To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even think I’d read The Cruel Prince when it first came out-given that I hated a similar Faerie story, A Court of Thorns and Roses.
But somehow I found myself reading it thinking I’ll just quickly go through this, not expecting much.
But I liked it a lot.
This book is Gorgeous. Not the writing- the writing was pretty simple – actually that was what I needed at that moment. Nothing heavy. But the lush faery world and the colorful, interesting characters drew me in completely.
“If you hurt me, I wouldn’t cry. I would hurt you back.”
The Cruel Prince Review
Jude was an amazing protagonist.
She actually planned and worked to win her place in a High Court (I can’t help but compare her to Feyre – another human protagonist in a fae world- who did nothing but complain and dance and bat her eyelashes for a good three quarters of ACOTAR, and be sad and dress prettily in almost all of ACOMAF).
Though I’d say, Jude acted a bit hotheadedly at times- giving away her secrets and plans without thinking twice to people she had no reason to trust.
I’d have liked to see more of Jude’s (and her twin sister Taryn’s) childhood.
I loved Jude’s relationship to her stepfather Madoc. While Madoc wasn’t exactly the ideal father figure, he genuinely loved his stepdaughters. If he had seen them only as his responsibilities and not as his daughters, he wouldn’t have cared about them like that.
I hated the weak sister trope.
That’s why I usually don’t like books with sisters. Because the sister other than the protagonist is usally portrayed as selfish and frivolous type (Caraval, ACOTAR). This book was no exception.
Out of all the characters, I found Taryn and Locke the most annoying. Why Locke was acting like that with Jude was predictable from the start. Jude was stupid to trust him so easily.
And I just would have loved to erase Taryn’s character from the book. She had nothing to offer to the story but an unnecessary drama. Vivi was a much better sister even though she was clueless to Jude’s problems sometimes.
About our titular cruel prince, Cardan, I didn’t care about him much except that I LOVED the fact that he didn’t turn out to be some tortured soul desperately in love with Jude. He wouldn’t be believable as a “Cruel Prince” if that happened.
The plot was a bit predictable. Even Jude’s last, big plan at the end could be seen from a mile away.
But here lies the masterfulness with which Holly Black crafted this story: even after predicting what Jude planned to do with the crown, I enjoyed it immensely.
Despite the small faults, I’m very glad that I read this book. The book ended with an explosion and it was enough to make a reader go mad for the next book.
Looking for more reviews?
Check out our review of Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen.