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Reviews of: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air)

  • 4 stars 27 customer reviews

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    • 5 stars
    • By

    Loved it! Totally different from what I was expecting

    Although at first I expected a somewhat normal romance story disguised as a fantasy novel, which I must say I quite enjoy reading, I was surprised with the amazing story and characters H. Black has created in this wonderful book. Focusing on the life of Jude Duarte and her mostly horrible time in the world of Faerie, you get a great glimpse at the person she could have been, who she wants to be and who she will become. It follows her rise through the ranks and the way she gets there. The way she was bullied and despised, how that angers her and also instills fear in her and the way she deals with everything seem so realistic, it's hard to tell the difference from reality if not for the fantasy aspect of the story.

    I love how her inner struggles and ever changing thoughts are given shape and meaning, giving you a real look into her mind and giving you so much more understanding of all of her decisions.

    I've been struggling to read any book in less than a month, and I finished this one it three or four days! Definitely recommend reading, it's so worth your time! I'm definitely looking forward to reading the second book.

    • 1 stars
    • By

    I am enchanted

    I am a huge fan of Holly Black, and this is the first book of hers that I've read. Where was I all this time?

    I am so happy that this is a part of series, but as everyone else, I want all the books now.

    Starting to read this, I was surprised that the story was not told by the main character Viviene - half Fae half human; seemed like and expected thing to be done. But having her sister, one of the twins, tell us the story, allows us to see all the differences of the world she lives in, where she can not rely on magic, and being ridiculed for her mortality, can be pushed to do worse things, than magic would allow.

    At times, I felt frustrated at the childish Jude's oblivion, and her blindness to

    Cardan's reasoning, and for example, how he helped her out, when the apple was involved, but it;s easy to forget, that she's been shielded from a lot of human experiences and is in many aspects a child herself.

    Otherwise, it is such an easy book to read and I love that it is so authentic in a mention of all the ancient entities, that were known or believed by humans to be roaming our world and woods.

    Thank you, Holly.

    • 5 stars
    • By

    The fantasy book we all need...

    I initially found this book when it was mentioned a lot on Instagram, and when I finally managed to get my hands on it, I read it three consecutive times. After having finished a major series- Throne of Glass, any fans?- I was a little put off by the high fantasy vibe because I wanted a break, but oh boy was I wrong. This book was one of my favourite reads of 2018, for so many reasons. The writing style wasn't laborious to read, or boring, it drew me right in straight away! And within the first few chapters, I was already in love with all of the characters.

    Without issuing any spoilers, the plot twists in this book left me reeling, and coupled with the dark beauty of traditional faerie folklore woven into this book, it was definitely something to enjoy. I'll hopefully be getting my hands on The Wicked King, and I just can't wait!

    • 4 stars
    • By

    Fantasy is not going away anytime soon

    At the beginning of 2018, the Cruel Prince was one of the most talked about novels of the YA genre. With the Cruel Prince, Holly Black created a world of high stakes and vicious political ambition that upturned expectations in this genre and set a high standard for other fantasy novels to compete with. The faery realm and kingdom politics is not a novel concept in the YA genre and fantasy has had peaked at various points in the last decade with the Twilight series and Cassandra Clare's creations but Holly Black nonetheless manages to carve herself a piece of the pie with the Cruel Prince. Her protagonist is Jude, a girl who enters an unfamiliar world as an outsider in race and standing but learns how to manipulate the players of the game for her own gain. Her ambition drives this novel as we see how she masterfully conducts herself as a puppeteer of the airheads she is surrounded with. This is a vastly different approach to the fantasy genre as Holly's predecessors have done so and it comes as a refreshing take of style.

    • 5 stars
    • By

    Absolutlety Loved It

    I was over the moon when I heard that Holly Black had written a new book set in faerie. It took me a while to connect that this was actually the same world that 'Tithe' and the others had been set. I was crazy excited by Kaye's appearance! So please I finally realised it was the same world - would've been even more excited to read this had that been included in the blurb!

    I really enjoyed this perspective, a human in faerie. Jude is such a wonderfully inspiringly strong character and I love the complicated family relationships...which only get more tense!

    I adore Cardan and his character development / unveiling. Plus the whole court intrigue and drama!

    I really can't wait to read the next one!

    • 5 stars
    • By

    A dark jewel of a book

    Fey-human books are deffinitely the best books. After reading the books by the best Sarah J. Maas I thought I would never find something as interesting but this was just AMAZING.

    Holly Black creates a whole new world and a spectacular show of characters that royalty has. She shows us how the royals usually look down on people thinking that we aren't worth it.

    But what she also shows us is the unstoppable will of human kind. The hatred that sometimes drives us. The will to protect our loved ones. She shows us the way that we people can adapt to a new way of living. How we people don't easily give up.

