Book Review: The Cruel Prince

Trigger/Content Warnings: Violence, torture, child abuse.


51FVOvYrUuL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Official Blurb: 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 years old 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.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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 Take: 5/5 Stars
Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.
~ Holly Black
I know, I know. I’m EXTREMELY late to this party, especially considering how much I LOVED Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest. Partly it took me so long to read this one because I heard book two, The Wicked King ends on a cliffhanger, and I wanted to be closer to the release of book three, The Queen of Nothing. Partly I waited this long because I’m always so afraid a book won’t live up to its hype. I should not have been afraid.
THE CRUEL PRINCE is what everyone says it is. It is a fast-paced, emotional roller coaster that has twists and bends you don’t see coming and others you do see but want to cover your eyes for. You don’t, though. You can’t look away.
The thing I admire most about Holly Black’s writing, however, other than the wending plot and the edge-of-your seat intensity, of course, is how accurate her teen characters are. In young adult fantasy, especially, characters often seem to act older than their contemporary counterparts. Holly Black’s characters don’t, and I like that. I like that they pull faces and shout insults. I like that they’re moody and impetuous and don’t think carefully over every decision. That’s what makes them interesting!
I also admire Holly Black’s ability at crafting sibling relationships. As someone who spent 16 years of her life as an only child and has never lived with her half-brother, I see sibling relationships differently, and I struggle writing them. I love authors who get them just right, as Holly Black does. They’re never simple, always complicated, and are full of everything I want to see: rivalry; jealousy; and deep, unending pools of love.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend The Cruel Prince to everyone and anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy that is dark, rich, and full of well-rounded, messy as hell characters.
Question of the Day: Who is your favorite messy character?
Buy Links:
❤ Always,
Aimee

 

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

Author’s Note: I know! You thought I’d never be back, right? Well, here I am, ready to report on another 5 Star Review! I’m hoping to be able to revive this blog and also my IG over the coming months, so if you want to follow the progress there, my handle is writingwaimee. Now, onward!

darkest part of forestOfficial Blurb: 

In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives….

Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.
Until one day, he does….
As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be.
My Take: 5/5 Stars
“The only way to end grief was to go through it.” ~ Holly Black
THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST, published in 2016 and recommended to me in 2018, was a fast-paced, emotionally charged page turner. The book blends the real and the fantastical in a way that, if not done correctly, would be a bumpy, jarring ride. Fortunately, Holly Black does it right. So right it makes you wonder if there could be a fairyland under that mound of dirt in the back yard your parents have always told you is a sand mound septic system. Maybe it is, or maybe the King of the Fairy Court is down there, with his entourage of sharp-toothed, winged, and antlered fair folk.
The Darkest Part of the Forest transports the reader to the small town of Fairfold, which might be somewhere in my native state of Pennsylvania, as Philadelphia is mentioned a few times throughout the novel. But Fairfold is far from an ordinary Philadelphia suburb. And yet… in some ways, it is completely ordinary. In fact, this ordinariness is one of the things I admired most about Black’s novel. Black is unabashed and unafraid in her portrayal of teenage life. Her characters were authentic in their youth. They were all the things I remember being: emotional and spontaneous; a little wild; a little reckless; unsure; yet often confident in a way you can only be in your teenage years. (If a teen who has read it reads this review and disagrees, I 100% differ to you, however).
I also loved the fact that this book is a standalone. We don’t really see enough of that in young adult fantasy. So all in all, The Darkest Part of the Forest was a quick read that left me feeling all the feels. A book I could shut with a satisfied little sigh and settle on the shelf. No cliffhanger, no desperate wait for the next book, simply a happy memory that also looks lovely in my collection.
Buy Links:
Has anyone else read this beauty? What were YOUR thoughts?
❤ Aimee