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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 385 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 14 - 99||Grade Level: 7 - 17|
- Book 1 of 3 in The Folk of the Air
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From School Library Journal
"Black is a master at world-building, conveying integral details without that information ever seeming tedious or encyclopedic, whether you're well versed in faerie or a newcomer to the genre....the experience of reading a novel like this is something like being surrounded by magic."―The New York Times Book Review
"I require book two immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen."―Victoria Aveyard, #1 bestselling author of The Red Queen series
* "[S]pellbinding....Breathtaking set pieces, fully developed supporting characters, and a beguiling, tough-as-nails heroine enhance an intricate, intelligent plot that crescendos to a jaw-dropping third-act twist."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Another fantastic, deeply engaging, and all-consuming work from Black that belongs on all YA shelves."―School Library Journal, starred review
* "Jude, who struggles with a world she both loves and hates and would rather be powerful and safe than good, is a compelling narrator. Whatever a reader is looking for--heart-in-throat action, deadly romance, double-crossing, moral complexity--this is one heck of a ride."―Booklist, starred review
"This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life. Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in."―Kirkus Reviews
* "Black, quite rightly, is the acknowledged queen of faerie lit, and her latest shows her to be at the top of her game, unveiling twists and secrets and bringing her characters vividly to life."―VOYA, starred review
"With complicated characters, a suspenseful plot, and a successful return to the Faerie setting of many of her popular books, Black's latest is sure to enchant fans."―The Horn Book --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- Publication date : January 2, 2018
- File size : 26460 KB
- Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (January 2, 2018)
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 385 pages
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- ASIN : B06Y5HPRLC
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,652 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Now, it's been a while since I downloaded the sample but my thoughts did go back to this book from time to time. Something about it DID intrigue me.
Now this brings me to point #2. The first half of the book isn't the greatest. You will probably dislike all of the characters which is a major frustration. You can definitely get into the feel of the world and stay there, a testament to the author's ability to good writing but the 3 sisters, Jude, Taryn, and Vivi feel like they have no personalities at all. The author tries to convince us in a particular chapter that Jude has been through a lot and gives you a glimpse into the twisted way of faeries. This is supposed to reinforce our thoughts that Jude is only a lowly pawn with a predestined life filled with misery and misfortune. This is why she is dull and non-responsive to her own feelings and thoughts.That wasn't completely supportive enough to justify how bland Jude was. Her inner monologues were thoroughly lacking in regards to bringing the story to life.
Once you hit the second part of the novel, that's when things begin to pick up the pace and the book becomes a true page turner. It's as if someone else penned the second half of the novel. Someone who breathes in life and vigor to the plot. Jude becomes sharper, smarter, wittier. I have some issues with that as she was not exactly like that during the first half of the novel. And how she concocts a masterful plan and predicts the outcomes is a little above what I thought she was capable of within such a limited time of playing the Fae game.
Certain elements and plots come to light. It makes you abhor certain characters even more and makes you want to find out what some characters are ultimately up to. And some even manage to redeem themselves, although not entirely just yet. There is a lot of potential here for the next novel and I am really looking forward to seeing what Cardan will do to Jude after what goes down at the end of the novel. I also want to know what Locke's endgame is. True to what he says earlier, he is indeed a trickster; a very dirty one at that. Will Jude also be punished for her crime of murder? How will that (literally) be uncovered?
I primarily read adult novels and I do appreciate a good dollop of romance. If this was an adult novel, I would be expecting quite a few feisty and interesting scenes between Cardan and his new 'master', Jude. *Sigh*. One can only wish.
If you are on the fence about this novel but do enjoy YA novels with plot twists, conspiracy, and revenge then I would recommend this book to you. Just do yourself a favor and give yourself time to get to the turning point in the novel. I promise, it gets much more intriguing.
Unpopular opinion incoming. Boy, was this novel problematic. I’m going to start with the title. With a title such as ‘The Cruel Prince’, one would assume that The Cruel Prince (Cardan) would mean the story was centered around the prince or the prince would at least play a significant role in the book. However, there was neither. The novel is actually narrated by Jude, a human girl who was taken to Faerie at the age of seven and was raised among the gentry as if she was a fair folk princess. At this point, I had a feeling it wasn't going to bode well when I realized how misleading the title was.
