Title: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
By: Holly Black
Published: January 2nd 2018
By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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.
“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”
WOOOW This book is really fantastic, it’s dark and powerful, I loved it. It’s my first Holly Black book but it certainly will not be the last one. I can definitely see the comparison with Game of Thrones, this book is full of good things: betrayal, political intrigues, deceptions and plot twists. I just can’t stop thinking about everything I just read. I think I’m still in SHOCK. Really Good Stuff guys!
The Cruel Prince follows the story of Jude, who after witnessing her parents murder, being only a little girl, is forced along with her two sisters to live in the High Court of Faerie, with Madoc, whom has been the executor of her parents. Ten years later Jude wants more than anything to belong to the world of fairies despite being a human and earn her place in the Court. But to achieve her goals, Jude will be forced to make extreme decisions, in a world where deceptions, revenge and death are constant. How far will Jude get to get what she wants?
Ok, the family tree is quite complicated here so I’m going to explain it separately a bit.
Our main character is Jude, she has a twin sister named Taryn, she has another sister named Vivi who is the older sister. Vivi is the daughter of who is the murderer of her parents, Madoc and he’s a fairy. Madoc was already some time in search of his ex-wife, who was human and who had escaped from the fairies kingdom taking their daughter with her, that’s why he killed her once he finds her and then takes to the three girls to the fairies world so as to be able to raise his blood daughter, Vivi, and also to Jude and Taryn, since he feels that they’re his responsibility. Currently Madoc is married to Oriana and they also have a young son named Oak. The End lol
I think that all the construction of the fairy world is wonderful, you just get lost in it, Holly does an excellent job in this aspect. The fairies are described in this book as deceptive and treacherous beings and I love that, I think it gives a lot of darkness to the plot and makes it even more captivating to read it. You never expect what will happen next, especially with these creatures that can become so perverse. Even under Jude’s eyes we understand that although she belongs to this world, she isn’t willing to trust 100% in any of them and this shows how dangerous this world is.
At first I wasn’t so sure about the book, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be what I expected, there is a lot of hype surrounding it and that has made my expectations quite high, so I think from the beginning I expected to be captivated, but it tooks a little more time for this to happen, I think after about 100 pages there was when I really hooked with the story and began to know more about the characters and their motivations, that really got me.
Jude is great. I LOVE her, I think she’s one of the best main characters I’ve read about. I love how we can see her growth through the book, she’s very powerful, fierce and determined, and after knowing her a bit we understand that she’ll do whatever it takes to achieve her goals. I think Jude always tries to be careful with her feelings, it is obvious that she loves her sisters and her brother, but we also see her feelings with Madoc, he has raised her since childhood, which makes her feel love for him, but at the same time is the same creature that has killed her parents, and she never forgot that fact. I love how every time something bad happens to her she never gives up, that’s wonderful, every stumble helps her to be stronger and stronger, she’s really brave, I feel she’s a character that can’t stop surprising me.
Although you’ll feel that you know everything that is in Jude’s mind, you don’t, and this is great because when you think you know everything, she jumps with some magnificent plot twists!. The plot twists are great, guys, they were one of my favorite things, they have been super surprising for me and they always come from those who you least expect it. Also one of these revelations has broken my heart and I have felt pretty betrayed, in fact I feel that I can’t yet forgive what these characters have done, really a disappointment, my poor little heart lol.
I like very much how it touches the subject of love in a not “normal” kind of way, in this story they can love someone so strongly and in the same way hate her/him, so you’re never really sure who is on the side of who. It’s an uncertainty all the time, anyone can be the traitor, even those who least expect it and I think Jude is very aware of this for most of the story, even towards the end where she is much wiser.
I don’t like Taryn, I don’t know, there was a moment where I tried to put myself in her place and understand her but I just don’t like her. Although she’s Jude twin sister they’re completely different and although the two of them want to belong to the world where they live, Taryn feels that her only way of doing it is to marry a fairy. I decided that I would give her another chance after seeing how she tried to protect her sister, and then something happens and OMG, NOP. I can’t say more, but probably you’ll understand me once you read it.
Vivi is great, she’s the most normal of the book lol. I like how even though she’s the legitimate Madoc’s daughter she’s not interested in being part of that world at all, and while the other girls try to fit in, she keeps escaping into the mortal world to try to have the life which she feels was taken away from her. Her attitude is super comprencible for me, I think that because she’s the oldest then she has more memories of her normal life and her parents, which makes her feel a lot more spiteful toward Madoc and towards her whole world. It’s really valuable as she supports her sisters even when she doesn’t agree with their decisions, I think she’s a great big sister
We’re going to talk about Cardan, I know that he’s like an important point of the plot, but I don’t feel that I have managed to really know him, which is a shame. At first, I was thinking like, what is his problem? He’s the typical bad guy, and being a prince is quite obvious that he’s very spoiled and capricious, plus he’s used to everyone doing what he wants, and I was like OMG, someone kill him!. Then towards the end we can know him more in depth and I liked it a little more, so yes, I’m interested in knowing what will happen with him, because the end was FANTASTIC.
The relationship between Cardan and Jude is sufficiently compelling so that I want to know more about it, I think this particular book gives us a bit of what a romantic relationship could be, but it doesn’t really focus on that at all. And I must say that I enjoy when fantasy books aren’t focused on romance, it’s refreshing
The political drama that the story manages is absolutely brilliant, and since they have compared it a lot with Game of Thrones you can guess what it’s about, alot of princes and just one crown can be a big problem. I don’t want to say much more about this point because there are so many things that happen that I don’t want to do any spoilers. But it’s just great, and it’s handled in a very clever way, and at the end will make you very surprised
The ending was incredible, so good and unexpected. I love how Holly’s mind has created a whole situation that I didn’t see coming at all. I can’t wait to have the second book in my hands !.
I recommend it a lot if you like dark fairies and a fantasy world that is both captivating and twisted, where anything can happen. The betrayal, the deceptions and the ambition are the protagonists of this book, I really believe that everyone should read it!