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Review: The Cruel Prince (Black)

Want to live in a beautiful, magical faerie world? Think hard about that! For humans who live in the world of The Cruel Prince, life is full of poisonous fruit, extreme faerie cruelty, mind control, and human slavery.

Want to live in a beautiful, magical faerie world? Think hard about that! For humans whol live in the world of The Cruel Prince...AUTHOR: Holly Black
SERIES: The Folk of the Air, book 1
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown
PUBLICATION DATE: January 2, 2018
ISBN: 9780316310277
PAGES: 384
SOURCE: purchased for Kindle
GENRE: fantasy, faeries
SETTING: Faerie, modern day
GIVE IT TO: upper-MS, HS

SUMMARY: Ten years ago, Jude and her twin sister Taryn were stolen away from their human parents by Madoc, a formidable faerie general. Their older sister Vivienne, who is Madoc’s half-human daughter, was also taken to Faerie. Raised in the royal Faerie court, the girls struggle to find their place among the fae, most of whom–particularly faerie classmate Prince Cardan–hate humans and show them only cruelty.

REVIEW: Kudos to Holly Black, who has once again prevented me from getting a good night’s sleep on a school night. I loved this book and after a certain point, I truly could NOT put it down. There were at least three moments (all in the last 25%) where I actually gasped out loud at something that happened. Bring on the sequel! That ending, y’all!!!!!

As always with Holly Black’s books, characters are fully-developed, particularly the characters of Jude, Taryn, and Prince Cardan. I actually hated passive Taryn, but Jude rocks! She’s fierce in a way that reminds me of Lada in Kiersten White’s Conquerer’s Saga, which I also loved. And Prince Cardan! How can a character be so cruel, yet (a little bit) sympathetic at the same time? His character is one readers will love to hate and hate to love.

World-building is one of Holly Black’s greatest strengths as a writer. If you love beautiful faerie worlds, you won’t be disappointed in this one.

THEMES: faeries, sisters, loyalty, bullying, belonging

THE BOTTOM LINE: A must for high school libraries, especially those where faerie fantasy is popular.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. I’ve booktalked this as part of my daily “Mrs. Collazo is currently reading…” and I know it will be popular in my library when it arrives. Fingers crossed that it arrives this week!



  • Overall: 5/5
  • Creativity: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: medium; kissing, some sexual innuendo, faeries seen publicly in trysts
  • Violence: medium; bullying, murder, stabbing with knife (nothing graphic)
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; faerie poisons and fruits

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