The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Jude was seven years old when her parents’ killer took her away from the human world along with her twin sister, Taryn, and her older half-fey sister, Vivi to live in the High Court of Faerie. Now, as a seventeen-year-old, Jude is trying to secure her place in the Court, despite her fey classmates despising her and telling her she does not belong. In order to gain any kind of power as a mortal, she has two options: marry a fey or become a knight, and her chances of either appear slim. What lengths will Jude go to in order to prove herself worthy of the High Court, and at what cost?

While the novel was captivating and easily held my attention, it did take me a little while to read as I don’t always gravitate towards books narrated by the main character. I think it does work well for this novel because Jude is an outsider, not only in the sense that she feels out of place in both the faerie and the mortal world, but also because she is often at odds with everyone around her, even the people she cares about and seeks to protect. Through her perspective, we see the world of the fey for what it really is: beautiful, deceiving, and dangerous. I hope that as the books go on, we get to see more of the other interesting characters’ perspectives and the motivations behind their actions.

If you’re a fan of dark fantasy, check out The Cruel Prince and its sequel, The Wicked King. Both are available at Acorn and through SWAN interlibrary loan.