The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: Please Return My Brain Cells

2.5 stars, BOOKS, REVIEWS / Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

The Cruel Prince Holly Black Aimee Always Review

The Cruel Prince
by Holly Black

book one in The Folk of the Air series
published January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
young adult | fantasy

My rating:


Jude was seven years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

Aaaand it's unpopular opinion time! After every single raving review I've seen for The Cruel Prince, I decided to finally dive into it… only to discover that it was just an okay read for me. Here's why:


1. I couldn't get into this at all at first.

Honestly, the entire first 60%-or-so of the book just felt like a load of teenage drama and angst, petty problems, and childish whining. (I'll get more into this in my next point. This book could've done without the first half. *shrugs*

2. Most characters were either: a) annoying, or b) not given enough time to shine.

Our heroine Jude and her twin sister, Taryn, were especially hard for me to deal with. They were both whiny and immature, although Jude did grow out of it a bit by the end, while Taryn grew more aggravating as the story progressed. The side-villains (like sidekicks, but villain version, because I'm eloquent like that) were also incredibly underdeveloped–there could be so much backstory to them that weren't given a chance to be explored.

According to @aimeereads, THE CRUEL PRINCE had annoying main characters, and side-characters who weren't given a chance to shine. Click To Tweet


If you're going to give us a book with lots of different creatures, please take a sentence or two to tell us about them! Even if they're more common myths like goblins and pixies, do think about the people who aren't too familiar with fae worlds! Same goes to all the fae courts–a few were explained, and then the rest were just thrown out there. MY BRAIN HAS BEEN FRIED.

4. This book was dark, but not the heavy kind of dark, which is great!

There are some books that are TOO dark for me, both in plot and in writing style, like Marie Lu's The Young Elites, but The Cruel Prince had dark, mean characters who were far from good, but the writing style made everything a bit lighter and easier to read!


This book had some crazy twists, intense action scenes, and bloody messes all over! I LOVED this aspect of the book, being the cruel reader that I am. (Maybe I'm the real Cruel Prince[ss]? MUAHAHAHA.)

Aimee @aimeereads believes that she's the real Cruel Prince(ss). Find out why in her review for THE CRUEL PRINCE! Click To Tweet


Honestly, I have no idea who to recommend this book to! The bookish community has been LOVING it, but as you can see above, it wasn't really the best read for me. It's up to you to decide, I guess!

Have you read this book yet? If not, do you want to?! Let me know in the comments!

And if you loved this post as much as you love me *wink*, go ahead and share it on social media! You can also "like" it on Goodreads.

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44 Replies to “The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: Please Return My Brain Cells”

  1. And this is the reason why I don't usually want to read hyped books.😣 I'll try reading this maybe 6 months from now hahahah but in the meantime, come on dea, let us fix your brain.😂

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