The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: Book Review

Step into the world of faeries, intrigue, and betrayal with Holly Black’s captivating novel, “The Cruel Prince.” Join Jude, a mortal girl, as she navigates the treacherous politics of the Faerie Court in this dark and twisted tale of power and ambition.

Sneak Peak

In “The Cruel Prince,” we follow Jude Duarte, a mortal girl raised in the High Court of Faerie after her parents are murdered. Jude, along with her twin sister Taryn and Faerie step-brother Prince Cardan, must navigate the complex and dangerous world of the Faerie Court where deceit and treachery lurk at every corner. As Jude yearns for power and acceptance in a realm that despises mortals, she becomes embroiled in a deadly game that could cost her everything.

My Take

Holly Black’s “The Cruel Prince” is a dark and enthralling journey into the world of faeries, where alliances are fragile, and power is everything. The author weaves a intricate tale of political intrigue, betrayal, and complex relationships that keeps readers hooked from start to finish. The character of Jude is a fierce and determined protagonist who defies expectations and challenges the norms of the Faerie Court. Her strength and resilience in the face of adversity make her a compelling character to follow.

One of the aspects I particularly enjoyed about the book is the intricate world-building. Holly Black creates a vivid and immersive Faerie realm filled with intricate customs, vivid landscapes, and a rich history that adds depth to the story. The Faerie Court is depicted as a place of beauty and danger, where loyalties shift like quicksilver and nothing is as it seems.

However, some readers might find the morally gray characters and ambiguous relationships challenging to connect with. The complex dynamics between Jude and the Faerie nobility, especially with Prince Cardan, may leave some feeling conflicted about rooting for certain characters.

What Makes the Book Unique

What sets “The Cruel Prince” apart is its morally complex characters and the blending of dark fantasy with elements of political intrigue. Holly Black excels at creating a world that is both enchanting and sinister, where characters must navigate a treacherous landscape of lies and deceit to survive. The author’s ability to subvert traditional fairy tale tropes and create flawed, compelling characters adds a layer of depth and unpredictability to the story.


In conclusion, “The Cruel Prince” is a mesmerizing and darkly beautiful tale that will appeal to fans of fantasy, especially those who enjoy morally complex narratives and intricate world-building. While the book may not be for everyone due to its morally ambiguous characters, it offers a gripping and immersive reading experience that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment in the series.

Rating: 4.5 stars.

Share this :

Leave a Reply