REVIEW: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

REVIEW: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

 

It has been a while since I posted as I took last week off to get back on track. October has been a hectic and stressful month and I haven’t been able to dedicate the time needed to keep on top of my posts.

In the last few weeks, blogging started to feel like a chore which is the last thing I want so I thought taking a week without the pressure might help and it definitely has. I have read lots of amazing books recently that I’m still yet to review so I’m excited to start posting again and what better way to start than with The Cruel Prince by Holly Black!

This is one of the many books I have purchased based on recommendations and reviews I’ve read on various blogs. With all the hype surrounding it and a cover as pretty as this, how could I resist?

Side note: I’m introducing a new section to my reviews from now which is going to be some bullet points at the end of each review of things I liked/didn’t like. This is just because as much as I would love to write long and detailed reviews for every book I read, I’m struggling to find the time, so this should help stick to my schedule but still include everything I want to say about a book. I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing this but I’m going to give it a go!

GoodReads Synopsis:

“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.”

 

My Rating:

★★★★☆

My Thoughts:

Fantasy will always be one of my favourite genres because of how diverse and creative it is. This is not the first story I’ve read about Faeries and it won’t be the last and yet the world Black has created feels so unique.  I love that authors can take an initial well-known concept such as magical creatures and create a whole new and interesting world for their reader to escape into and I would definitely love to experience the High Court of Faerie in real life after reading this book!

In case you haven’t already gathered, I really enjoyed this book! It’s a brilliant example of a book that uses the strong-female lead trope in the right way. Jude was such a refreshing character. As a human living in faerie, she was at the bottom of the ladder, vulnerable and weak. She has limited options and yet, she uses her intellect to fight her way into a position of power. However, I think the main reason I liked Jude was that she was more of an anti-hero than a saviour. Even though we know what she did was right, we also know her actions were morally questionable at times which made her so much more dimensional and interesting.

Carden was also a brilliant character. He is awful with seemingly no redeeming qualities and whilst part of me wanted him to stay this way, I knew that eventually we would have some reveal that would explain why he behaved the way he did. Black slowly unveiled Carden’s true character and private life to the reader and Jude, making us realise that the prince doesn’t have it quite as good as Jude believes. I know that YA fiction seems to love the ‘bully has a difficult home life’ trope with authors using it flippantly in near enough every coming of age story they write but In The Cruel Prince, the reveal of Carden’s true self completely changes the trajectory of this story. I honestly felt sorry for him at the end when Jude double-crossed him. As much as I enjoyed his involvement in the story, I secretly wanted him to just escape to his own castle far away and not have to deal with any of the Faerie Court’s politics.

The only thing I thought was unnecessary but completely saw coming was Carden and Jude’s kiss. The story would still have worked and made logical sense without adding in the potential romance. Once Carden’s personal life was revealed, we had enough justification for his treatment of Jude without needed the ‘he hates her because he secretly is attracted to her which repulses him’ plot line. That being said, there was no part of me that didn’t expect them to be romantically linked at some point of the book. I do think it’s great that Black didn’t make this the focal point of the book, but it did feel like everything was leading to it which was a bit disappointing. I hope in the next book this takes a back seat to Jude being bad-ass but I’ll have to wait and see!

 

Three things I loved:

  • I found it interesting how Black explored/used the theme of power and how quickly this shifted between characters.
  • As horrifying as it was, I did enjoy the part where the new king was going to be crowned as it reminded me of an episode of Game of Thrones (if you’ve read it then I’m sure you know which episode I’m thinking of – the Red Wedding!)
  • The descriptions of the parties, the food, and the outfits. I felt like I was immersed in their world which is what every good fantasy book should do!

 

Thanks for reading! Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!  

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to another Top 10 Tuesday! It’s been a while since I’ve taken part as the past few weeks I’ve been doing Top 5 Tuesdays but I thought I’d switch it up a bit.

If you’re not familiar with Top 10 Tuesday, it’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and features a different book related topic each week. This week weeks topic is the ‘Top 10 books by my favourite authors that I still haven’t read’.

