Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Pages: 370 pages
HB or PB: Hardback 
Genre: YA, YA Fantasy
Publication Date: January 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
How did I get this book: Bought
Format (e- or p-): Physical
Purchase Book: Book Depository

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 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.


Let’s start by saying that this was my first in a long while diving into a new fantasy storyline. Taking a leap into a new Faerie World is always daunting as I don’t know if I will love or hate it. 

Straight into the first couple of pages you see two twin girls aged 7 and an older daughter witness their “parents” being slaughtered by a stranger. The first hundred pages or so really dives into getting to know each character. How they were whisked away to Faerie Land where Vivi their sister is originally from and the strange is indeed her father, Made who is the High King’s General in Elfhame.

The story unfolds mentioning six heirs to the throne, Cardan being the youngest of them all with Belakin the eldest brother and Prince Dain who seems to be the High King’s favourite. Cardan, gives off a “bully” vibe in this storyline. They torment young Jude and Taryn her sister tries to tell her to stop and ignore them. Faeries cannot lie so with that being said, they can only say the truth where Jude and Taryn being mortals can lie.

Prince Dain is fascinated by Jude, he asks her to be apart of his Court of Shadows and become a spy and lie for him amongst others. Along the way there is also a love interest with Jude. Nearer the end of the book, it shifts and Belakin and Made turn on all during the coronation where the High King steps down and was going to reward the Crown to the favourite Prince Dain. Belakin is not happy with this and murders pretty much all his line apart from one, Cardan who is not to be found. Jude was the only one not escorted with the others before the slaughter but was found by Cardan as she was hiding underneath a table.

You can only be crowned King by an heir to the throne so for Belakin it was Cardan. Jude found another way to break this and used another Heir, Oak who was Prince Dain’s Secret Son. Cardan becomes the High King and is crowned by his blood nephew Oak. 

Overall, It was such an interesting read. We had classic teenage bullying, murder and also love interests. It was a page turner and I cannot wait to continue in the series and read the next one.

StefyTalks Rating
The Cruel Prince ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️