Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Rating: I can’t decide between One or Two stars.
Goodreads Summary: 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.
Get ready for a rant review, it’s been a while since I’ve posted one.
Now, I can totally understand why people like this story, it’s just personally I did not.
So, starting the book, it took me a while to get into it, but it’s the first part of a series and it needs time to build up and explain everything, which I completely understand, so I decided to look past that. I was expecting for it to get better, it just never did.
For me, I feel like there’s a good story behind it, but the execution wasn’t the best. The beginning of the book dragged on for too long, then all of these random things happened, then I had hope that I would enjoy the book more because I did for like 10 pages somewhere inbetween, I did not end up enjoying it more, something happened that was insanely rushed, then it dragged on again, and then the last 30 pages were the only ones I actually enjoyed. To an extent.
I wanted to DNF this book so many times but people kept talking about the ending and how unexpected it was, and I mean, I guess it kind of is, but it completely underwhelmed me. I did not care. I also do not particularly care to continue the series, I read the blurb for the second book, I have no interest in it.
I hated so many of the characters. Jude annoyed me so much, I hate Cardan in general but not even in a good hate kind of way. Everything is so weird and weird things kept happening that I just didn’t enjoy.
It’s very easy to please me as a reader, I’ve had such a good reading year, only 5 star and 4 star reads, and then this had to happen. I rave so much about books, but I truly believe that I luck out when it comes to books, but I just didn’t with this one. Maybe my expectations were too high, the hype train was a bit crazy, but I just hated it so much. I was talking to my friends about it in school today and I was like ‘I hate reading it, I hate every single second of it’ and today I had a free afternoon so I forced myself to sit down and finally finish the book because it was actually putting me into a reading slump which I did not appreciate.
A lot of people really enjoy this book and I’ve only seen good reviews for it everywhere, so many it’s good to also get a perspective of it from a person who didn’t enjoy it at all. There are so many other books that I would recommend for you to read, but I honestly feel like it’s just me that feels this way.
Now, let’s get into the good part of a review, the spoilery bits. I did not like Cardan from point one. He literally threw her into a river, with her sister. She could have died. And then towards the end of the book they talk about the whole river throwing incident again and Cardan just shrugged it off saying ‘yeah, I knew you wouldn’t die, blah blah’, still he fucking pushed her into a river. I feel like Holly Black was trying to give him a redemption arc, in my eyes it sucked. And he justifies his behavior by being like ‘Oh yeah I like you and I can’t stop thinking about you’ and then they make out, wtf. The part that I liked the most is that although I hated that Jude was starting to like him, she hated herself so much for it. At least she wasn’t blindly in love with him, she was very cautious but you can’t control your heart.
Plus, every single relationship in this book feels forced. For the longest time I thought Locke was a son of the High King until like 100 pages later or something they mentioned he wasn’t and then all of the sudden he shows interest in Jude, it was pretty fucking weird. It felt so forced, I never thought that she actually liked him or anything, it just appeared out of no where and I was not a fan.
For the longest part the book dragged on, and then we finally get to the coronation. Sure, I expected something to happen to Dain, but boy Balekin really went all out. He literally killed so many of his siblings, it was insane. And it felt so rushed. The only part I really liked was where Jude decides to become a spy because I thought that gave the book a certain edge to it, since we hardly have any books where the character is a spy, but again, I felt like it was poorly executed. Plus she was a pretty crap spy. If she weren’t a main character she definitely would have been killed for her idiocy by trying to save that servant girl Sophie.
It also didn’t surprise me that much since the title of the sequel to this book is ‘The Wicked King’ I really fucking wonder what they could have been hinting at with that title, that Cardan ends up being the King. I saw so many things coming, which is a terrible sign since I never foreshadow things or guess correctly what’s going on, the only thing that I didn’t expect was that Oak was royal. I feel like everything other than that was underwhelming.
Plus, this book could have so easily been a standalone. Sometimes, I more so feel like the author is pushing for the story to go on, even though it’s already finished. ( I have the same kind of feeling when it comes to ACOTAR but atleast I liked the execution) It would have been kind of cool to have a standalone where this whole betrayal thing happens at the end and for me it would have been satisfactory enough, but Holly Black wove deals in any chance she got just to continue the series. I read the blurb for the second book, it already feels like a filler book. I don’t care to see where the series is going from here on out, I really hated the first one, I cannot even see myself reading the book.
I really did not expect myself to hate The Cruel Prince so much, and yet, here we are. 🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️