I thought that today on Sunday, I catch up on book reviews that were always put away. The Cruel Prince, I have read several months ago, and the internet had an eyeful of teasing from The Wicked King, the sequel supposedly coming in 2019. Although reportedly the book was leaked recently! The first book introduces us to the main character Jude, who actually attends school in a Fae world. Her sisters and she are adopted by a Fae general. Jude has to deal with being bullied, lacking a place in society and harbouring a secret crush.
Now I will not give a great deal about the book away, as I think it should be discovered and explored by a reader. I will thou point out what I liked and did not about it. Keeping the plot twists as hidden as possible.
The Cruel Prince has one of the simplest, yet seducing covers that I've seen. The cover does not give away a plot, nor a hint as to what the book is about. This is something that I personally like because I need my books to be a mystery.
The setting is of course in the magical universe of Fae, and Holly Black could have a free reign there. I believe that she did a good job of utilizing and describing it. Putting a clear boundary between the world of Fae and human one. Rules as to how magic works, affects humans and fae folk is well defined. This is where I truly believe Black used the mythology well.
Weirdly enough I did not like the main character Jude. I thought her flat, a fault which I find within a lot of books recently. Now, prince Cardan, I liked, because he has a similar facial tick to mine, which is smiling when uncomfortable. Another important detail that was a little off by Black, is that although she tried to capture the mischief of fae and their inhuman traits; she often failed with the task. General, prince and even the rebels turned very human when they could have been extra fae. So character diversity is a fail.
The idea of a maiden that looks for love and a place to belong is not new. Rebelling against the father figure, hating him for the crimes committed against her family, also not a surprising concept. Unrequired love, cheating, and betrayal, this is a complete ground mix of plots. I think that Black did make the book quite dynamic, mixing in different goals for Jude. There were a handful and a half of plots to keep up with, especially species against the human girls.
I did give this book three stars, only because Jude was simply flat as fudge, but GR has it at a little above 4 stars. Now would I read the second part? Heck yeah! Am I committed to this book? Not really. This is a fast read one could enjoy in between series, as it is not overly burdening. I did have a bit of heartache at the end when more of Cardan's character was revealed. Some of it was quite obvious, this is when I just wanted to smack Jude.
So if you like fae mischief, romance stories, and twisted plots, grab The Cruel Prince!