The Cruel Prince
If you’re into fantasy and faeries, you’ve probably heard of the amazing Holly Black – if you haven’t, you’re missing out! Her newest book, The Cruel Prince, combines elements of high fantasy, suspense, and romance beautifully to create an intricately plotted story. The not-quite-cliffhanger ending leaves us desperate for the sequels, The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing, expected to be released sometime in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Though it isn’t strictly necessary for the plot, if you haven’t read The Darkest Part of the Forest (Jh BLA) and the Modern Faerie Tale series (starting with Tithe Jh BLA), you might want to pick those up before reading The Cruel Prince because it contains some spoilers for both. If you don’t care about the spoilers though, it’s completely fine to jump right in!
When Jude was seven years old, her parents were murdered by her half-sister’s father, Madoc, who then spirited Jude and her two sisters away to live in the High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, the sisters have been living comfortably enough among the fair folk, in spite of the vicious bullying that she and her younger sister endure because they are human. Jude wants to rise above it and become a warrior – she knows that she’s better than Prince Cardan, the cruelest of the faerie princes, but Madoc warns her that it is not wise to cross the prince or get involved in court politics. But having become disgusted by her own human weaknesses, Jude is tired of treading lightly and accepts a dangerous bargain from another of the faerie princes, which entangles her in a complex political plot that could overturn the entire High Court of Faerie and bring her down with it.
Once I finished The Cruel Prince for the first time, I had to pick it up again, but the second time through, I listened to the audiobook, which is performed very well by Caitlin Kelly. I have to admit that I did prefer listening to this story rather than reading it. Either way though, it’s a wonderful story and having been a longtime Holly Black fan, I loved the way she revisited the characters from some of her other books, linking her faerie worlds together. It brought a great sense of stability into this new series and gave us some more information about what happened after The Darkest Part of the Forest and the Modern Faerie Tales series.
Overall, The Cruel Prince was so worth waiting for, but now comes the long wait for the second and third books of the trilogy. In the meantime, if you’re looking for more authors like Holly Black, try books by Sarah J. Maas (start with A Court of Thorns and Roses TN MAA), Leigh Bardugo (start with Shadow and Bone TN BAR), and Maggie Stiefvater (start with Alice in The Raven Boys TN STI). For more about Holly Black, you can find her on her website, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook.