The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)by Published 02 Jan 2018
|The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
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 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.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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 (The Folk of the Air, #1)" Reviews
I CAN'T GET OVER HOW FREAKING BLOODILY FANTASTIC THIS WAS. I WAS GOING TO BE CHILL ABOUT THE WHOLE THING MY LMAO NO. THIS BOOK IS STABBY AND MARVELLOUS AND I WANT 9 MORE.
I'm actually reeling okay?! Holly Black has been a favourite of mine for years and I was craving more murderous dark faerie books. This is not about Tinkerbell. This is about the monsters in the woods and enchantments and torture and massacres and conniving. This book is, most definitely, about cruel wit. And I absolutely love it. Although honestly I thought it'd actually be a bit darker? But I probably shouldn't mention that because I can literally see you all throwing salt at me and asking if I was a stolen malicious changeling baby which...
...yes? I totally see how that could be.
+ First off, this is the ultimate Slytherin book.
It's really complex and twisty with the fey royalty plots and the conniving courts and the intriguing and the backstabbing and twisted plotting. Like the fey do REALLY well to get around the "we can't lie" thing. I have taken notes. Because obviously this is the kind of book you learn from. #NoPleaseDontRunawayFromMeImNiceSometimesImSure But it's CLEVER and complex and I crave that in a book and I got so so much of it.
+ And it's fully set IN the fey world.
Usually books about fey are more about the overlap, but this is like 98% set in Faerieland! I'M SO FREAKING HAPPY ABOUT THIS. It's saturated in the rich luscious world. The descriptions were gorgeous and just popped off the page. And everything was beautiful and pure deadly. Like hey welcome to my hOME where the fruit will kill you and there are death monsters in the pond and also if you piss off a gentry fey you'll die and also EVERYTHING IS GORGEOUS SO THERE'S THAT! Basically I was so in love with the gorgeous and brutally nasty world.
10/10 chances that if I got lured into faerieland I'd be like Jude and stay too. (I can handle the stabbing, ok? Once I even killed a fly.)
+ There's plenty of blood and stabbing.
Like, mate. We aren't going to muck about. There is MURDER and it's chilling.
+ I really loved Jude, our protagonist!
She's such a complicated person, born fully human and being fostered by, basically, her parent's murderer (also her human mum's ex husband...look the fey world is complicated). She's been raised in a world where the fey will ALWAYS despise her for her mortality. And the bullying, I think, was done really well and actually quite relatably. I mean, we're in the fey courts, for goodness sakes, but you have a relatable story line of a girl who is never fitting in or accepted because of who she was born + putting up with the cruelness of the other fey kids in her classes. And Jude was just NOT going to be run over. She wasn't overconfident or heartless, but she was badass and terrifying and clever and such a schemer. <3 <3
+ There's a lot of emphasis on family too!
Although I kind of thought Taryn was a flake and Vivi had little to no point to the story but heyyy sisters!! I do love books with SO many interesting women. Plus Oak was an adorable brat. And I loved how morally grey Madoc was. Like the dude was bad but also good?!? But BAD. Nice.
+ I admit I totally feel things about Prince Cardan.
He's so nasty and cruel and makes Jude's life miserable...which is 100% the recipe for me to hate him. I do NOT like the "ooh I like you so I'll be mean to you" story lines but it wasn't like that! I loved the twists in their interactions, but this isn't the kind of ship you'd expect. It's not even a ship?!?? Is it?!? I DON'T KNOW. (FYI I guessed what was going on with Locke VERY early.) But Cardan was mean and actually a little tragic underneath and I'm desperate to know what happens next.
ajfdsklad I didn't mean to care about this boy ajfkdlsad why why
+ I also really took my time reading and it was worth it!
Every page was gorgeous and satisfying and interesting. I can't even with how detailed the world was and how smoothly the plot ran. I LOVED Jude's narration and watching her change from someone struggling not to be walked over, to someone an acorn and a thumbprint away from manipulating the world. Ugh Jude. I love everything about you.
+ PLUS THE ENDING. HOLY YES.
EVERYTHING ABOUT IT MAKES ME DESPERATE FOR BOOK 2. Is it too early to declare a favourite of the year?! Or favourite of ever?!?
BASICALLY: READ THIS.
If you like dark fey stories and books that aren't afraid to get bloody and girls with swords and clever crafty plots -- this one. This. Eat it. Be entranced. It's terrible and beautiful and everything I was hoping for.
I require book 2 immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen.
"If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse."
I see why people call Holly Black 'Queen of the Faeries'. Hoooly wow. What a delightfully dark, twisty novel.
If you know anything about me, I'm all about the court politics & intrigue, villains & anti-heroes, and schemes within plots within schemes. This book had my name written ALL over it.
