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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) by…
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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) (edition 2018)

by Holly Black (Author)

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1,0395612,542 (4.19)17
Member:seriesousbooks
Title:The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air)
Authors:Holly Black (Author)
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2018), Edition: Reprint, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:audiobook

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
This book was weirdly similar to Tess of the Road, which I read around the same time: in both, the main character, who shares her name with the protagonist of a famous Thomas Hardy novel, is one of a pair of twin sisters, and the one more prone to acting out, while her twin does everything right. While they are human, they have an older half-sibling who is half magic, from the previous marriage of one of their parents. That all seems very specific, but they're very different books. Jude of The Cruel Prince was abducted from the human world along with her siblings and raised in Faerie by her older sister's father, a warrior fairy. She struggles to fit in, since her fairy classmates taunt her, and eventually finds herself roped into politics of the fairy courts, serving as spy for one of the princes. It's all fine, I'm sure but it's Very Much Not For Me. Ever since The Sandman, I've struggled to care about fairies, and this book did not change my mind. Parts of the book are very obvious and cliched, even though it has some effective twists as well. I didn't care for the narrative voice, which was a bit too much like Children of Blood and Bone's, though not as bad; is that how YA is written now? I did like that I actually kept on forgetting the narrator was a girl at first; Black writes her a plot and a characterization that I feel would usually be the province of a male character (except for the romances, which were the weakest parts anyway). On the other hand, that Jude and her twin wouldn't just move back to Earth didn't seem believable given how awful Faerie is for them, so I don't get why Black established that they could have if they wanted to. So yeah, fine enough, but I will never read another one, I suspect.
  Stevil2001 | Aug 17, 2019 |


I really enjoyed this. It's been a long time since I entered a faerie world like this one and I loved every minute of it. I found the first half was a little slow but the last few chapters were awesome.

I loved Jude's character growth. At times this read as a coming of age story; only that it is set in faerie. I thought there might be more romance but in the end I'm glad there isn't because it just means the tension will continue further into the series.

Check out more spoiler-free book and series reviews on my blog SERIESousBookReviews.com as well as read book series recaps!

Full Review: https://wp.me/p7hLUw-2TR
Actual Rating: 4.5/5 ( )
  seriesousbooks | Aug 12, 2019 |
Luv me some court politics. Ngl not a big fan of Jude and Cardan but I'm very intrigued by the world they inhabit and look forward to reading the sequel ( )
  hatingongodot | Aug 12, 2019 |
Taken, together with her twin sister Taryn and her elder half-sister Vivienne to live in Faerie by Madoc, her mother's first husband and Vivi's father, and the man who murdered her parents, Jude grows up keenly conscious of her own mortality, knowing that she is different from almost everyone around her. She longs to be more like the beautiful but treacherous residents of her adoptive home, dreaming that by gaining power she will carve a place for herself in the Faerie Court, and finally be safe. Determined to become a knight to one of the royal princes or princesses, and to (eventually) be revenged on Cardan, the youngest royal child and eponymous cruel prince, Jude instead becomes caught up in palace intrigues that effect the line of succession, and the choice of the next monarch...