Then we had the heroine Jude. Oh how I hated Jude. Jude despised the fair folk and yet she desperately wanted to be one of them. Hypocrite much? She often mentioned how cruel and selfish the gentry were but she literally did everything in her power to be just like them or crueler…believing it made her better than them. It’s not an admirable trait nor something to aspire to. Jude had a shitty personality to begin with but it got worst when she joined a secret organization and became a spy for a powerful fair folk. All the secrets went straight to her head. She went around threatening people and went as far as murdering a fair folk because she thought she was untouchable (she claimed self-defense but let’s get real she wanted to kill him). She never felt remorse for her actions and had little to no care for the consequences (and of course it helped that she hid all the proof). Many readers saw Jude as a strong, kick-ass heroine and her actions as self empowering. But she was not. Jude was nothing more than a disgusting and despicable human being. How anyone can like her is a mystery to me.
Before I read The Cruel Prince, I saw people ‘shipping’ Jude and Cardan. Readers normally ‘shipped’ couples they loved, so again, I assumed Cardan and Jude were a couple. And big shocker, they were never a couple! From the moment the two characters met, all I felt was the loathing, animosity and frustration between the two. Every exchange and interaction thereafter between Jude and Cardan resulted in either the characters insulting one another or physically attacking one another. I was baffled. Why would readers approve of this? In an early scene, Cardan shoved Jude against a wall/or tree and proceeded to choke her and tell her how beneath him she was. The male character was literally emotionally and physically abusive to the female character and yet readers found this behavior acceptable…and I dare say, romantic? It’s not cute or romantic. It’s sick, revolting and unacceptable. It may be a fantasy novel and everything was fake but when real people start romanticizing it, there’s definitively a problem. And the book is marketed to teens no less. I love a good fantasy novel, I even love faeries but this book is not appropriate for children. I am surprised the book was approved and published because it was absolute rubbish.
The writing was not any better. Reviewers praised Black for her lyrical prose and even dubbed her as the Queen of Faeries but I didn’t see it. The writing wasn’t beautiful or lyrical. It was simple and basic as they come. The world building and characters were poorly developed and in my opinion unremarkable and unlikable. I’ve read far better faerie novels with complex world building and multifaceted characters; and best of all they didn’t romanticize abusive/unhealthy relationships.
The Cruel Prince was one of the worst book I’ve read in the last couple of years. It seriously boggles my mind how many people love this book. As I mentioned, the writing was average, the world building unimaginative, the characters unlikable but it was still nothing compared to an aggressor disguised as a love interest and violence and cruelty disguised as bravery and strength. That's messed up and twisted if you asked me. And If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and skip it. It’s not worth your time or your money.
Once I got to the 150ish page mark, I could not put this book down. I was engrossed with the storyline’s darkness, the espionage, the secrets, the twists, and OHMYGOD that ending!
The Cruel Prince is a gorgeous and gritty read. It’s simply a stunner from the beautiful cover to the unique characters and all the unexpected plot twists. This book has everything from mouth-dropping scenes, several punch in the gut romances, and the most unforeseen betrayal that had me gasping for more pages.
I am floored that this book did a 180 on me and I cannot wait for book two. If there is one book that I highly recommend that you TREAT YO SHELF to this year, please for the love of all fairies pick up The Cruel Prince. You will not regret it.
Top reviews from other countries
I was therefore pleasantly surprised to discover that this is basically full-blown fantasy, with the focus very much on politics, plotting and life and death scenarios. It's also very strong on showing the emotional conflicts and inner turmoil faced by the characters, particularly the lead, Jude.
Speaking of Jude, I was expecting either a kick-ass fantasy heroine or a softer romantic lead. Again, my assumptions were dashed. She turned out to be a very dark heroine, bordering on antiheroine. She kills, she plots, she does ruthless things. And her backstory and her ongoing fears and ambitions are so well set out that you completely understand the things she does and keep rooting for her.
The supporting characters were also mostly compelling and nuanced. I particularly liked Madoc, Jude's adoptive father, a bloodthirsty fairy general who killed her biological parents but genuinely loves and cares for her. The unusual backstory and set-up really add a lot compared to the standard set up of a human girl either wandering into faerie by mistake or discovering she is half fairy herself. Jude has grown up as an aristocrat of the fairy world, but facing huge prejudice for being biologically human. And her feelings towards her adoptive father and adopted land are wonderfully conflicted.
The world is set out beautifully and strikes a nice balance between solidly well-developed and appropriately dreamlike. I didn't realise until close to the end, when a cameo made it clear, but this is set in the same world as the author's old Tithe novels. I didn't enjoy them as much as this, but I think the existence of all that existing world-building really helped here.
As I've mentioned, romance was much less front and centre than I was expecting, though it bubbles under the surface, There was a side romance that felt rather throw away and did nothing for me. It's quite clear from both the title and the entire set up that Cardan, the titular Cruel Prince, is meant to be the main love interest, though, without getting too spoilery, there's surprisingly little development on that front in this volume. If I had one quibble with the book, it's that I was a little disappointed in Cardan. I was expecting him to be a bit like the Darkling or similar - cruel in a scheming, sinister way, with lots of ambition but also lots of charm. In this instalment at least, he was more like a petty, spoiled school bully, albeit one who happened to be a fairy prince, and wasn't particularly competent. And the way he treated the heroine was unpleasant and not linked to any wider plan.
