The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Holly Black
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Aug 3, 2022

Jude Duarte is a human girl living in Elfhame, a world full of magical faeries, who is
treated cruelly for her mortality. She wants power and to belong with the other faeries by
becoming a knight for one of the royal heirs. However, Jude’s adoptive father doesn’t want her to
be a knight, so she becomes a spy for Dain, the future king, to have power from the shadows.
Unfortunately though, Dain and the majority of the royal family get killed by Balekin, another
royal heir, and her father. Jude then realizes that her father is secretly plotting for the throne by
using her brother, Oak, a secret child of the King. She doesn’t want Elfhame to end up in her
father’s hands, otherwise the country will be a total warzone. So Jude plans to put Oak on the
throne and send him away until he gets older.

I think that this book was really great and interesting. Seeing Jude go from quiet and
never rebelling to someone who was smart and cunning was super cool. An aspect of this book
that I didn’t really like was that Jude started developing feelings toward Cardan despite the fact
that he didn’t treat her very well. It makes sense why Cardan was mean because of the abuse he
got from his brother, Balekin, but that is no excuse for the way he treated Jude. Also I didn’t like
Taryn, Jude’s sister, because she picked a boy over her sister when he was playing games with
both of them for the sake of creating drama. I believe that family always comes first no matter
what. The parts of the book that I did like, though, are the twists and turns, especially the ones
including her father’s plan, Oak’s secret, and Cardan’s crowning. This book really kept me on
my toes and interested along with the beautiful fantasy world created in the book. I would
recommend this book to people who enjoy fantasy because it’s really good.

I think that the cover of this book is beautiful. The crown properly shows the importance
of royalty in this book along with the title. I believe that the branches on the cover symbolize
how twisted the world of Elfhame is including the faeries. It does a good job of summing up the
general theme of the book.

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