Review: The Cruel Prince

It’s hard for me to pay full price for books, but after watching BookTube videos I have found that I want to read more up-to-date releases which means, if I want to own it, I have to pay the full price for it.  That’s where the local library comes in!  Instead of waiting…and waiting until the price drops for the book I want, I have rediscovered the joy of checking them out at the library instead.  This may even be a better option because when you check out a book at the library you only have so many days to read it before it’s due back – I think at my library it’s 14 days.  Having this deadline makes me read the book when I check it out instead of putting it on my shelf to sit for months which would happen if I bought the book.  So – all that to say, here’s my review of The Cruel Prince!

The Cruel Prince tells the tale of Jude, a human girl, who is taken from her family at an early age and is whisked away to fairyland by the Fae who was once married to Jude’s mother.  Also taken are her two sisters, her twin Taryn and older half-sister Vivienne. In Fairyland, Jude and her twin are often looked down upon because of their human heritage, but Jude has plans to become a knight in hopes that this position would give her more status among the Fae and protection from the royal family she’ll be serving under. However, her dreams are squashed when she becomes involved in a political battle for the throne and her life is altered by the decisions she has to make to secure the future of the kingdom.

This book was very interesting to me and it kept me reading until the end. Although there were a few areas where I felt the story dragged a little, I was still investing in the characters enough to continue with the story.

A highlight of the story was the main character Jude. She was relatable and I liked her spunky attitude. I found myself rooting for her to overcome all the negative people and circumstances surrounding her storyline and I wanted her to have that moment of triumph of realizing her dream to become a knight.

“I want to win. I do not yearn to be their equal.
In my heart, I yearn to best them.” –Jude

Another character I liked was Vivienne.  She was another character full of attitude which I liked.  I loved how, although she was half fairy, she wanted to live a normal human life outside of Fairyland.  Her confliction was refreshing although her part in the story wasn’t a huge one.  Vivienne’s scenes were short but sweet.

A drawback to the story, besides the occasional dry spell, was the nagging feeling I had that I’ve read this book before.  As I was reading about Jude and Taryn, I had this weird sensation that I had read about them and their storyline before. But this couldn’t be possible because The Cruel Prince was released in 2018 – I even double-checked the copyright because the feeling was so overwhelming that I had to check the print date to make sure I hadn’t read it before.  It was SO weird!  While reading it, I had to put the book down to contemplate and do a quick Google search to see if I could find another book with a similar story plot but I wasn’t successful in discovering why I had this eerie feeling of reading this book before.

Other than that, the ending had a twist I wasn’t expecting but which was a great ending to the first book in this series because it really made me want to read the next book.  Hopefully, once The Wicked King is published, I’ll still be as eager to continue the tale.  I’m notorious for leaving a series unread to the end!

This is a book I would recommend to those who are interested in fantasy and the supernatural world of fairies.  It was fun to learn more about this land and how it worked and I think the author, Holly Black, did a delightful job of incorporating Fae aspects into her story. I’m not a fairy expert, so I can’t tell you how accurate she was with the rules of Faeism, but her portrayal was believable enough to convince me of the world she built.

And yes, I had to return the book to the library but you can bet I’ll be keeping my eye out for this book and will scoop it up as soon as I see a sale price attached to it!  It’ll make a great edition to my home library.

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