The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Are you a fan of a high-fantasy setting with a touch of the classic enemies-to-lovers situation? The Cruel Prince by Holly Black may be just the book to curl up with and enjoy.

    The story focuses on Jude, a human who was taken in by fey (elves, fairies, and other magical creatures) to live in the High Court of Faerie with her twin sister after their parents were murdered. Unluckily for them, the fey hold a special hatred towards humans- but Jude is willing to do whatever it takes to feed her growing ambition to win a place at the Court: including defying the youngest and cruelest son of the High King.

    Since its rise in popularity as one of the reigning “Book-Tok” books, The Cruel Prince has grown to be well-known for its gripping romance. However, this is a slight deception, as The Cruel Prince, as the first of The Folk of the Air trilogy, focuses heavily on the plot rather than the romance. One point explored is what Jude will let guide her actions, and if love, from enchanting crushes to the love she has for her sister, prevents her from what she desires most of all: power. Such an intriguing topic leaves readers on the edge of their seat as they can only wonder how far Jude is willing to go to achieve what she wants- and can only watch as she goes farther than they could have ever imagined.

    Holly Black is able to build up the land of Elfhame into an enthralling setting for readers to find their way around with Jude, encountering mystical beings, attending splendorous balls, and struggling to survive in a world meant for the magical. This being said, readers will find the majority of their time being spent in learning more about the intricately built governing system- including all of its deception. As she gets more and more involved with the corruption, how much will Jude lose- and discover- of herself? “Sharpen your blade, harden your heart,” and get ready for a cruelly captivating read.

By Teen Reviewer, Gwendolyn