The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was Worth the Wait

This month has been passing by rather quickly. Considering how real-life matters are getting in the way of my procrastinating, reading admittedly hasn't been a priority. I realized that it's hardly possible to top the last two month's reading quantity or degrade a number or two especially when I have only been able to finish my third book this month today. But still, there's no regret whatsoever following the confession. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was worth the wait and if you couldn't guess it already just by basing it on how generous I've been, sharing numerous unimportant details of my journey alongside Jude and Cardan via my bookstagram stories, you should've guessed by now that this is a series my heart is going to break for when it ends.

The Cruel Prince follows the story of Jude whose parents were murdered by a Faerie when she was a kid. Madoc, the killer, then whisks her and her sisters away to the Faerie Court where they are brought up to its custom and education. Jude wants to be a knight; her twin sister Taryn wants to fall in love and marry one of the Faeries; while her older sister Vivienne just wants to get out of there. But it’s hard to live in the Elfhame when you’re a mortal surrounded by arrogant immortals. Just by being a brave human, Jude finds herself constantly get picked on by the cruel sixth prince of the Elfhame: Prince Cardan and his gangs.

I binge-read 87% of this book in a day and the rest the next so it’s quite clear how much I enjoyed The Cruel Prince: very much. I had actually gotten a few warnings before jumping into this series, most of them saying that the first book was pretty slow though it would get better at some point. Frankly enough, my taste had proven otherwise. The pacing was perfect for me: it was not too slow that I would get bored by the details but it was certainly unhurried while luring me to go deeper and deeper. It's a good thing too that the map was super pretty that it managed to bring out more eerieness of the Elfhame.

It's hard not to root for a strong main character like Jude. She made mistakes and was not perfect, yes, but I found her bravery and cleverness admirable, so going through the narrative from her lens turned out to be very interesting. We got to witness not only the highlight of her good traits, but also her vulnerability, her confusion, and her despair. I especially liked her bond with Vivi (much more than hers with Taryn). Vivi had such a unique personality, and truthfully, I would love to hear more of her side of the story.

I was excited to find out that there would be more to her and Cardan's development in the next installments considering how jaw-dropping the ending was. Talking about the romance though, rather than seeing it as an enemies-to-lovers story, I considered their relationship more like a bully-to-lovers trope. But a good redemption story is still a good redemption story. I really can't wait to dive into the sequel and see how much they will grow and progress. I saw so much potential in them both that I couldn't bring myself to hate them regardless of how awful they were. Jude and Cardan might've hated each other's gut with passion but even then they still appeared like an end-game.

Even though there are quite a lot of mixed reviews about it, The Cruel Prince is definitely a book for me. I don't want to talk about it any further in fear of accidentally leaking some unexpected spoilers, but if you love Faeries, slow-burnt romance, and intriguing plot, this book might be for you. Please go meet Jude and Cardan and tell me: how could you not want them to get together soon?

Actual rating: 4.8