Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 384
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Released: 2nd of January 2018 

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 years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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. 

What I Have to Say 

I was surprised by how hard I found it to get into this book. Normally, Holly Black is an author who can capture me instantly and keep me hooked on a book, but I didn't really get that until the end, which was amazing. I wonder if maybe it was because of what this book was leading up to. There wasn't really a lot of story other than survival until half way through and even then, it didn't really heat up until the last few chapters, so it felt a bit like a setting up book for the next one than an actual book in it's own right. 

I liked that the obsession that Cardan has for Jude isn't romanticised. Throughout the book, he torments and abuses Jude and though it shown to come from feelings about her several times, it's never looked upon as something good. It's shown as love corrupted. It's like a hatred thing, he has such powerful feelings for her that he doesn't want to have that it turns into an intense hatred of her and until the end, she never sees it as anything but hatred and she continues to hate him through. I really hope this continues throughout the rest of the series and any relationship between them is shown as toxic and awful. 

I also loved the way that everything was turned on it's head and nothing turned out to be as it seemed. I think the first half of the book felt too simple for me. It was too easy to see who the good guys were and who were the bad. Black showed that things are never that easy in faerie and the people you expect to be good will always betray you. 

I'm looking forward to the next book, but I'm sad at how hard I found it to get into this one. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Hot Key Books for providing me with this copy for review. 

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