The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black Book Review

cruel prince
GoodReads/Amazon Rating: ★★★★★

There is something so mesmerisingly addictive about Holly Black’s ability to weave and sculpt characters and worlds into a piece of writing so beautiful. It has been a long time since I’ve been surprised by plot twists, horrified by climactic points and so engrossed in a world that I remained frozen in bed until I had turned to the last page. This book had intrigue with people being placed like chess pieces on a large board that hasn’t yet been revealed. I was captivated, absolutely enthralled by how brilliant this book was.

I feel like as I’ve now just spent a whole ten minutes gushing over how stunning this book is, I need to take a step back and properly dive into this review. Though I hate comparing books to others (I feel it detracts from the time and hard work individual authors have spent on it) if you are a reader of the Throne of Glass, Infernal Devices and A Court of Thornes and Roses then you will absolutely love this book.

Summary from GoodReads:

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

I feel like I need to restrain myself from overflowing with spoilers and excitement over this book. Holly Black has managed to create, not just compelling characters, but characters that are three dimensional. They are real. They are fickle. They change and most importantly they lie. I’ve not experience an unreliable narrator as vivid as this one in such a long time. It made me feel like one of the Faerie’s, unable to decipher how Jude was really feeling throughout the narrative, or what she was going to do next.

Characters such as Madoc, Locke, Cardan and Taryn morphed and changed as the plot continued. There were so many twists that I couldn’t keep up. But it wasn’t in a bad way, it was in an invigorating manner, keeping me on my toes as I continued through the story. I’m not normally surprised by plots anymore, more often than not because there are specific cliches and tropes that can be identified leading into reused narratives. But if there were any in this book, they went unnoticed by me. I laughed, I gasped and I stared at the words as they flowed. Holly Black’s writing felt fresh and new.

I could not recommend this book more. I’ve already got the second book up and ready. Sequels have known to disappoint me but, if I’m honest, I don’t think it will be possible in this series.

Language & Style: 9 points
Story: 9 points
Characters: 9
Plot: 9

Total: 36 points out of 40

Favourite Quote: I want to win. I do not yearn to be their equal. In my heart, I yearn to best them. (p.31)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: