I never thought that I would read another Holly Black book. Not after my reading experience with a title I had read and disliked in 2017. But this one? Holy smokes! Forget about fairy being nice. In this book they are cruel, full of hatred, they lust for punishment, the fear of others, and rather kill each other than see the crown on someone else´s head. Why haven´t I read this any sooner? Can you believe it – it was on my TBR since early January 2018, but it took me almost a year, A YEAR, to read it! And that with all the thrilling things I had heard about it over the past few months.

The Cruel Prince
by Holly Black
The Folk Of The Air #1
Publisher Little Brown Books For Young Readers on January 2, 2018
Genre Fantasy
Pages 370
Format Hardcover
Source Purchased

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered, and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of the 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. As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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.
Jude has watched the cruel assassination of her parents with shocked eyes. But she´d never thought, that she would spend the next ten years living under the same roof as her elder sister´s father and murderer of her parents. It is him, Madoc, who teaches her how to fight with a sword, that strategy is the most important thing at war and how to think things through. But all his lessons seem to have been for nothing, when Jude realizes almost too late, how things really are at the High Court and that loyalty and faerie don´t go well together.

Holly Black doesn´t bother with huge explanations. Yes, you get some hints about her figures through their actions and she lets you know what the look like, but only with a few sentences. I like that very much. Her fantasy is incredible, at least in this novel. I could literally see Hollow Hall or Madoc´s place where Jude lives with him and the others. And it was kind of fun to imagine Cardan with his one earring – reminded me more of a pirate than a prince. But we are in faerie land, so nothing is as we know it from the mortal world. The more I read into the story, the more intense it became. I could literally see the scenes right before my eye, could smell the wood, the soil, or the food they were eating. All that managed the author by using very few words but with the utmost feeling. 

What a badass Jude is. One with some charm, the heart in the right place, and a desire that makes her human in the best way. Yes, she wants power above all else. And she finds a way, though she isn´t looking for it, to get it. But why not. A powerful figure can do many good things. It may take her a bit to see everything through, to understand what she sees and hears, but when she gets it, she shows her smartness and that she is more of a faerie than her elder sister Vivienne. Her power is one, others underestimate and that´s her big advantage. I was fascinated by the way how Holly Black has created her faerie figures. They are colorful, exotic, show extreme emotions, hate everything that´s mortal but need it to keep existing, and are merciless if they have the chance to gain power one way or the other. But when it comes to family, they show very familiar values as we mortals do. The family comes first, loyalty to your family is everything and you safe and protect them at all costs. Well, most of us at least.

That book was great to read. I am not happy with everything that had happened. But the surprise the author presents her reader and one of her figures, in the end, holy cow! This novel is a pure reading pleasure and has made me a Holly Black fan. At least, when it comes to her Folk of the Air books. 

Happy reading

Holly Black
Holly Black ©Simon & Schuster Inc

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi) and The Modern Faerie Tale series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. She lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library. 


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