ARC Review: The Cruel Prince // Holly Black

26032825The Cruel Prince
Holly Black
Release: January 2, 2018
Page Count: 384

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.

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.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was absolutely lethal. I’ve previously read Black’s previous works such as Black Cat and did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I was definitely tentative going in to this book, however The Cruel Prince proved to be quite magical, full of deadly fae and lots of bloody betrayal.


  • The characters were fabulous. Especially the bad guys. They were woven amazingly. Holly Black wrote them in such a way that really made you hate the bad guys. That’s how real they were. The acts some of these characters committed were brutal and nothing even close to petty. All of the characters, fae or no are spun to in such a way that leaves everyone to have both a good and evil side.
  • I’ve seen many representation of the fae world. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the fae were seen as the brutal beings lots of folklore portray them to be. I felt that Black stuck to the traditional “fae” very well in her world building. The fae within this novel are truly ugly and cruel beings.
  • NO ROMANCE. NO ROMANCE. NO ROMANCE. Do you want me to say it again? Okay, well, there is romance, but it doesn’t really count since there are only maybe 15 pages of it spread out across the entire novel. Seeing a YA novel without romance is so refreshing. I love cheesy romantic novels to death but c’mon…
  • The plot for the most part was relatively well paced, 4/5 of the novel was really well paced, I finished it in a day once I got past the slow parts in the beginning. Every ending for every chapter hooked me in.
  • Diversity! The Cruel Prince had Bi representation in it!


  • The beginning of the novel was a little bit slow, maybe the first 50-80 pages. Not much happened and I had my doubts, however the rest of the novel picked up the pace.
  • While the story was pretty original in regards to the main character herself and her own story line, I felt there were a couple of tropes in there that were slightly annoying. For example:
    • Parents both murdered at the beginning of the plot
    • Polar opposite twin sisters
    • Slightly evil stepmother
    • Main character that constantly wants more, rebelliously stands up to authorities or offenders.

Overall, I loved this book. It was just…really good. It was magical, it had me making some pretty horrified faces while reading the book (psst…that means it was good). The Cruel Prince gave me shivers, especially that ending. This review is already a messy blabber so please ignore me, but let me end with this. The Cruel Prince is a novel that needs to be on your TBR list.

4.5/5 STARS



7 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Cruel Prince // Holly Black

  1. I’ve seen this book everywhere and I’m so glad to hear that it is good!! I haven’t read anything by Holly Black yet… and I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick any of her books up. But I do really want to read this now!!


  2. Great review. This book sounds sickeningly fascinating. I’ve read Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales series, and enjoyed the books for the most part. She certainly has a way with dark plots and characters. This book is now on my radar, so thanks for sharing!
    Happy reading!

    Jessica @ Pore Over the Pages


    1. Thank you so much! I’ve never read any of her modern faerie tales series but next up is definitely The Darkest Part of the Forest. I’m glad Cruel Prince is on you’re radar, enjoy it once it comes out! Thank you so much for the comment! 🙂


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