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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) Hardcover – January 2, 2018
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Human Jude has been raised along with her twin, Taryn, and half-sibling, Vivi, in Faerieland by Madoc, the faerie who murdered her parents. This intricate realm is filled with beautiful, blood-thirsty, playful, and powerful faeries who seem to have no patience or use for humans beyond enslaving them with magic. Despite this, Jude is determined to earn respect and a place in it all by becoming a knight. First in a planned trilogy, this YA fantasy features a political scramble reminiscent of Game of Thrones, with spies, manipulation, romance, swordplay, betrayal, and an intoxicating darkness that manages to enrapture Jude and readers. Black has created a brutal and captivating world, filled with complex characters and their intricate and layered relationships. Jude is a mighty heroine; strong, smart, cunning, and yet completely vulnerable. Teens meet her as she's no longer interested in restraining her emotions and actions and is willing to give up anything in order to work for what she wants, which makes for a powerful and dangerous damsel getting herself out of distress. VERDICT Another fantastic, deeply engaging, and all-consuming work from Black that belongs on all YA shelves.—Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ
"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
Top customer reviews
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Also, let me point out that I hardly liked anyone in this book...until halfway through the story.
Jude is a mortal girl living in Faerie. She has to live under the same roof of the man she should hate the most. She also has to endure the wrath of the royal faeries. She lives in constant pressure, being bullied by the most handsome and cruel primce of the land and his petty companions.
Jude hates prince Cardan. She has no words to express how much she detests him...And the feeling is mutual.
But Jude is ambitious and instead of a normal, mortal life, she wants glory and a high position in court. She is a force to be reckoned with with a sword and soon someone realizes that she can serve his purpose.
Caught in a web of faerie intrigue, Jude will come to realize how not everything is as it seems.
I loved the writing. It was simple and yet it fully described this dangerous faerie world.
I did not like Jude. At all. I get why she is the way she is but I could not relate to her. I found her reckless and I found her bravado a bit overdone.
However, I loved how the other characters were portrayed. I loved how the author did not jump into the usual fantasy cliches and I loved Cardan's character. He was mean, arrogant and yet there was a vulnerability about him that captivated me. He was so intersting, indeed.
I loved Vivi, Jude's faerie sister and I seriously disliked Taryn, her mortal twin.
The book kept me on my toes and I did not expect that ending!!! I cannot wait to see what Cardan does next and I am very curious to see how Jude's character will be developed.
In short, I am hooked! Is it 2019 yet???
The Cruel Prince opened brutally and continued into the the story with a looming darkness and an undercurrent of deceit. There is no clear hero or villain. No creature is as it seems but all are doing what they believe is necessary for survival.
I enjoyed that Cardan and Jude mirrored each other in many ways and am interested in seeing how these two evolve over the course of the series.
I really liked Cardan more than most the other characters. He is absolutely a cruel and arrogant drunk but during the second half of the book the mask began to slip and we were able to see a bit of the male he could have been and might still become. As a reader, I appreciate when I can go from loathing a character, to empathy, to actually liking them.
The banter between the Court of Shadows was a highlight for me, as was Vivi. She added an authenticity and transparency that the others did not have, despite holding her own secrets from someone important to her. At least her secret was out of caring for someone and insecurity instead of power, revenge, cruelty or some game.
So what drove me crazy...
One word: Jude. I can appreciate a strong but dark female character. In fact, I love them! But I found Jude to be selfish, insecure and hypocritical.
I also found the interactions to be a bit juvenile and petty at times (YA, I know…) despite the darkness of the story; however, I supposed that is a bit more authentic for a teen than the grand scheming and murdering.
All in all, I am intrigued enough to read the next book. I found The Cruel Prince to be a bit slow but smoldering story that finally catches fire just after half way through turning into a wildfire that leaves everyone scarred in the end. Even though I didn’t always like the characters, I think if you can make me feel something as a reader that is a win in my book.
While there is the hint at future romance, the focus of the first book in this series is really on court politics. Think lots of arrogance, scheming and heads rolling. If that’s your thing, you would probably enjoy The Cruel Prince.
Recommended for fans of: Holly Black, wicked fae, cruel characters, court politics, YA fantasy
The book is well written and the characters are complex. There is not a lot of internal monologue, we see the story more than anything else.
I would totally recommend this book. While there is a lot of violence, it was a gripping story and I didn’t put it down.
This book is Jude’s story of being stolen away to live in the world of Fae. Growing up amongst them but never being fully accepted. All she wants is that acceptance and acknowledgment. Sure she has her sisters, Vivi and Taryn, but that’s not the same. There are no bounds she will go to reach her goals.
I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this book at first. The first few chapters were a little slow for me and I was dreading that I was going to be in the minority who didn’t like it. I’m so happy I kept reading. The pace picked up and soon I couldn’t put it down. I started it late in the evening and fell asleep reading. That led to very vivid dreams of Jude, Vivi, Taryn, Carden, Locke and The High Court of Faerie. Lying on my back looking at the stars, looking into mirror lake, splashing in the water while trying not to be bitten.
The descriptive scenery made you feel like you could see and touch everything there. The characters were written with so much depth that you felt their emotions. You could envision their faces and bodies. The plot was unpredictable and I loved every minute of it. I can not wait for Book 2!!
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed this book.Read more
The first half of the book is somewhat non-eventful.Read more