Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Cruel Prince (Holly Black)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 7 on My Book List 2019

”Faeries make up for their inability to lie with a panoply of deceptions and cruelties. Twisted words, pranks, omissions, riddles, scandals, not to mention their revenges upon one another for ancient, half-remembered slights. Storms are less fickle than they are, seas less capricious.”

And this is exactly why I LOVED this book! I dunno about you but I love my faeries wicked, cunning and cruel and unfortunately not a lot of authors are able to pull that off. Many faerie books are pretty soft and the MCs are like Twilight’s Bella and Edward only that they are faeries instead of vampires. So I’m always beyond excited and more than just a little delighted (oopsie that rhymed again, I can’t hide my faerie heritage after all) when I find a book and an author that actually knows about the true legends and fairy tales.

What it comes down to is that Holly Black definitely is one of those mentioned authors! I swear, I didn’t have as much fun reading a faerie book ever since I finished Melika Dannese’s “Deadmarsh Fey” and Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. If you don’t know either of those two you better check them out and see if they might be something for you. 😉 I admit they aren’t for everyone because they stick to the facts of legends and myths (especially Melika’s book) but if you’re into well researched books and want something that’s close to the common folk tales but still has its own voice I can totally recommend them.

Anyway! After finishing “The Cruel Prince” I was so satisfied, I felt like I needed the proverbial cigarette after. Since I don’t smoke I settled for a whiskey instead and enjoyed one of those rare silent evenings when you’re able to let your thoughts wander. In the end I can say that I loved all the characters and their duplicity and I’m definitely craving for more! I can’t wait to read “The Wicked King” soon, but for now you’ll just have to endure one of my long and super spoilery reviews. This is how faeries are done and I’m so going to write an essay about it! *lol*

2

You’re leaving the mortal realm and are now entering Faerie. Keep your friends close to you, don’t accept dance proposals and if any food is offered to you and you take it… well, then you’re already doomed. XD Spoilers ahead of you. Be my guest! And btw did I mention that it would be a pleasure to dance with you? *offers hand* ;-P

Jude:

”No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal. I hate that most of all. Even if, by some miracle, I could be better than them, I will never be one of them.”

Ahhh now Jude is what I call a driven character! That girl’s on fire and no matter what kind of obstacle is in her way she’s ready to take it up with the entire world. I kinda like her for it. *lol* I mean she’s very self-conscious, she knows her limits and that she’ll never become one of the faeries she lives with but she’s still sort of brave and reckless. Just because she’s a human and weak in comparison to all the others this doesn’t mean that she’ll back down. Jude might be human but she won’t allow her weaknesses to define her and that’s amazing! I know many people might think that she’s dumb for even trying and that she should keep her head down just like her twin sister Taryn, but if you’re constantly being picked at there comes a point where you can’t and won’t take it any longer. I loved that Jude is courageous enough to take that extra step, to do what no one expects her to do and to laugh in their faces even if they are trying to push her down. Is it dangerous? You bet it is. Was it fun to watch Jude dish out retaliation to those obnoxious faeries? HELL YES!!! I adore my cunning and determined baby and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next. XD

”I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing.”

”What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”

”If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

”No matter how unlikely it seems, you are the most important person in all of Faerie. Whosoever has you, has power. And I want power.”
“I suppose you were right after all.” He studies my face, giving nothing away on his own. “I suppose I didn’t know the least of what you could do.”

Locke:

”There is pleasure in being with them,” he says. “Taking what we wish, indulging in every terrible thought. There’s safety in being awful.”

Now that’s a character that had me yelling at the pages, in a good way of course. 😉 Haha! I can’t believe that none of them realized how dangerous Locke truly is! I never bought into his “lonely boy” façade and if you ask me that one is going to be big, big trouble in book two. He might have taken a backseat in “The Cruel Prince” at the ending but that was only because he enjoyed “watching the story unfold”. XD Locke is a perfect example of a trickster and his story, well, it’s not over yet. Not by a long shot! And tell you what? I can’t wait to see what that wicked young faerie is going to do next. *lol* He might have fooled Jude once but I’m sure she’s on guard now and knowing her she won’t let him off the hook so easily. He’s most certainly prepared for her revenge though so Cardan and Jude better tread carefully around him. 😉 That boy’s got skill and he’ll use every little bit of it to get what he craves and wants. I guess he already proved that he has absolutely no qualms about playing unfair. XD

”I like for things to happen, for stories to unfold. And if I can’t find a good enough story, I make one.” He looks every inch the trickster in that moment.