Overall though, this was a really well-written and well-plotted fantasy with a great heroine and I'm really looking forward to the next instalment.
My first time in Elfhame left a bad impression. I felt so out of step because everyone was gushing about The Cruel Prince and I was on the outside thinking ‘I just don’t get it.’ That’s partly why I do not like reading books mid hype.
A friend talked me into reading The Wicked King, a little longer in the world of Elfhame and I finally felt like I was starting to get it.
With Queen of Nothing on the horizon I decided to participate in a readalong with two people who haven’t yet stepped into the world Holly created.
Despite having read it… Despite knowing every twist and turn… I loved it.
I think people should be warned that this isn’t your typical YA story, you’ll step into Elfhame, you’ll be surrounded by cruel, beautiful, wicked creatures and you’ll probably question your own morals when you fall in love with them. There’s still plenty of characters I hate, don’t get me wrong but there’s a lot I can’t help loving.
It’s full of danger, betrayal, bloodshed, manipulation and cunning. Cunning above all else because the Folk cannot lie so they have to be especially clever with everything they say and do.
During my first read it was hard to grasp that along with the new world setting and everything else but this time I paid attention to every word.
If you’re like me, if you love everything fae and you’re unsure about this, my advice is to read it twice. Give yourself a wee break between reads and see where it takes you the second time around. I’m so glad I gave it another go. I am now really and truly obsessed.
Here’s one of my favourite moments;
“Take care,” he says, and then smiles. “It would be very dull to have to sit here for an entire day just because you went and got yourself killed.”
“My last thoughts would be of your boredom,” I tell him.
Raised as mortals in the world of the faeries is a precarious, often dangerous and always brutal existence. The Cruel Prince follows Jude, now a teenager, as she aims to prove herself as more than just human, as a powerful warrior set to be chosen as a knight in a faerie court. However, Jude's hopes and aims do not go to plan, and soon she finds herself hired as a spy for one of the princes in line for the throne of Elfhame.
This is a novel of political machinations, of lies and brutality, of cruelty and beauty and brilliance.
Someone on GoodReads described it as the literary equivalent of being hit by a truck, and I think that sums it up pretty well.
There is so much to discuss in this novel that it is hard to know where to begin -- Jude's ambition, her sisters' secrets, Madoc's secret allegiances, cruel Cardan, beautiful Locke and the fruit! But I genuinely think it's best if you go into this book knowing as little as I did.
Jude is a brilliant, furious creature -- the product of murder, danger and brutality, strength built upon her fragility and weaknesses as a mere mortal, easily swayed and damaged by the world around her.
I know it is February (though I read this at the start of January) and so this is quite a ridiculous thing to say, but The Cruel Prince is one of my favourite books so far this year. The thing is I think its going to stay as one of my favourite books. I think I've found a new favourite author, and I honestly can't believe I've not read any Holly Black until this. I've already gifted a copy of this to a friend who loves her writing, knowing that they would absolutely need to read this -- and it also meant I have someone to talk to about my emotions.
I'm going to be counting the days until I can get back to Jude and her story; roll on the rest of The Folk of the Air series.
What to read next:
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Call by Peadar O'Guillin
Der Anfang hat mir auch richtig gut gefallen, er hat mich geradezu angefixt. Die Welt fand ich interessant, man muss nicht lange warten, bis Action aufkommt, supi. Danach allerdings hat sich meine Begeisterung gelegt, wovon ich vieles darauf zurückführe, dass ich altersmäßig (26) langsam aus dem Genre Jugendliteratur wachse.
