Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, General, Legends, Myths, Fables, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Themes, Violence, Young Adult Fiction
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.
“No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep.
I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.”
Not what I expected at all
I think from the synopsis and hype I was sort of expecting THE CRUEL PRINCE to be a mix of A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS. However, it definitely ended up being its own book and had a lot of unique elements. It’s not your typical romance masquerading as a fantasy novel either, the world is pretty fleshed out and the romance isn’t what you would predict.
Missed potential by being YA?
THE CRUEL PRINCE is already somewhat of a dark book, as there is a lot of cruelty in the fae world – bullying, threats, abuse, etc. However, I couldn’t help but think how much darker and sensual this book could have been if it hadn’t been written for a YA audience. For example, I thought the pacing was slowed down by the characters having to go to school every day, which changed the tone of the story a little.
Started to take a different turn halfway through
That did change though – about midway, the book became darker and more serious. It almost felt like a completely different story with the same characters, and I liked this half much better. After a certain point, things were happening nonstop, and it was smooth sailing to get to a pretty epic conclusion.
Clever main character
In terms of the main character, Jude really develops throughout the novel. While always a strong minded individual, she slowly gathers up her resolve and courage – and learns from her mistakes. She is a mortal human in the world of Fae but she shows she can hold her own and should definitely not be underestimated.
Fae games, tricks, and politics
Another part of this book that I enjoyed was the scheming and plots of the Fae court. There were a lot of political games and different aspects of that influenced different areas of the book. Seeing Jude navigate through this as a mortal was fascinating – she has to be one step ahead or risk deadly consequences. And then there was that glorious twist at the end of the book – amazing. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series goes.
“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.”