The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is one of my all-time favorites. Jude Duarte and her siblings were stolen by her mother’s ex-husband, after he murdered her parents. Being brought to Faerie land, she learns to adapt to her life despite how unfair it is to humans. Cardan Greenbriar, her furious classmate and faerie prince, sets out to destroy her dreams of knighthood. Jude Duarte soon gets wrapped into the political intrigue of the court and discovers something better and more dangerous than becoming a knight. Something that can lead to Cardan’s throat against a knife, and a future partnership between the two enemies.
This book was one of the first YA books I have ever read. Without it I would have never gotten into reading in the first place. Holly Black introduces us into the world of Faeries. Beautiful creatures with riddles on their tongue. Jude Duarte, our badass heroine, strives for power in a way. She is determined, and works extremely hard. All characteristics that I personally love to see in a YA protagonist. Cardan Greenbriar, however, is an amazing love interest. Maybe my all-time favorite. He isn’t this perfect man that will sweep you off your feet. He’s a boy with flaws, and a broken love for a girl that cheated on him. Their relationship is one of the best of enemies to lovers tropes. They hate each other because of one main thing: jealousy. Though they hate to admit it. It isn’t because someone said something the other didn’t like for no reason, it actually has a cause. Jude Duarte envies his life as a Faerie, and she vows to fit in with them. Cardan envies her relationship with Madoc, because of his broken family.
Jude’s twin, Tayrn, gets me so mad. She’s innocent and deceived, but falls into the hands of Locke, Jude’s first love of whom ‘two-timed’ her. Ugh. Locke is a faerie that resembles a fox. He’s sly and tricky, and breaks apart their relationship by dating both sisters at once. TAYRN knew that he was doing this, but sHe wAs sO hOpeLEsLy iN lOVe that she thought of this as an act of proving her liking towards him. Jude didn’t know this, and was devastated when she found out. But her being the amazing lady she is, gets even stronger. Somewhere along this line she murders Locke’s friend, but ANYWHO! Next is Madoc. Despite what happened at the end and beginning of the book, I love his and Jude’s relationship. Madoc looks at Jude, a human, daughter of his ex, as his daughter. Even more than that where he wants her to become the best, and will literally kill anyone who hurts her. He trained her very well, and takes the ‘the student becomes the teacher’ to a whole other level.
Now the court of shadows is a whole other story. I can’t go into detail or else I’d exceed my 550 word maximum review, but each character has a whole story. All dragged into the court for some reason. If you love them now, then read the other books. They go more into detail about them, and it's amazing.
Also Oak is so adorable. That’s all I have to say about him for now.
In conclusion this book, and series, deserves five stars. Well done, Holly Black. Well done.