Books | Owlcrate

January Owlcrate: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

February 17, 2018

First and foremost, I love fantasy and I love mythical creatures, so this setting was perfect for me. Jude and her sisters are taken from the human world and raised in the world of faerie. There are few mortals who are respected there, but Jude is sure that if she can win a knighthood then she will have the social power she needs to live a happy life.

Jude starts off a bit annoying. She’s whiny and brash, but intelligent. She just tends to let her emotions get the best of her and say something she shouldn’t which gets her into trouble with the cool kids/bullies. Her twin sister, Taryn, is on the opposite end of the spectrum, having an overwhelming desire to fit in. They both do terribly stupid things, but Jude matures immensely during the course of the book. She grows to be able to use her intelligence to become calculating and clever.

The Cruel Prince has so many twists and turns. I am typically pretty good at seeing them coming, but the ending has one that I missed entirely. This book does remind me of a YA Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell just for the fact that they both involve faeries, but with plenty more political intrigue. The only downside is that this is a recent release, so book 2 probably won’t be out for awhile and you will have to wait to find out what happens.

Spoilers below.

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Okay, so here is my ranting section and for some reason I can’t put a cut in to hide the spoilers so this is what you get. There are some parts of this book that I can’t keep quiet on.

I want to smack Locke and Taryn so hard. Locke is trash, but what he did wasn’t near as bad as what Taryn did and I don’t understand wanting to be with someone who would ask you to keep quiet and let him hurt your sister. Locke is primed to be an abusive partner and Taryn is walking into it willingly. He has already made steps to come between her and her support, her family. But, she is no saint herself. To purposefully play your own sister and to help someone hurt her? That is a specific kind of evil selfishness. I’m hoping to see some poetic justice in the next book.

Then there’s Cardan. Does being a victim of cruelty excuse being cruel to other people? We start to see more of his charm and he starts to sort of redeem himself, but he has a long way to go. When you have the social power to influence people, you can’t just go along with other people’s bad ideas and then later say “well, it could have been worse if I wasn’t there.” It could have been a lot better if you actually did something, too.

Then Jude, oh dear lord, Jude. I got so caught up in the faerie world, with them not being able to lie, that I forgot that she could. I believed her. Then she pulls that switch at the end and crowns Cardan?! What?! I just can’t.

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    1. First comment! Congratulations, you are now my favorite person. Haha It’s a lot like watching a drama series. The surprises hook you, but sometimes you just can’t understand how the characters can do something so stupid/terrible.

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