The Cruel Prince Review

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Rating: 2 out of 5


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” (Goodreads).

Everybody and their mom loves The Cruel Prince and I did not. At all. This might actually be the last book I ever read with faeries in them because so far I haven’t enjoyed any of them (see: A Court of Thorns and Roses, the series I gave too high of stars for). I actually forgot most of this book, so we’ll see how great this review turns out. Only a few scenes really stick in my head, and fortunately for me, they’re the ones I actually liked.

I somewhat enjoyed the dynamic between Jude and Cardan once it became less bullying and more romantic, but I don’t really condone his actions. These faerie books LOVE abusive romances. *Gagging noises* Anyway, Jude and Cardan’s wasn’t terribly unhealthy once things became possibly romantic between them. The same goes for her and Locke, but the details regarding that are spoiler-y. Just fyi, though, there’s not really a love triangle—one romance is over before the other starts and that is all I will say.

I wasn’t originally a huge fan of Cardan, but I have a sucker for boys with sad backstories so I kind of fell for him. Though, I will complain here that there was one passage that referred to Jude or someone thinking he’d be abusive purely because he was abused. That’s a really harmful way of thinking that I’m surprised no one has complained about yet. Yes, most abusers were abused first. Yes, it’s common. But no, being abused doesn’t make someone a monster, and they ultimately have the choice whether or not they abuse. Past abuse is never an excuse for abuse, nor should a person suggest one may be abusive because of their past. From what I’ve heard and seen, abused people tend to fear for becoming their parents, etc, and this is a harmful way of thinking that can only encourage their negative thoughts.

*Drops mic*

Okay, moving on. We all know I actually liked Cardan, BUT I did not like that he and Jude kept denying their love for each other. That was worthless. Little was at stake. It was the most unhealthy part of their relationship to be honest, especially when she regards that she knew it was wrong to be kissing him, but did it anyway. Like ???

As we can already see, this book was a Mess. I didn’t understand how Jude’s sister entered and exited the court freely, but yet they all acted like they couldn’t leave. Did I miss something? I also didn’t understand the appeal of Jude. Everyone loves her, but WHY? She does so many questionable things throughout this novel…

Furthermore, there were too many characters. It got really difficult trying to keep track of them all, what they stood for, whose side they were on, etc. And, to be honest, I frankly didn’t care.

Lastly, I found the plot a little unoriginal. It reminded me a lot of Sarah J. Maas’s plots, but maybe a lighter version. Nothing really screamed “NEW” at me.

I honestly really wished I liked this, but alas, I didn’t. I don’t wish a bad book on anyone, so I hope whoever hasn’t read it will enjoy it!

-Book Hugger

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