“The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
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.
I’m still not entirely sure what I thought about this book. I liked it better than Tithe (the other faerie book I read by her). I’m still not used to the world of faeries. It’s brutal and weird.
I did however enjoy the court politics. I’m always intrigued by royal backstabbing, mad dashes for the crown, and all the other delightful things that come along with ruthless courts. The twists and turns to the story were interesting and I didn’t see them coming. It took for a while for me to fully get into the story though. I was bored and almost set the book aside until the end of book one. *That* certainly turned things around.
I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the relationship in the book. I’m sorry but no matter how you dress it up, abuse is abuse. It’s just not healthy at all. The other non-romantic relationships were fascinating though. Jude’s relationship with her father, Madoc, was certainly surprising. Who would have thought the ruthless general would love? and care for the *other* children of his wife? That’s a lot to ask of anyone. Throw in the fact that you murdered the mother and father of the children, that makes everything very awkward. Jude’s relationship with her sisters is certainly strained but I’m interested in see how things turn out for them.
Of course this book has to end on a massive cliffhanger. The Wicked King will certainly be a hot book.