The Cruel Prince


This book review contains spoilers!

General Information

Author: Holly Black

Series: #1 in The Folk of the Air

Audience: Young Adult



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.

Plot / Storyline

,,Because you are like a story that hasn’t happened yet, because I want to see what you will do. I want to be a part of the unfolding of the tale”

Jude and her sisters Taryn & Vivi are stolen by a Fae called Madoc and brought into the land of Faerie after he kills their parents. As it turns out Madoc came to retrieve his heir, Vivi.

Due to the Faeries being very cruel and unfair to humans, Jude sets her goal to become a member of the High Court. This is achievable either through marriage or special skills. Since Madoc taught her swordsmanship and later strategy, she chooses the latter.

Madoc is the fae general, so Jude and her sister Taryn have to attend lectures with the fey nobles. With her tormentor Cardan and his friends attending aswell, Jude gets drawn more and more into the world of fae politics and nearer to the throne.


Jude (main character)
Jude is a fierce girl who wants everyone to accept her into the world of Faerie, even though she is a human. She was abused in her early years in Faerie – her finger was eaten and one of the Fae made her dance for hours.  Jude has a strong personality and does not let any of the cruel things happening to her stand in her way from reaching her goal.  What I found a little suspect was the fact that she wanted to earn respect from the person who killed her parents.


Jude’s sisters

Taryn couldn’t be more different than Jude. She just accepts being in Faerie and has no self-confidence. / Vivi on the other hand, does everything to piss her father off & the only thing she wants is to go back to the mortal world.



There is Jude’s family which I came to like throughout the book. Then there is the mean-gang, Cardan and his friends where I think that the title of the book doesn’t only fit to the prince.


,,There is safety in being aweful.”


And last but not least her spy-team, ready to kick ass together.

I think all of the characters were very memorable but considering the length of the book, not all of them were precisely developed yet.


I guess I could call the Jude-Locke-Taryn a love triangle. It’s only a game for Locke and in the end he choses Taryn, but no need to be sad about it ~


,,She has Locke, but I am here with a prince” – Jude


Throughout the book it became clear that Prince Cardan very much likes Jude, although he does everything to show hatred on a daily basis and humiliate her infront of everyone. The abusive behavior should not be tolerated and I hope he is going to suffer more in the second book. But Jude is doing a good job already.  I’m excited to see their relationship develop further in The Wicked King.

What I liked / hated the most

Jude’s progression through the book was one of the more impressive aspects. While others would plan their escape or cry in a corner she fights for herself, her rights and her family in a smart and brutal way.

The scheming in the book and the ending were utterly perfect. It’s nice to see that something similar to “The Red Wedding” from Game of Thrones can happen in other books 😉

I didn’t like Lockes game with Taryn and Jude; I felt like the character of Locke was very overrated.


It was one of my first books where I jumped right on the hypetrain before the book was even out. And I’m so glad this happened because it was one of my favorites of 2018, a fresh new series with a kickass heroine. I could not give the book a perfect rating but only because I had a hard time getting into the book. So considering all of that I highly recommend The Cruel Prince!

Feel free to leave a comment – I hope you are up for some discussions about this gem!

Also the next book is coming out soon, maybe someone wants to buddyread it with me 🙂

FantasyRomanceYoung Adult

faefemale heroinehate to love romanceHolly Blackmagicreal world & other worldroyals

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