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Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Review by Kaitlyn

Post Date:03/02/2022 9:00 am

cruel prince book cover

“The Cruel Prince,” by Holly Black, is a young adult fantasy book that follows the journey of

Jude Duarte, a mortal girl, and Cardan Greenbriar, a faerie prince as they navigate the world of

hate, betrayal, and love. Jude Duarte yearns to earn her place at the High Court as she is often

overlooked due to her mortality. However, Prince Cardan and the rest of the fey are content on

making her life as miserable as possible as they look to exploit all of her mortal weaknesses.

Soon an opportunity presents itself to Jude. A new king will be crowned, and Jude must betray

those that she loves and scheme her way to the top in order to gain her deadliest desire, power.

I thought the book was beautifully written. Holly Black does a great job of clearly mapping out

the world of Elfhame, so readers can imagine themselves as one of the Folk. Her writing style is

filled with metaphors, imagery, and figurative language which makes the story very vivid.

Additionally, the book is filled with so many complex characters, that the line between good and

evil is often blurred. Many of the characters possess relatable qualities which help readers feel

empathy towards them. Additionally, no character is perfect. Some are stubborn, naive,

power-hungry, or attention-seeking. These “flaws”make the story much more compelling and

interesting to read.

Jude Duarte’s family dynamic is also very complex, due to a bloodline mixed with faiere and

mortal blood. Between a bloodthirsty father, love-struck twin, and stern stepmother, Jude has a

lot of mixed feelings to juggle. Additionally, the book is filled with many wild romances and

friendships. While the plot keeps readers yearning to read more, the characters and relationships

are what makes the book so memorable.

Due to the fact that the book is set in a fantasy world, it might be hard for some readers to

understand the vast world of Elfhame. Like many fantasy books, it can be hard to juggle the

unique names of places, characters, and objects. However, after a couple of chapters, the names

become second-nature to know, and it opens up readers to a whole new world. In my opinion, I

love fantasy books because it feels like an escape from reality. It’s an amazing feeling to curl up

on the couch and almost feel like you're living a different life for an hour or two.

To continue, “The Cruel Prince” is definitely a page-turner as each page draws you in with its

plot twists, charming characters, and suspense. Many characters aren’t who they seem, and in a

book filled with love and betrayal, readers can not help but be sucked into the story. To conclude,

I would definitely recommend “The Cruel Prince” to teen readers and young adults who are into

fantasy, a darker romance, or readers looking for a book filled with plot twists. Lastly, the book is

part of the Folk of the Air series, so if you enjoy this book, be sure to read “The Wicked King”

and “The Queen of Nothing” next!

Check out Cruel Prince from the Newport Beach Public Library!

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