Although Holly Black is probably best-known for her young adult fantasy fiction set in Faerie - I actually own a copy of her debut novel, Tithe, as well as its sequels - the only thing I had read from her, before picking this one up, was the early chapter-book series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which she co-wrote with Tony DiTerlizzi. Given that this is so, The Cruel Prince, which marks the start of a new series, The Folk of the Air, was my introduction to her young adult work. I'm glad I gave it a chance, as I found it immensely engaging and readable, finishing it with a desire to pick up the sequel, The Wicked King, and find out what happens next. That said, I had trouble truly entering into the story, emotionally speaking, and found all of the characters (including Jude) rather off-putting. Perhaps this is owing to the fact that I was never really able to grasp the appeal and enchantment of Faerie, for Jude. Her longing for power makes sense, given her traumatic past, but watching her try to claw her way to a position of safety within a world that abuses her, rather than try to escape that world, felt alienating to me. No one in Faerie seemed especially beautiful or magical to me, despite being described that way, nor did their frequently mentioned superiority feel real. Maybe I'm too old for this one, psychologically speaking, but I found everything about this world rather sad and stupid. Vapid even. Which isn't a criticism of Black's writing or storytelling - as I said, I found the narrative here engaging. Maybe I'm just not meant to be a faerie child? Whatever the case may be, I suppose it says something that, despite my ambivalent response to the world created in this story, I still want to find out what happens next. Recommended to young adult readers who enjoy fantasy fiction set in Faerie... ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Aug 7, 2019 |
When Jude and her twin sister, Taryn, were seven years old, a man showed up at the door to their home, and proceeded to kill their mother and father with a sword, and then order them and their nine-year-old sister Vivienne to pack their things and go with him.

The man's name is Madoc, and he was their mother's first husband. He's Vivi's real father. Oh, and he's a creature out of Faerie, specifically, a redcap. Madoc is the High King's general. And as a man of honor, he considers himself responsible for his wife's children--including the two who aren't his. They grow up in Faerie, and ten years later, the three sisters have each made their own adjustments.

Jude in particular wants to be a part of the Court, someone with her own place and her own power there. This isn't easy for a mere human, but she is determined, and because of this she becomes part of Court intrigues. It turns out she has a natural talent for espionage, theft, and plotting.

And she's not bad with a sword, either.

There are many twists and turns here, and Jude misjudges her own abilities about as often as her rivals and adversaries do. She learns, though. We think we know who the "cruel prince" is, and who are the less-nasty members of the Court are. Jude has her plans, Madoc has his, Taryn has hers. The High King has a plan for which of his children will be his heir. Jude and her classmates in the education given to the Gentry, including Prince Cardan, Locke, Valarian, and other younger members of the Court, are rivals and competitors as well as classmates.

And the High King is getting old and tired, and is about to step down, naming his heir.

Vivienne would rather return to the mortal world. Taryn wants to marry a Faerie lord, and be a part of the Court that way. The same way her mother was, but unlike Jude and Vivi, she's not thinking about how that ended.

Jude wants to be a knight. Prince Dain offers her a different job. The question is, is she tricky enough for it?

As I said, many twists and turns here, and it's a very good story. Recommended.

This a 2019 Lodestar Finalist. I borrowed in from my local library. ( )
  LisCarey | Jul 21, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
It was clear from the start that the author was going to give the readers a dramatic, violent, and exhilarating story... and that's exactly what I got. The first scene in this novel is the brutal murder of Jude's parents, and their reluctant journey to Faerie. The story then skips 10 years to the future, at which point, all of the characters have pretty much grown up. We learn about how the sisters are adjusting to their lives. Vivi, the eldest (and the only one of the sisters who actually has fey blood in her), wants to escape to the mortal world and live a normal life. Taryn, Jude's twin, is quiet and meek and plans on falling in love and securing her place in the Court through a well-made match. And Jude wants to become a Knight to prove her usefulness to the fey. I love the complexity of the characters. None of them were completely good or bad; they all had their flaws and internal struggles and desires. It allowed the reader to see all of the different perspectives to a situation - as well as the different feelings about the fey and the Court. This story was action-packed, and the buildup of events was done very well. I loved the political intrigue and the way Jude put things together. I could not tear myself away from this novel because each page led to some new revelation, some new piece of the plan that would eventually unfold. And the ending definitely took me by surprise! I cannot wait to read the next book in the series! If you are looking for a really good teen fantasy novel, then definitely consider this one!
 
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For Cassandra Clare, who was finally lured into Faerieland
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On a drowsy Sunday afternoon, a man in a long dark coat hesitated in front of a house on a tree-lined street.
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Book description
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

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.
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Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.

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