Cardan:

”And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest, with black hair as iridescent as a raven’s wing and cheekbones sharp enough to cut out a girl’s heart.”

Okay, let me get it down on this page: I LOVED Cardan that little **** (insert swear word of your choice here)! *lol* GAH! I didn’t see such an arrogant and obnoxious character ever since I finished Melissa Marr’s series. Cardan is so cocksure of himself that it was a pleasure to watch him in action. Like seriously! That boy!!! All tough and mean on the outside but once you see beyond that he’s vulnerable af! ❤ What was really curious about him was that he has a tail! XD No one ever mentioned that in the reviews I read and I loved how it was implied that he hides it because it’s giving away his feelings. If there was one thing I didn’t like then it was that he wasn’t an all too big part of the story. I would have loved to see more of him and I really hope that Holly Black will do me that favour in “The Wicked King”. There are so many sides of his character I didn’t see yet and I want to explore them layer by layer! (Double meaning totally intended here! *lol*)

”Do you know what mortal means? It means born to die. It means deserving of death. That’s what you are, what defines you – dying. And yet here you stand, determined to oppose me even as you rot away from the inside out, you corrupt, corrosive mortal creature. Tell me how that is. Do you really think you can win against me? Against a prince of Faerie?”

”You are terrifying. Nearly my whole family is dead, and while they never had much love for me, I don’t want to join them. I’ve spent all night worrying what you’re going to do, and I know exactly what I deserve. I have a reason to be nervous.”

”Have I told you how hideous you look tonight?” Cardan asks, leaning back in the elaborately carved chair, the warmth of his words turning the question into something like a compliment.  “No,” I say, glad to be annoyed back into the present. “Tell me.”“I cannot,” he says, then frowns. “Jude?” I may never be used to the sound of my name on his lips. His brows draw together. “There’s a bruise coming up on your jaw.”

Vivi:

”I think it broke Vivi’s heart to return, but she did it. And she stayed. Whatever else I can say about Vivi, when it really mattered, she stuck by us.”

Why did no one ever mention that Jude and Taryn have a big sister?! I was like: WHAT?! when I started to read the book and the fact that she has a mortal girlfriend was even more intriguing! I mean yes, Vivi is a side-character but she’s a pretty cool one and seems to have her heart in the right place. I like her way more than I like Taryn and I wish Holly Black would have taken more time to flesh her out. So far all we know is that she’s a rebel, kind and wants to live in the mortal world, which isn’t an awful lot if you ask me. I really hope that’s going to change in book two though! =)

„Vivienne shrugs, and I am reminded of how, despite her being my sister, we differ in ways that are hard to comprehend. “You did a brave thing. Be glad of that. Not everyone can be brave. I’m not always.”

3

Jude & Locke:

”I brace myself for more scorn, but then one corner of his mouth lifts. He winks, as if in acknowledgement of being caught out. As if we’re sharing a secret. As if he thinks I am not loathly, as though he does not find my mortality contagious.”

ALL of my faerie instincts screamed “HELL NO!!!” when Locke started to show interest in Jude and as it seems I was right. I’ve to admit that I have a lot of respect for Locke though. I mean that boy managed to seduce and confuse Jude big time and this even though she’s so distrustful and basically only sees the bad in every faerie. That’s quite an achievement and one of the main reasons I love Locke. He’s a manipulative, conniving and intelligent bastard and their relationship was nothing but cold-blooded calculation. Ahh how I admire that kind of ambition. *lol* Anyway, we all know that Jude will do everything possible to settle that score so Ha! You better wrap up warmly, Locke and Taryn. There’s an ice storm coming right your way. ;-P

”It takes us a long time to wend our way back down the stairs. My hands are in his hair. His mouth is on my neck. My back is against the ancient stone wall. Everything is slow and perfect and makes no sense at all. This can’t be my life. This feels nothing like my life.”

”Do you love me enough to give me up?” I am sure my expression is stricken. He leans closer. “Isn’t that a test of love?”

Jude & Taryn:

”You think I’m weak.”
“You are weak,” I tell her. “You’re weak and pathetic and I –“
“I’m a mirror,” she shouts. “I’m the mirror you don’t want to look at.”

Well, if Taryn isn’t a two-faced snake then I dunno. There’s Jude trying to save her naïve and stupid sister, just to find out that our young and innocent girl is anything but! I knew there was something up with her and Locke and I was not surprised to find out the truth. Unfortunately this can’t be said about Jude and I’m pretty sure Taryn just gambled her only chance to win the award for “best twin sister”. Not that she ever stood a chance to get it. I mean she always let Jude struggle on her own, she never helped her, never tried to defend her, she just let those faeries do what they wanted and if Taryn would have been my sister I would have broken with her a long time ago. Guess Jude got to that point now as well. >_<

Jude & Cardan:

”I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.”