I don’t have that many favourite authors as I read so many different books and genres so some of these are just books by authors whose other books I have enjoyed.

If you’re also taking part in this weeks Top 10 Tuesday or if you’ve done a similar post in the past then please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

  1. Us Against You by Frederik Backman

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  1. Britt Marie Was Here by Frederick Backman

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  1. Every Day by David Leviathan

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  1. Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathan

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  1. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

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  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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  1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

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  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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  1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Thanks for reading! If you’ve read any of these books or have any books by a favourite author that you’re yet to read then let me know in the comments below!

Series I Stopped Reading But Would Love to Continue

Series I Stopped Reading But Would Love to Continue

Hello, lovelies!

This post was inspired by the brilliant Brianna at Brianna the Bookworm, whose original post you can read here.

As soon as I started reading Brianna’s post, I couldn’t help but think of all the series I started and then abandoned mid-way through. I’ve managed to narrow it down to only a small list that I would actually consider picking up again which was a lot harder than it sounds.

 

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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I can’t even remember what book I got up to in this series, but I wish I’d carried on reading it. For a while, vampire and werewolf books were just being churned out in the masses and it became such a tired storyline, but I immediately fell in love with the world that Cassandra Clare created. I also loved watching it come to life in the TV adaptation of the series, Shadowhunters. Katherine McNamara was the perfect Clary!

 

 

The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

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I only read the first two books in this trilogy, so it frustrates me that I never got around to finishing it.  I have watched all of the films now but as I’m sure we all agree, that should never stop you from reading the book as well!

 

 

Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel

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I do intend to finish this series as I absolutely loved the first book ‘Sleeping Giants’ but I’ve just not had the chance yet. This is definitely high up on my never-ending TBR list!

 

 

Gone Series by Michael Grant

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I started this series so long ago now and I still often think about it and kick myself for not finishing it.  I remember absolutely devouring each book I read and just completely immersing myself in the story, it was so unique but also slightly scary for YA!

 

 

The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney

 

I think that this is the ‘unfinished series’ that annoys me the most. I absolutely loved these books. I read the first book ‘The Spooks Apprentice’ when I was still in school and it was just brilliant. They were dark, magical and unlike anything I’d read before. Who knows, maybe this post will inspire me to pick them back up and see what happens to Tom.

 

 

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

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With all the hype surrounding this series I thought I would get into it straight away but unfortunately, I only made it halfway through the first book. I do want to try and get back into it but it does feel like a big commitment.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these or are there any series you wish you’d finished reading? Let me know in the comments below!

T5T: Top 5 Fantasy Books

T5T: Top 5 Fantasy Books

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Tuesdays. If you aren’t familiar with Top 5 Tuesday, it is a group here on WordPress that is currently run by Shanah over at BionicBookWorm. Each week you are given a topic and you talk about 5 books that fit that category. This week’s topic is the Top 5 Fantasy Books.

If you are also participating in Top 5 Tuesdays this week or you have previously done a post on a similar topic then please leave your link in the comments and I will check out your post!

 

  1. LOTR/The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

I know I’m cheating by combining these into one point, but it had to be done! Middle Earth will always be my favourite fantasy world. When you read either The Hobbit or any books from the LOTR trilogy, you are immediately immersed into Tolkien’s world which is one of the main reasons I love fantasy so much.

 

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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I picked up this book purely based on its cover and I’m so glad I did. Good fantasy novels with a strong female lead are like gold dust so I was so pleased when I read this story. Novik is a brilliant writer and storyteller and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

 

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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The Night Circus truly lives up to the hype. It is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read, and the descriptions are exceptional. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it makes me sad that I can’t actually go to the night circus as it sounds so amazing.

 

  1. The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell

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This is actually a children’s book, but I read it when I was 22 and loved it. Bell creates such an interesting and unique world in The Crooked Sixpence and had me hooked from the first few chapters.

 

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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This series is incredibly imaginative and slightly creepy at the same time. I don’t know how these authors come up with these ideas, but I am so glad they do!

 

Thanks for reading! What are some of your favourite fantasy books? Let me know in the comments below!