The Cruel Prince

Description 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 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.


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black has 370 pages and was published in 2018 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

The Cruel Prince tells the story of a young mortal trapped in Faerie. As she comes of age, she learns that deception is the safest way for her to survive. She gets pulled into a dangerous plot and must make hard choices in order to prevail.

The narration of this book annoyed me at first. There was just something I didn’t like about it. However, I got used to it pretty quickly and was easily drawn in by the plot. While the pacing could be slow at times, overall the plot remains intriguing enough to keep the reader interested.

With that being said, the ending was perfect. Black wrapped the book up neatly while setting up the sequel. The result leaves the reader satisfied but still wanting more.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I would like to see more in-depth character development in the next book.  It would be interesting to learn more about their motivations – particularly Cardan and Madoc.

All in all, The Cruel Prince was an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book in this series.


Everywhere I looked I was seeing this book – from blogs to book stores. Initially, the cover did not really appeal to me so I read the blurb. I found it interesting and I added it to my TBR shelf. However, I was reluctant to read it and there it sat for quite a while. While I have heard wonderful things about Holly Black’s writing, I had previously read Doll Bones and was less than impressed. In fact, I gave it a 2 star review.

I did not have high expectations for this book.

The Cruel Prince turned out to be a rather pleasant surprise.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I cannot wait to see how Jude and Cardan’s relationship develops – and yes I am rooting for a steamy romance. It will also be interesting to see what happens with Taryn and Locke. I was not terribly impressed with Taryn. However, I liked Locke despite his jerky behavior.

I even liked Madoc. I am also hoping the relationship between Jude and Madoc is repaired somehow.

I really hope the next book focuses on Faerie and not the mortal world with Vivi and Oak. While I think that will be an interesting story line to follow, right now I am more interested in what happens with Jude.

Have you read The Cruel Prince?

What did you think?

Rating:  4 Plot Monster Spiders


Notable Quotes:

“I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.”
― Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince

“But I will not stand in front of your happiness. I will not even stand in front of misery that you choose for yourself.”
― Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince

MDW original review.  Source:  Library.

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