Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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.

RATING: 4 stars.
GENRE: Fantasy

This is not my kind of book. And by that, I don't mean there's something wrong with it, quite the opposite, it's a really good book.
The world Holly Black created is mesmerizing. It feels real and complex.
There was action from beginning to end, and most chapters end in a cliffhanger, so I was engaged all the time.
The writing style is beautiful, painting a perfect picture of what's happening without affecting the flow. The plot was steadily strong, something was always happening so I couldn't stop reading, hence why I finished it in one day.
The plot twist at the end was perfectly executed, and left me stunned for a while, having to re-read it to believe it.

With that being said, here come the SPOILERS, the reason why I can't love The Cruel Prince. If you have not read it and want to discover everything by yourself, it's time to STOP READING. 



Don't say I didn't warn you. 

I don't like Jude, the protagonist of the story. In fact, if she had been killed, I wouldn't have cared, not one bit. Why? Because she gave me no reasons to feel connected to her.
She cares for nothing more than herself and what she wants. She wants to be respected by the Fae, she wants to have power, she wants revenge on her evil classmates...
The only good thing she tries to do backfires horribly, and partly thanks to her lack of empathy. 
For all she talks about how the faeries are monstrous to humans, she can be just as bad, if not worse. There were options for her, she could have left the world of the Fae behind, tried to be different; but the truth is that she was born in the wrong body, the wrong kind. She is like one of the Fae, and one of the crueler ones. 
And Taryn, her twin is no different. In fact, I disliked Taryn even more, selfish, capricious, conceited, and plays the victim.
Vivi, Jude's half-fae sister is far more likable, and I would've preferred to see more of her. She's a rebel and she hates her Fae father, with a fair reason since he killed her mother and adoptive father. Her intentions are actually good most of the time, her rough exterior a mask to keep herself and those she loves safe. 
I can hardly believe it myself, but I ended up feeling more connected to Cardan, the cruel Prince. Don't get me wrong, I don't like him, but he actually does have a good reason to be broken and rotten. His life has been constant torture, so he hurts others not to feel like a victim. Makes sense.
So, you might wonder why the 4 stars. For the same reason I can't say the Godfather is a bad movie despite the fact I'd like to see all the Corleone family wearing matching orange suits. Just because something is not my style, doesn't mean I can't recognize it's brilliantly made.
The Cruel Prince is entertaining, full of schemes and twists that don't let you go, and well written. 
So, as the last statement, if you like an intelligent and strong, but cunning and cruel female MC, this book is for you.

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