Holly Blakc: The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black

In the first in a new series Holly Black shows just how far one will go to shape a Kingdom.

Jude and Taryn are forced from their home when they are seven, their mother and Step father murdered and they are forced to live with the murderer in the High Court of Faerie. it has been ten years and although they try to keep their heads down, they are always reminded that they are humans in this Fey world. Jude wants nothing more that to belong in this world despite her mortality but there are many fey who despise humans and only see them as slaves. A new ruler is about to be chosen and Jude must see that things go in her favour. The faerie court is one of deception, trickery and bloodshed, Jude needs to learn quickly if she going to survive the change change in rule.

This is the first book that I have read by Black and I really enjoyed the majority of elements, characters that she presented and developed in this book. The world building is extremely well done and beautifully written. I know where this world/reality sit in regards to our own world, as well I did not find the different children of the King confusing and who were all vying for the crown, well except Prince Cardan. You really feel the differences between the two worlds and the struggle that Jude and her twin sister Taryn feel to try to fit in but also keep their heads down as well (Taryn succeeds at this much better than Jude does). The identical twin aspect is also interesting, how two people who are the same on the outside have such different personalities and Black highlights this every chance that she gets, especially in regards to the bullying that the girls suffer.

I personally would classify this book as a fantasy political intrigue, as Jude is doing everything that she can to support a cause that she believes in as well as trying to find her spot and purpose in this Fae world. She begins to learn the art of a spy and the trading of secrets. She is realizing just how valuable her human nature makes her. As with any good spy book this one was much darker than I expected it to be and often there were moments of brutality that once again I did not expect and some of them even come from Jude herself.

Okay I normally post spoiler free reviews but with this book, I feel like i have to say something about the relationship that occurs in this one. So if you are looking to read this book, don't read any further, as what I'm about to write does occur later in the book.

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I feel like this has a really poor relationship between Cardan and Jude. Their relationship at the beginning is one of bullying verging on torment because of what is done to her. And there is an almost rape that occurs that takes things to a whole different level. Yet Cardan supposedly is obsessively in love with her and does all of these bad/rude/embarrassing/dangerous things because of it and Jude accepts this. I mean WHAT? How can this even be a thing. Black is a well known author even though this is the first book I have read by her, these books are rated YA (which I also have issue with but that is probably not the authors doing). Why do books like this and I believe the Twilight series (I've never the series, just basing it on what others have said) promote such unhealthy relationships and make it seem normal and alright? Alright spoilers and rant over.

So will I read the next book in this series? Yes. The ending was really well done and I liked how every other aspect in the book was shaped by Black. I am interested in seeing where relationships are taken what this new world under a new King will look like.

Enjoy!!!

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