    She creates a woman hero who would do anything for her loved ones. But also a woman from the every day world no matter that she is driven in a world full of faries and goblins and pixies. She knows how to get used to that and live with it. And even if her parents were murdered in front of her eyes she still had the will to live on for herself and her sister.

    This is a book that everyone who loves fantasy should read!!!

    • 5 stars
    • By

    A must-read!

    This was my first ever Holly Black book and it really exceeded all my expectations! While I was expecting a dark fantasy, it really went beyond that and delivered a storyline where every character is morally grey to some extent and cannot be trusted. I loved the themes of identity in the novel, how Jude is conflicted between hating the Fae and wanting to be them because Faerie is all she knows and yet she is not accepted there because of her human appearance. I enjoyed the political intrigue in the novel and I'm excited to see how that plays out in the sequel.

    The "romance" in the novel was perfect because it was barely there so it'll have more time to be properly developed in The Wicked King. As for Cardan, it's impossible to not fall for a villain who's a softie on the inside. Full of betrayal and plot twists at every turn, it's a must for the year!

  • Darkly enjoyable

    This book is about a 17-year-old girl trapped in the cruel Faerie court. From the beginning of the book it is clear that Jude’s story is not going to be an easy one as within the first few pages she witnesses both her parents slaughtered and is carried off by the Faerie who killed them.

    After this traumatic event Jude, along with her 2 sisters must navigate growing up inside, but never quite belonging to, the court of the Faerie High King.

    The relationships Jude has in the book are all very interesting. As in many Faerie stories the fey are untrustworthy and dangerous creatures, at once captivating and ferocious. One thing I like is that the author has recognised the damage this would cause to someone growing up surrounded by it. Holly Black has created a central character who seems unable to accurately recognise the feelings and motives of even the people closest to her.

    Plenty of books place a traumatised person in the centre of their story but many of them end the book discovering that, if they follow their heart, everything will be ok. The exciting thing about this book is that, despite being in an entirely different position at the end of the story, it is not necessarily a place which guarantees much of an improvement for Jude, which makes the reader eager to read the next part of the story.

    Mostly written in the first person, the book has the bloody plot twists of Game of Thrones written in a style more similar to Cassandra Clare.

    • 3 stars
    • By

    Beautiful Writing Style, but Lacking in Character Development

    I found myself quickly hooked on this book and, while it does have some rather large flaws in character development and relationships between the characters, it was written very well and I loved Black's structuring of syntax. She's a very beautiful writer, and I could tell that right from the very start of the book.

    The character Jude, in particular, I personally found hard to emphasise with; she was extremely power-hungry and rather blood thirsty at times, and while she was the one to narrate the story, I found we didn't get a full feel of her emotions, other than hearing about the way she was treated as a human rather than one of the Fey. I found the same for her sisters, Vivie and Taryn - Vivie seemed to care more for her freedom and about her girlfriend than she did her two sisters, and Taryn was extremely selfish, and once again picked her boyfriend over her sisters when it mattered most. Considering all the girls watched their 'parents' die in front of them when they were young, you would have thought that they'd be closer than they actually were in the book.

    Jude's relationship with Prince Cardan is an odd one and hard to understand, especially because the romance that occurs between them only happens in the second part of the book and came rather out of the blue! He is her bully and he treats her terribly -- she understandably detests him for this, although there do seem to be some feelings for him deep down (which, as she's never seen a nice side to his personality, I found hard to understand *why* they were there; I could only assume that those feelings are one of lust, because she does mention him being beautiful a lot in the narration), but then suddenly they're kissing, in spite of the horrible way he has treated her. I'm always one for a good romance, but in this book I felt that the attempts at this fell flat, and in my own opinion, there's nothing romantic about falling for someone who bullies you and doesn't treat you well throughout the novel.

    I did, however, enjoy the action-packed and magic-themed plot -- I thought the story progressed well, and I am in hope that there will be another book after this one, as it seems to have left it on a bit of a cliffhanger! Overall, it was a rather good read, but due to the lack of character development and other factors that I mentioned, I couldn't give it more than three stars.

    My vote: 3 out of 5 stars.

  • Dark and twisty and fantastical

    ‘Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

    And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.’

    It sounds like a love story. It’s not. Not really. Romance comes into play in the plot so rarely that, for a YA fantasy, this was a breath of fresh air. It’s dark and enchanting and political, and the faeries are just delicious in their various ways and forms.

    Our main protagonist, Jude, sees her parents brutally murdered and is swept away to live in the world of Faerie. She wants to fit in, but the youngest son of the King and his monstrous followers have other ideas. Then she receives an intriguing opportunity: to become a spy...

    With numerous twists and turns and more deaths than I can count, Holly Black has written the beginnings of a fabulous story about the evil side of fairies. No Tinker Bells here. I’m excited to continue with the series!

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) by Holly Black
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) (English, Hardback) Holly Black

"A dark jewel of a book . intoxicating" - Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of CrowsOf course I want to be like them.

4 stars

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