The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – No Spoilers Review

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*I just want to put a disclaimer that I strongly disliked the beginning of this series but it is one that got better as it went on. So please bear with me if you enjoyed the early parts of this series. *

Let’s have a toast. To the incompetence of our enemies.

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Goodreads / Amazon / Storygraph


Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the dangerous and treacherous world of the Fae. In the High Court of Faerie. 

Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong, despite the one thing the Fae hates her for. Her mortality. And no one loves to taunt her about her mortality more than the youngest son of the High King, the twisted Prince Cardan. 

To win a place at Court, Jude must defy him and face the consequences that follow. 

As Jude becomes deeply embroiled in the palaces intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will find herself risking her life in a dangerous alliance to save not only her sisters, but also Faerie. 

Thoughts on the Plot

This is a series where I missed the hype for it. I was busy going through the biggest breakup of my life in 2018 so this kinda paled in comparison. 

Anyways, this book is another character-driven book. So the plot does fall a little bit to the wayside in that regard. 

The plot moved incredibly slow in this book. The story starts out on a high note, only to flash forward ten years later to the most insufferable characters on the planet. 

Or well, in the High Court of Faerie. 

The court was intriguing and the world-building could have been beefed up. Like how exactly does anyone travel between the human realms and the Faerie courts? 

I didn’t see the twist at the end and it is that twist which is more of a betrayal that gave me a lifelong hatred of one character. 

Also the storyline with Jude wanting to become a warrior, did Holly Black knock it off her desk and forget about it??? Where did it go???

I also refuse to acknowledge any sort of love storyline in this book and we will get to why in a moment. 

Thoughts on the Characters

A lot of these characters were really hard to like

And it makes sense because these Fae are not your Sarah J. Maas type Fae. 

No, no, these Fae are tricky, slippery, violent, and cruel. They despise humans and have no problem with openly displaying their dislike of humans. 

Jude reads like a 17-year-old. She is hyper-fixated on her initial goal and falls easily to the tricks of the Fae. 

Which is really disappointing. But there is so much potential for Jude and that’s why I’m not writing her off. 

And then we have Cardan. A poor little Prince who bullies instead of just fucking saying how he feels. 

And yeah I get it, he’s hot and troubled and dark. But the bulling of Jude was NOT romantic. I did not like it and I will not call their dynamic a love-story line. 

They were absolutely NOT enemies to lovers and just because Cardan has a tragic backstory does NOT give him the right to treat Jude how he did and then have pikachu face that she doesn’t immediately fall in love with him.

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And the other supposed love interest? (Locke)


All the men/boys/males in this book are straight trash and I hate the manipulation of Jude and Taryn to further the plot. 

Speaking of Taryn, Taryn is Jude’s twin sister and that’s all I will say on that. 

Vivi is Jude and Taryn’s older half-sister and probably one of my favorite characters next to their younger brother, Oak. 

Everyone else can freaking rot. 

Overall Thoughts

This book is not a YA love story. 

*clears throat for those in the back*


It is a story about betrayal. About finding your place in a world that despises you. Of growing up constantly needing to watch your own back. 

Jude is a Queen after my own heart with her sass and ability to stand up for herself. But she is also short-sighted and makes a lot of dumb decisions. 

And I don’t care. Cardan and Locke can eat rocks. If they are love interests they are the most lackluster love interests on the planet. 

With that being said, this book gets 2.5 stars out of 5 stars from me. But like I mentioned at the beginning of the review, this is a series that seems to get better for me. So if you love this series, the first book included, please don’t decide to cancel me yet. 

Goodreads / Amazon / Storygraph

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