The Cruel Prince
By: Holly Black

Quick-take: Interesting Sci-Fi of poorly behaving characters.

Dan's Review

This book had one of the best opening scenes I can remember. I won't give any details, but it definitely brought me in and craving the next chapter. I'm almost tempted to not write my usual mini-synopsis, but I will anyway. It does not detract from the opener. I mean, the opening scene is spilled on the main Audible summary.

Jude is a human living in a land ruled by Faerie Folk. While most humans are treated poorly, she happens to be somewhat high status... well, she is for a human. She is still treated poorly. The bulk of the book is her scheming and politicking amongst the Faerie royalty.

The book does not explicitly say which prince is "The Cruel Prince". There are several of them, and they are all pretty terrible in their own way. In fact, every single major character in the book had a touch of evilness in them -- Jude included. Sympathy is hard to give while reading this book, but I do feel it. I think what makes Jude a decent protagonist is she at least admits to craving power and has a decent reason to do so: With more power, she can demand better treatment.

There is plenty of magic in Faerieland. Some mechanics of the magic system I thought was a bit too convenient for the story, but I can let it pass. There was a touch of lovey sappiness I also did not really care for. Score 4/5. This book was a decently written medieval king magic story with a touch of fantasy. I enjoyed it, but I do not care to pick up book 2.

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