Book Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

 The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
Author: Holly Black
Publish Date: January 2, 2018
# of Pages: 370
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


(From Goodreads) 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.


Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 9
Pace – 8
Plot Development – 10
Ending – 10
Characters – 9
Enjoyability – 10
Ease of Reading – 10

Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Cruel Prince is a fantastical story of faeries, court intrigue, and royal snobbery.

I’m always hesitant going into a book that has received nothing but rave reviews. Will I like it? Will the book live up to its hype? Will I end up disappointed in the end? In this case, yes, the book lives up to the hype. The Cruel Prince was an amazing debut to a new series by Holly Black, and I’m already eagerly anticipating the second novel.

The book is beautifully written, the quality of writing superb. From the first chapter, I was immediately sucked into the fae world the author creates.

The book is fast-paced–there’s never a lull in action or story progression.

Overall, I loved the story idea and the plot development. What a cool, unique idea, and the way it’s executed is flawless. I loved reading about Jude’s adventures with her sisters Taryn and Vivienne, and the scenes with the fae royalty kept me at the edge of my seat. There’s so much drama and intrigue in this book, which is part of the reason why it’s so, so good!

The ending of the book can be summed in one word: WOW! There was an unexpected plot twist that made me gasp out loud. Literally. What is Jude getting herself into, and how is this going to play out in the next book? I want answers!!!

The characters in The Cruel Prince are delightful. I absolutely loved Jude. Jude is a fierce warrior, not content to live the average life of a mere mortal, she aspires to be better than the fae. She doesn’t back down when confronted and stubbornly refuses to give in to bullies. She’s quite the inspiration. My other favorite character is Cardan. He’s a jerk, but as the story unfolds, we see there’s more to Cardan than meets the eye. I’m really hoping the second book in the series continues to shed light on his character–I really want to get to know him better!

This is another book I chewed through in two days. It was easy to read and very enjoyable.

This book deserves a spot on your bookshelf!


  • “Our lives are the only real thing we have, our only coin. We get to buy what we want with them.”
  • “Desire is an odd thing. As soon as it’s sated, it transmutes. If we receive golden thread, we desire the golden needle.”

Let’s Talk!

What did you think of the The Cruel Prince? Did you like Cardan? If you haven’t read it yet, do you plan to?

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30 thoughts on “Book Review – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

  1. OOOOH YAY i’m so happy you enjoyed this! I had a ton of fun reading and I ABSOLUTLEY CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!! (and that plot twist at the end omg gahshfsfhs)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t added this story to my TBR yet because I was of the same mind frame of worrying it wasn’t worth the hype, but after reading your review I think I will add it to my want to read list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you got sucked in from the beginning and thought it was action packed the whole way through! I have been reading reviews all morning (now that I finally posted my own so I wouldn’t be influenced) and a decent amount of people thought it was boring and slow up until the end! I was starting to second guess my self, because I loved it the whole way through and was completely absorbed!

    Liked by 1 person

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