I would like to start this review by saying I read this book for the first time last year (2018) and re-read it this year. However, for whatever reason, I forgot just about everything. All I remembered was the first chapter.
That being said, I absolutely loved this book! Although Jude wasn’t my favourite character, I really enjoyed the way she narrates the story. Maybe that sounds paradoxical, but there you go. On Goodreads, I gave The Cruel Prince five stars because of the twists, the writing style and the characters. Everything I would want in a book was in this one. The romance was particularly interesting because it didn’t seem forced.
Sometimes I read books and the romance is there because the author wanted romance there, and no other reason. Holly Black, however, put a great spin on it, and it seemed more natural, but still unnatural. I don’t know how else to explain what I’m thinking, and I know I haven’t done it well.
For the entirety of the book, Taryn infuriated me. The most irritating character I have ever read about. The only redeemable quality she had was that she was Jude’s sister. But, she needs to get her act together. Because she is annoying.
The most interesting thing about this book was the moral rules of those in Faerie. They have intensely strict morals, but their rules are not ours. This is not a spoiler: the book opens with this. Madoc kills Jude’s parents and didn’t think it was ideal, but it wasn’t wrong in his world. BUT, he felt honour-bound to take care of the children he had just orphaned.
Holly Black’s writing style is incredible, and I have loved her books since I read The Spiderwick Chronicles when I was a child. (If you haven’t read those books, go and do it. Thanks.) Her use of words, her choice of words, is sensational. Every word is there for a reason, and the tension builds slowly which I loved.
Although, in the beginning, the book was slow, the second half makes up for it, and gives us more. It was amazing.
I will say, though, I really, really don’t like Dain, or Balekin. They are beyond enraging, but to a lesser degree than Taryn. No character will top Taryn’s ability to irritate.
I will read The Wicked King (obviously) and I have just preordered it, and ordered a few of Holly Black’s other books.