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

Author: Holly Black
26032825Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2018 
Source: ebook (purchased)


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.

Jude was only seven when a mysterious male creature appeared in her home and stole her parents' lives. That creature turned out to be a Fae general and her mother's ex-husband. Unlike her older sister, Jude tries to assimilate into the new world she has been forced to.
Striving as a human in the land of the Fae is a nearly impossible task: how can a weak and gullible creature resist the wonders and false promises of these "enchanted" creatures? Faerie may be a land of wonders but, at the same time, it is a land of dangers, of empty promises, of enslavement and of death. Jude knows how to avoid these dangers, she has been trained by the general who took her and her sisters to survive in this harsh world.
However, Jude is eager to be more, to achieve more. She wants to be able to be part of the king's court, something that is only possible for the strongest and fiercest of creatures. No one in her land sees Jude as fit to be part of it, instead, she is ridiculed and put aside by those who were supposed to be her peers. Prince Cardan, the youngest son of the High King is the worst of them.
Jude starts getting into court life, creating a web of secrets and trouble around her. She gets involved in dangerous, secretive plots that put her life in danger. All goes well, until the day she uncovers a big secret, will Jude be able to surpass these trials and survive what is to come?
I must start the more personal part of this review by confessing that Jude is one of my favourite characters ever. She is strong and fierce. She has flaws! Flawed characters have a touch of reality that brings a special kind of freshness to a fantasy. Both Jude and Cardan are characters that feel real, it is almost if you can see humanity mirrored in their souls.
The most common representation of faeries in Fantasy is as benevolent beings, however, sometimes they are portrayed as double-edged daggers. The last is the way in which the author chose to portray these species within the story. Their dubious and sometimes evil ways contrast with the apparent beauty of the place they inhabit, and with the human thinking on them.
There is a constant contrast between light and dark motifs al trough the novel, these appear in very subtle but also very distinct ways. The wonderful way this novel is written aids the reader in submerging himself in the world he is reading.
I loved the way in which the author approached very serious problems that are very present in most YA readers' lives, such as: family, love, deceit, substance abuse, lack of self-esteem. They are not full on approached as to say their names but there are situations that the characters overcome that contribute to making the reader aware of them.
I would advise this book to anyone and everyone who is looking to delve into a new adventure. It is dark sometimes but whose life is always made up of good moments?


  1. I don’t read a lot of fantasy, but I’m on a waitlist for this one. If I’m going to read fantasy, I want it to be dark and full of flawed characters. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thank you! You have an amazing blog :) keep going