The world of the fae has been in literature for a very long time. I happen to really enjoy fae folklore and stories, so I was really excited when I first heard about The Cruel Prince.
The Cruel Prince stars Jude, a human stolen from her home in the mortal world to live with Madoc, a noble in the world of the fae. She grows, forms both alliances and rivalries with important people, and becomes strong in order to cope with the constant feeling that she is out of place in the world she lives in.
My Thoughts on The Cruel Prince
Holly Black, the author of The Cruel Prince, masterfully uses plot twists. Throughout the story, she drops subtle hints in such a way that the reader has no idea the twists are coming, but when they are revealed, everything suddenly makes sense. Foreshadowing is one of my favorite plot devices, and The Cruel Prince absolutely nails it.
I usually talk about characters in reviews, but they weren’t super outstanding in this book. I liked a few of them–I adored the main character, Jude– but most of the characters were pretty unlikable. Although, this does support the theme of the book in a way: it adds onto Jude’s feeling out of place by giving her lots of opposition and characters that treat her poorly.
The world building was a bit muddled. I liked how Holly Black introduced each bit of information in situations where it was relevant to the story at that very moment, but it also seemed like there were parts missing. At least at the very beginning, I was confused about the social structure of the world. I would have really liked a better or more clear explanation of the power hierarchy in the fae nobility, and the structure of their society overall. The exploration of the different species and their functions in society could have also been a really interesting part of the story, although sadly there isn’t much information in that area.
The Cruel Prince’s romance between the main character and her love interest honestly didn’t excite me all too much. I did like the characters a lot as individuals, though, so I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship will develop in the next books.
The lore of the fae was really interesting. I loved the way the novel portrayed them as cunning and mischievous–almost villainous rather than the serene way they are often shown in modern media. I also really liked the diversity in the physical features of the different fae. Holly Black adds on the fae’s inability to lie, which makes so many interactions in the story incredibly interesting.
The Cruel Prince was an extremely fun and exciting read, and I hope to see more character and world developments in the following books. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys high fantasy and thrilling plot.
Hi! My name is Kayleigh and I am a staff writer for The Mycenaean. Two fun facts about me are that I want to be a bestselling author and frogs are my favorite animal!