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The Cruel Prince | Holly Black | Review

The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black - Blogger's Bookshelf Book review
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. - Goodreads

I tried to write a synopsis of The Cruel Prince but I found myself unable to quite put into words the number of things that are going on in this story, and the detail in which Black so beautifully writes the world it's set in.

What I can say is that I loved this book. Holly Black, as Victoria Aveyard rightly puts on the back cover, truly is the Faerie Queen. The plot of  flows so wonderfully and I never found myself feeling bored or distracted away from the story. 

Jude, as a protagonist, was brilliant, and I really enjoyed her character, her fire, and her resilience. It was nice reading a character who had siblings who were still very much involved with the story, rather than being an MC who was a lonely orphan or who had one sibling with whom they were estranged (not that those books aren't good in their own way, just that it was a nice change from what I had been reading previously). The Princes in the story - of whom there were many - were all cruel in their own ways, and so I did spend a lot of the book trying to figure out if it was Cardan that the title was referring to, or if it was literally everyone. I'll let you decide. 

The land of Elfhame where our story takes place was stunning. Obviously I haven't been there (oh to step into a fictional world), but the map in the front of the book was so creatively drawn and you could really put together the descriptions of the land with the places on the maps. Boy, do I love a good book map. 

Somehow Holly Black pulls you into her worlds with poetic and captivating prose and sharp dialogue that entertains, catches your breath, and I love everything about it. My friend asked me once if I read every single world when I'm reading a book. I don't actually think I do (it's more that my eyes go over a sentence, pick out the main words to the get the main point and move on to the next one - I have yet to test my theory and wouldn't know where to start. Any ideas?), but I found myself reading all the words, all of the time with The Cruel Prince. If you've read any of Black's other books, then you might know what I mean. 

On Goodreads I've given 5/5 stars, it was that good. If you're into your Young Adult or fairytales, then do head down to your local bookshop, library or pop onto Book Depository to grab yourself a copy. 

Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think? 

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