Happy (belated) Christmas! I just wanted to say a quick thank you for reading this blog, it means a lot. Here’s one of my all time winter favourites, perfect for enjoying by a radiator whilst being force fed turkey sandwhiches and cold sprouts. 🙂
Name: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Song: As the World Falls Down by David Bowie (Labyrinth)
When Jude was seven, her parents were murdered in front of her and Jude and her two sisters were whisked away to the treacherous High Court of Faerie: the land of the Fey. A land of cruelty and betrayal, thinly veiled by a rich and lush exterior of extravagance. Ten years on, Jude is desperate to belong, despite her mortality. However, many Fey despise humans, most of all the charismatic yet wicked Prince Cardan.
But to save her sisters and quite possibly the entire Court, Jude must go against him – whatever the consequences may be. And as a wave of betrayal and bloodshed threatens to drown the Court, Jude discovers her own talent for trickery: for while the Fey may live forever, they cannot lie. But she must risk her own life to avoid being swept down into its depths – and possibly taking the whole of Faerie with her.
These are no Enid Blyton fairies. As a kid, you dream of meeting some magical winged creatures and being whisked away to a multicoloured fairyland made of sweets. But what I really loved about this book is the different spin Holly Black has put on the stereotype. She’s written a beautifully dark tale about the underside of the toadstool – and I absolutely loved it. You’ve got the perfect wicked kings, bloodthirsty plots and whirlwind romances, complete with a whole lot of backstabbing, betrayal and cruel wit. And of course, Prince Cardan: *insert gushy twighlight-esque moping about perfection and wickedness*. But honestly, look no further. Your next fairytale crush is here.
‘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
Jude is one of my favourite parts of the book aswell. Unlike a ridiculous amount of heroines, she’s clever, headstrong, just strong, and she doesn’t give up on her dreams. And most importantly, she doesn’t just melt when she sees a prince as females apparently are supposed to according to a crazy amount of Netflix films. Speaking of said prince, my only slight irk with the book is that I feel his character was a little bit 2D in ‘The Cruel Prince’ but you do learn a lot more about Cardan’s character as the series progresses. ‘The Wicked King’ came out a year ago, and ‘The Queen of Nothing’ was my favourite christmas present this year – not to mention those amazing cover arts! Additionally, ‘The Cruel Prince’ was shortlisted for the Carnegie Award, which is pretty prestigious blah blah blah… but that’s still a pretty big deal. If a book was even a runner up for that prize, you know its going to be a good one.
Conclusionally, I really enjoyed this dark twist on Faeries and magic. It’s clever, bloody and surprisingly touching. I’d recommend it whole heartedly for any fans of ‘The Red Queen’ and ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ – it’s very easy to get lured into this magical world just like Jude…
Have you read this book? Got any recommendations? (song recommendations also excitedly accepted)
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