of their parents.
The standout part of this book was, without a doubt, the world building, however it did have one flaw, which I will get to in just Β a minute. The majority, and by majority I mean everything except for three chapters, takes place in Faerie. I loved the way in which this setting was constructed, in a way which I feel as though I knew the place, but without obviously extensive descriptions. It also made me feel as though the world is much more extensive, and that we only saw a small part of it, which bodes well for the future of the trilogy.

35181811My biggest flaw, or maybe my only flaw, came in the world building for the three chapters spend outside of Faerie. It seems serape to criticise the world building for a modern day America, but it just didn’t feel real. This could have been an intentional decision on Holly’s part, since Jude expresses that she feels more at home in Faerie. Regardless those chapters did irk me a little, I don’t know exactly why they felt so fake, but when you read typical urban fantasy, take City of Bones as an example, what takes place in New York feels just as authentic as what takes place in the Institute, or later in Idris. The Mortal world just did not feel right in this book, not to me at least, and, given that the first chapter takes place there, it left me feeling disconnected from the protagonist from the get go. I can understand the unlike typical urban fantasy the vast majority is in, what is essentially a fantasy world, which doesn’t give you a lot of time to build the “real world”, but if we do spend more time there in the future, I will expect to see it feel more fleshed out.

Moving on to talk about plot, I recently reviewed Everless, and said that it was very much plot driven over character driven, and that I preferred the later. The Cruel Prince is, undoubtably, a plot driven book, however it was extremely well done. I don’t know if I made it clear in my previous review, however I don’t hate plot driven books, they’re just not my preference. Cassandra Clare’s books, especially The Mortal Instruments, are plot heavy, and a love those. I love this in the same way. Even though it’s plot driven, it takes a long, long time to build up to the important plot points, which I don’t have a problem with. The plot was fun, and definitely did not go where I thought it was going even for a minute. I will admit that toward the last few chapters of the book, where there was a lot of politics at play, I did get a little confused at points. This could just be me as I read 300 page in the one sitting, so I may have just been tired. I do think I’m going to re-read it pretty soon, so we’ll see if things clear up a bit.

Since this was a plot driven book, I do feel, that in this case, the characterisation suffered a little. Jude is our protagonist and first-person narrator, but I didn’t really care for her than much. Of course, as you spend more time with her she grows on you, but I wouldn’t take a bullet for her. That’s not to say that she was a terrible character, just that she did feel a little flat, but that’s something that has plenty of room to develop over the next two books.

The other character that disappointed me was Jude’s twin sister, Taryn, who felt extremely underdeveloped. For that majority of the book it felt like she was just there to offer a contrast between Jude’s behaviour. There is something that is reviled, which may hint at the fact that she was being distant because of this. In that’s the case, and we get to see more of her as a main character then I am all for it.

It turned out that even though faeries are cruel, and malicious (nothing new there) there were a lot more interesting than the human characters. So, Cardan, Lock, Vivi and Madoc, were all super interesting to me, and I would love for the POV to be expanded in the future, to get some alternative insights. I mean a retelling from Cardan’s POV would be absolutely amazing.

One last thing that I do what to mentions regarding Jude and Taryn is very similar to the problem I had in The Bronze Horseman, and it’s to di with their relationship as sisters. No matter what stupid thing my sister has done, I would never treat her like that, especially not over something that was clearly not completely her fault. Maybe it just me, but I feel like the bond of sisters, let alone the bond of twins, like Jude and Taryn, is a whole lot stronger than authors give it credit.

SO that it my review of The Cruel Prince, and I feel like I’ve been complaining a lot, but they are really minor things. Overall I loved this book, and will be preordering that second book, certain that it will be one of my most anticipated for 2019.


Also, I did rcieve this from the January FairyLoot box, so I should either already have an unboxing up, or on its way!

Have you read The Cruel Prince, and what did you think? Are you going to read it? What are some of your favourite books about, or including, faeries?

Thanks for reading!


4 thoughts on “Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ”

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