If you are active on bookish social media, you have undoubtedly seen or heard about The Cruel Prince by Holly Black in some capacity. This is the first book in the Folk of the Air series. It seems that most readers either love it or hate it. The premise was interesting enough - sisters stolen by their parents’ murderer to be raised in the land of Faerie. Get ready, because the Slytherin energy is turned up to 100 in this book.
The “youngest wickedest” son of the High King is, of course, arch-enemy number 1 to our main protagonist, Jude. The book starts with darkness and violence and never really lets up in that regard. The idea is unique and interesting enough but fell incredibly flat for me for the first half of the book. It wasn’t difficult for me to continue reading, and I attribute that to Black’s writing. The world-building wasn’t amazing, and I felt myself wanting more. I did not enjoy the way Black intertwined the human world with Faerie — all of the Target references had me loling, and not in a good way. I did find myself speed reading, hoping for something to happen. Thankfully around page 200 things begin to really pick up and unfold in a unique and intriguing way. The twin sister feud felt random and forced for me, and I still think that was one of the flattest and least interesting parts of the book. Twins, best friends….immediately turned enemies? I won’t say anything more as I want to keep this pretty spoiler free, but I would love your thoughts on the matter if you have read this.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
3 stars from me. It felt a bit boring for quite a while, but thankfully picked up towards the end. I’m interested enough at this point that I would read the second book. Jude and Cardan are annoying but intriguing in their own way, as with most of these characters. The plot left me a bit wanting, but we will see if the second book doesn’t find a better pace.
View all my reviews