Okay so here's the basic rundown without giving away too much. Jude and Taryn are twins. Vivi is their older sister. It turns out, Vivi's real father, Madoc, is fae. When the girls are young, he comes for Vivi, kills their parents, and sees Jude and Taryn as his responsibilities since their mother was his... ex. To put it lightly. He whisks them away to Faerie to be raised alongside his family. Having grown up with Madoc as the only father they knew, Taryn and Jude have come to love him like a father, while Vivi promises to always hate him for what he did.
Being the general's daughters, Jude and her sisters are raised alongside the High King's sons and daughters. Each sibling has their own group of friends, spies, etc.
Cardan is the youngest prince, and on the surface, the cruelest. Anyone who gets in his way, annoys him, or disrespect him, ends up paying dearly. Jude hates him with a passion, to say the least. He has that whole 'school bully' syndrome and is impossibly arrogant (all the makings of a delicious prince, amirite?)
Jude just wants to belong. Unlike her sister, she loves the land of Faerie. Her dream is to become a knight. She wants a position of power that will earn her freedom and respect. But after being bullied and harassed by Cardan and his lackeys, Jude is fed up.
"My good intentions evaporate on the wind. My blood is on fire, boiling in my veins. I do not have much power, but here is what I have - I can force his hand. Cardan might want to hurt me, but I can make him want to hurt me worse."
So we have a bit of a prank war, but a life-threatening one. Jude stops trying to control her temper, and she starts fighting back. She gets in a few good swings at Cardan, which royally pisses him off in the most delightful way. It catches the attention of the rest of the royal family, including Prince Dain. He meets Jude in secret and offers her a position of power if she spies for him. Dain is the chosen son, the one that will inherit the crown via his father's favor.
So Jude accepts his offer and becomes part of his 'Court of Shadows'.
Political games insue. Jude gets in over her head. (Or does she?)
I don't want to say more than that, but that's the general idea of the opening. Only, it becomes so much more. Jude discovers secrets within secrets about the court, and with the coronation coming up, things get especially intense. Not to mention, her twin sister says she has a secret lover but she refuses to reveal his identity.
When shit hits the fan, oh man, it gets SO good. The ending was phenomenal, and the sequel is set up to be AMAZING and I dont know how I'm going to wait... *screams into the void*
Bah, ok. Anyway... Jude is a fantastic main character. She's cunning, witty, and so supremely dark. Perhaps darker than Cardan himself at times. She's complex (so is everyone else) and relatable and easily has one of the strongest voices I've come across in a YA novel. I loved how complicated things get with her sisters and Madoc's family, and how buried some of the secrets are. Oh man. What a cool (and awful) family dynamic. I also looooved how vivid the royal family is. Of course, Cardan is my favorite, because I am utterly helpless when it comes to characters like him. Is there ever something between him and Jude, you ask? I admit nothing, but if you could pass me your fan...
Ugh, and the world. Holly Black's writing is lush in every way imaginable, and she excels in bringing such a fantastical world to life. None of it felt made up. She doesn't shy away from anything dark, either. This isn't a pretty fairie land, folks. Here be monsters.
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Sorry folks, I don't get it.
Unmemorable. Another YA fantasy with fairies and humans, clichés and cringe romance similar to all the other fantasy/dystopian books that have been coming out. I don't understand the hype because there was nothing I found good in here. There wasn't anything horrible either which leaves me with a "meh" review.
Won't continue the series. Don't recommend it.
Absolutely loved this read!! A wondrous fantasy novel that is easy to get invested in. So many great plot twists and high-intensity, suspenseful moments!
TW: murder, physical abuse, sexual abuse, suicide
Holly Black is truly the queen of creating exquisite worlds. Her interpretation of faeries is always so fascinating and glorious. It’s hard to fully capture what it is about her world-building that is so magical, but her books are always my favorite when it comes to faeries. I believe a part of it is that she flawlessly captures the danger and darkness of fey while also displaying the beauty of their magic. There are few words to accurately describe her talent for writing intriguing and beautiful fantasy worlds.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Jude is a great protagonist – her fierceness is complimented by her vulnerability, which makes her very realistic considering her circumstances. The relationships between characters are also fascinating, especially the family dynamics. The way Jude views her sisters and “adoptive” family are very unique in my opinion.
I also enjoyed the fact that this is not a romance novel. Though it is weaved in here and there, I feel the overarching plot becomes full of politics as the story progress. I will admit, I did lose focus at sometimes while listening to the audiobook because so much of this novel is centered on political relationships, the complications of monarchies, dynamics between different courts, and plotting to overthrow. That being said, it is so well developed and different from many YA books that I overall had a great experience with in.
In total, The Cruel Prince was fantastic. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy, faeries, political intrigue, or just an all-around immersive novel.