“The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black

A friend of mine let me borrow a different Holly Black book, and to be honest, I rather enjoyed it (the Coldest girl in Cold Town). So when I went over to help her lay out a bedroom, I saw this book with about 2 dozen other books I’ve always been curious about. I’ve been hearing a lot about this book online, so when I saw the chance to borrow it, I took it. I came home that day with a literal laundry basket of books.

I have a soft spot for books about faeries. And this is one of those. The story is about twin sisters Jude and Taryn, and their older sister Vivienne “Vivi”, who were spirited away by Vivi’s father Madoc, after he kills their parents. Madoc is a redcap, and soaks his hat in the blood of those he has just killed. Most faerie stories have a redcap SOMEWHERE in the story.

The girls grow up in Madoc’s household, as his “daughters”, even though he is only Vivi’s father. Because of his love for the girls mother, he took in the twins. It’s an odd situation, and kind of creates this weird Stockholm Syndrome thing. Jude hates Madoc, but she also has this strange love for him, because he did raise them, protect them, and teach them. The girls can fight almost as well as any Faerie, are more intelligent than any Fae, but still can’t quite fit in. They are bullied by basically every teen Fae they come across, including Prince Cardan and his posse.

I enjoyed the book. It was fun, quick, and interesting. It is also cliched, predictable, and soaked in teen angst. A boy from Cardan’s group tries to get between the twins, Jude is asked by the soon-to-be High King to be his spy because of her unique ability to lie (faeries cannot lie, but they can bend the truth), and a Revel turns into bloodshed.

I have the next book in the series as well, and you can bet I will be reading it! It’s a teen book through and through, but it’s fun and there are some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting.

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