[Im Folgenden kommen kleine Spoiler]
Das größte Problem hatte ich mit den Charakteren. Jude ist als Hauptfigur gewiss keine Sympathieträgerin. Ich hatte schon in einer anderen Rezension gelesen, dass man mit ihr vielleicht nicht warm werde, und das ist auch wahr. Sie ist eigentlich ziemlich kacke und egoistisch, ohne dabei interessant zu sein. Darüber ist sie ein Übercharakter, der irgendwie alles kann, kämpfen, Intrigen spinnen, stehlen, etc etc. Der Autorin gelingt es in meinen Augen nicht, ihr einen richtigen Charakter zu geben, da ihre Entscheidungen häufig keinen Sinn ergeben und eher zum Weiterführen der Handlung getätigt werden. Dasselbe gilt auch für jeden anderen der vielen blassen Charaktere. Das hat mich richtig aufgeregt. Kaum einer der Personen hat mehr als zwei Charaktereigenschaften: Madoc/Bain/Cardan/jeder Fey ist grausam und hinterhältig, Vivi ist rebellisch, Jude ist nervtötend und undurchsichtig, Taryn ist nur nervig. Die Charaktere sind austauschbar, blass und langweilig. Das macht auch die kurze Liebesgeschichte überaus langweilig, kein Funke springt über, nichts. Irgendwann verfliegt auch die Dramatik, wenn jeder ständig, STÄNDIG, als grausam bezeichnet wird, weil z.B. Madoc kaum grausame Sachen macht und ebenso ständig gesagt wird, dass er Jude und ihre Schwestern liebt, und man das auch ebenso wenig sieht. Der Court of Shadows, dem Jude irgendwann angehört, ist so blass und so ohne Charakter, dass es wehtut. Ich war und bin sehr sehr enttäuscht. Dadurch, dass die Charaktere so blass sind, ist man dann auch mit wenig Sympathie dabei und wenn halt welche von ihnen sterben, dann juckt mich das kaum.
Ohne groß auf den Inhalt einzugehen, hatte ich auch mit der Handlung ein paar Probleme. Das Grundgerüst ist überschaubar, die "Überraschung" beim Ende sehr vorhersehbar. Sehr lange Zeit passiert kaum etwas, es geht nur um das Mobbing und Judes nervtötende Schwester und eine kleine Liebesgeschichte. Viele Dinge ergeben keinen Sinn und sind überdramatisiert dargestellt. Bis zum eigentlichen Finale passiert eigentlich nüscht. Obwohl man weiß, dass irgendeine Falle kommt, wird nichts getan. Das hat mich aufgeregt. Einen roten Faden habe ich auch nicht wirklich entdecken können, mir war sehr lange Zeit nicht klar, in welche Richtung das Buch denn nun eigentlich gehen würde, und auch die Auflösung war dann nicht wirklich überzeugend. Mit der schwachen Handlung kamen dann auch Logikfehler oder einfach Dinge, die nicht so gut passten. Es hat sich mir nicht erschlossen, warum Jude nicht einfach in die menschliche Welt abhaut. Es wird nie richtig erklärt, wie die Welten miteinander verbunden sind, dabei wäre das wirklich interessant gewesen. Die vielen Courts wurden einfach nur hingeklatscht, die Personen blieben vage im Gedächtnis. Die ganze Geschichte mit Taryn war so unnötig und nervtötend, dass ich das Ebook gerne in die Ecke gepfeffert hätte. Und dass man einfach zu verfeindeten Lagern hingeht und sagt: Hey, machste bei unserem Coup mit, und alle es abnicken, macht einfach keinen Sinn. Wie so vieles einfach zu blass.
Mein größtes Problem war, dass viele Dinge so oft erwähnt wurden, dass sie irgendwann ihr Drama verloren. Feys sind grausam - das wird durchgekaut, aber richtige Gefahr kam irgendwie nie so richtig auf, auch, wenn es für Jude mal eng wurde (dafür ist aber auch der Schreibstil mitverantwortlich). Jude hat Angst, ständig, immer, aber ihre Handlungen zeigen das wirklich NIE. Jemand, der Angst hat, handelt eher so wie Taryn. Die Autorin wird nicht müde zu erwähnen, wie viel Angst Jude je hatte und wie sie damit zurechtkommt, aber immer mehr Angst hat - es geht so viel um Angst, dass man bei dem Wort irgendwann nur noch die Augen verdreht.
Der Schreibstil war in Ordnung. Den ganzen Aufwand, den man auf das Beschreiben der Kleider verwendet hat, hätte man besser in gute Charakterbeschreibungen investieren können. Oft kam mir der Stil gelangweilt vor, so als wüsste die Autorin genau, wo sie denn hin will, und schreibt es deswegen so langweilig wie möglich herunter. Ganz oft haben mir Detailbeschreibungen gefehlt, von Reaktionen, Gesichtern, ich hätte gerne mehr richtige Dialoge gehabt, die mehr als nur Drohungen gewesen wären.
Ich komme langsam besser zum Fazit: Der Anfang war gut und die ganze Welt hat mir gut gefallen, da ist definitiv viel Potential drin. Ich hatte öfter das Gefühl, dass mit den ganzen royalen Intrigen auf Game of Thrones angespielt wird, ohne dabei auch nur annähernd das Niveau zu erreichen. Mit besser ausgearbeiteten Charakteren hätte man schon viel erreichen können. Vielleicht ist für die Zielgruppe 16+ ansprechend, mich hat es nicht überzeugt, und ich werde auch die Fortsetzung nicht kaufen.