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.
I’ve seen this book on more ‘Best Of 2018’ lists than I can count. Holly Black is a talented and widely read author, but I’ve never gotten around to any of her books, despite having The Coldest Girl in Coldtown on my shelf for over a year. With strong reviews, several friend recommendations, and a discounted Amazon day, how could I not read The Cruel Prince?
Admittedly, I haven’t read many books involving the Fae, so much of this world was new to me. And the world-building is magnificent – dark, intriguing, and politically charged. The political maneuvering, alliances, and manipulation really captured my attention – some of these characters would fit in well with House of Cards.
And that’s another thing I liked: none of these characters are entirely ‘good’. Many of them desire power and position, while others enjoy bullying, threats, and playing with the lives of others. And I’m okay with that – I love to see shades of gray in characters. In fact, it’s the primary reason I kept reading. Twists are aplenty in this book – some of them I saw coming, others I didn’t until right before they happened.
People may throw rocks and garbage at me for saying this, but the first half of the book didn’t win me over. Not a lot happens, but right around the 50% mark, the pace becomes turbo charged and never lets up.
Overall, I enjoyed The Cruel Prince, and I plan to continue the series with The Wicked King, but when that will be, I have no idea. I need a month long vacation just to read!