Review of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Rating: 5.0/5 Stars
“Let’s have a toast. To the incompetence of our enemies.”
Oh Jude, you cruel, wicked thing. Will you pledge yourself as my spirit animal?
The Cruel Prince has been one of the most explosive and hyped releases of 2018 and I felt it was a masterful work of twists and turns. Many recent YA fantasy releases have blended together in my mind, reusing many of the same plot devices and tropes. That doesn’t make them any less enjoyable but it is SO refreshing to read something that takes everything you’re used to and flips it on its head.
That is how The Cruel Prince felt to me. Jude’s plotting and scheming makes her one of the fiercest female characters in recent years and Cardan’s indifference and cruelty makes him a formidable opponent … or perhaps ally? I COULD NOT get enough of their complicated relationship and I swear I may have died from asphyxiation every time they shared a scene.
“He looks like a faerie lover stepped out of a ballad, the kind where no good comes to the girl who runs away with him.”
Going into this, I expected your typical enemies-to-lovers trope (which is my favorite, don’t get me wrong), evil royal that must be dethroned and courtly intrigue would ensue to make things happen. THAT IS NOT WHAT I GOT. I got so much more. Every. Single. TIME I thought I had Holly Black figured out when reading this, she pulled a fast one on me. I could barely keep up with every crazy thing that was happening and I LOVED it.
THAT TWIST AT THE END, plus Jude and Cardan’s conversation!? I don’t even know what to do with myself, other than read this again. and again. and again. The Wicked King cannot come any sooner.
Thanks for reading my crazy, fangirling and mostly incoherent “review.”
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Don’t forget to check out the sequel, The Wicked King!
Release date: January 8th, 2019
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Look at how beautiful this cover is!