Lately, I have had lots of misses rather than hits with YA books. Especially with those that created lots of enthusiasm and had five star reviews. I felt like I was either reading completely different books or I was just not in the right frame of mind for this genre.
Because of that, I was a bit sceptical when I started reading the Cruel Prince. After first few chapters, I was hooked and I could not put this book down. If I had one word to describe this book with, it would be ‘deliciousness’. I praise both the book’s message as well as its exquisite world building and complex characters. Holly Black is the Faerie Queen! 😊
“Nice things don’t happen in storybooks. Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”
I love flawed and torn characters and the Cruel Prince is full of those. None of them are completely likeable. They all make mistakes, have hidden motives and are unpredictable. The story is fast paced and will remind you of some of your own teenage memories of what it was like when you wanted to fit in.
I interpreted The Cruel Prince about a story of belonging. A story of trying to change yourself into someone you are not but are desperately trying to become to fit in as you feel you don’t belong anywhere. I also saw it as a story of winning when you finally admit that you belong nowhere but to yourself.
The main character is a teenage human girl called Jude. Jude is not an ordinary human being. She is smart, brave, vulnerable and, desperately eager to find her place amongst fae. She wants to be liked, feel safe and she also wants to belong.
Meet Tarin – Jude’s twin sister. Tarin is a mistress of fitting in. She mastered how to blend in, how to be invisible as well as how to please.
Jude desperately wants to belong somewhere, but her inner integrity prevents her from sacrificing who she is to fit in. And that’s the fundamental difference between those two. One is willing to sacrifice herself to fit in, the other is not.
“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”
The Cruel Prince is a fast-paced story of belonging, love, betrayal and growth. There are many surprises including the book’s ending which left me wanting more. I cannot wait for the The Folk of the Air, #2 already! 😊