My rating: 4.5
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.
It took me awhile to read The Cruel Prince. Not at any fault of the book, but because life kept getting in the way. Once I was able to get some actual reading time in, I absolutely loved this book. I devoured it. With every turn of the page, I wanted more.
Jude grows up to be such a firecracker mortal in the world of Faerie. She is bullied by Cardan, one of the princes of Faerie, and his friends. They torture her, and they’re cruel to her in every sense of the word. She finds herself in some tough situations where she has to make decisions that will change her life forever. She learns that maybe you need to have a little bit of cruelty in you to be able to survive. I loved the character of Jude so much. Despite her parents being murdered by the very man that is now raising her and her sisters, she overcomes many obstacles and grows to love Faerie even if Faerie doesn’t love her.
She falls for Locke about halfway through the book, but soon realizes it’s not all it seems on the surface. She becomes a spy for Prince Dain, who is to be crowned The High King of Faerie, to find information for him and to steal and murder. She has finally found her place. Or has she?
During the coronation, things go sideways. Blood is shed, more than half of the royal family is murdered, and Jude finds herself aligned with an unlikely partner, Cardan. You quickly learn that maybe Jude and a Cardan aren’t so different. They let their emotions fly and come up with a master plan to steal the crown. However, Jude has other plans. While Cardan thinks that they are stealing the crown so that they can put it atop the head of little Oak, Jude has another plan to put the crown atop Cardan’s head.
The last 3/4 of the book is action packed and fast paced. There’s dueling, bloodshed, romance, spying, poisoning and so much more. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of high fantasy and action packed goodness.
Bravo, Holly Black. I am impatiently waiting for the release of The Wicked King next year.