I ship them. HARD!!! I loved those two! This kind of hate-love is so damn intriguing I can’t even! It’s so rare to see it on page and boy did Holly Black surpass herself! There are those two people that hate each other so much that they want to kill each other yet at the same time they have this incredible attraction and can’t seem to be able to fight it. I’ll only say it once but: YAS!!!! This is the supreme discipline of a love-hate relationship and if it continues to be that good in book two I’ll be in seventh heaven and will savour every second! It’s obvious they want each other but whilst it was pretty evident that Jude hated Cardan more than he hated her, the same can’t be said for the ending of the book. I think at the end they might have switched roles and I’m more than just certain that Cardan hates Jude with a fierce passion now. She forced him to take over the throne, the one thing he never wanted and he’s bound to her. Ohh damn! This is going to be fun once the one year and one day is over! *lol* But until then we can expect deadly C.H.E.M.I.S.T.R.Y and I’m so ready for it! <333

His hand slides lover on my hip. I narrow my eyes at him.
“You really hate me, don’t you?” he asks, his smile growing.
“Almost as much as you hate me,” I say, thinking of the page with my name scratched on it. Thinking of the way he looked at me when he was drunk in the hedge maze. The way he’s looking at me now.

He leans in and closes his eyes. “Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”
I’m shocked into silence.
“Maybe you should shoot me after all,” he says, covering his face with one long-fingered hand.

I fix him with a look. “I can be charming. I charmed you, didn’t I?”
He rolls his eyes. “Do not expect others to share my depraved tastes.”

”He kisses me hard, with a kind of devouring desperation, fingers digging into my hair. Our mouths slide together, teeth over lips over tongues. Desire hits me like a kick to the stomach. It’s like fighting, except what we’re fighting for is to crawl inside each other’s skin.”

”Cardan looks at me with helpless rage. Then, the full minute of my command up, he rises slowly to his feet. The fury in his eyes is familiar, the glitter of them like banked fire, like coals burning hotter than flames ever could. This time I deserve it. I promised he was going to be able to walk away from the Court and all its manipulations. I promised he would be free from all this. I lied.”

Cardan & Locke:

”Enough,” Locke says sharply to Cardan. He’s got his hands on my shoulders and is pulling me roughly to my feet. “I’m taking her home.”
“Are you, now?” Cardan asks him, eyebrows raised. “Interesting timing. You like the savor of a little humiliation, just not too much?”
“I hate it when you get like this.” Locke says under his breath.

Okay, seriously. What is it with those two? *lol* There is something between them and I just can’t put my finger on it! Judging by Cardan’s comment Locke didn’t try anything with him yet, but I think Cardan might have a soft spot for Locke? I mean he basically admitted that he’s insulted because Locke never showed any interest in him. XD Is this one-sided? Or is there more to it? Mhmm… those two are a tough nut to crack but I’ll find out sooner or later! Hopefully “The Wicked King” will be revealing. If there is actually something I’ve to admit that I’d definitely ship it! *lol*

That makes his smile grow. “Maybe he didn’t. Maybe either of you would have done as his first mortal conquest. I believe his goal is to have both of you in the end.”
I don’t like any of this. “What about you?”
He gives me a quick, odd look. “Locke hasn’t gotten around to seducing me yet, if that’s what you’re asking. I suppose I should be insulted.”

Madoc & Jude:

He kneels down in front of me and takes my hand in his rough green fingers. He must be able to feel how I am trembling. He lets out a long sigh, probably discarding more threats. “Then tell me what will help, Jude. Tell me, and I will do it.”

What a twisted and odd father/daughter relationship! I’m pretty sure that they love each other in their own way and even though Madoc killed Jude’s parents she still started to see him as her father somehow. It’s clear that Madoc sees her as his daughter too and judging by the way he reacted to the faeries hurting Jude he truly seems to care about her. The ending though. I can’t help but wonder how they’ll come out of all of this. This is bound to rebound and I’m kinda worried about Jude. *lol*

”The cups of wine,” he says. “But how did you know which one I would choose?”
“I didn’t,” I tell him, thinking that he’ll be at least a little pleased by the answer, despite himself. It is the kind of strategy he likes best. “I poisoned them both.”

4

I loved everything about this book! From the scheming to the intrigue, from the duplicity to the bitter truth, from lovers to haters and the other way around… Written down on 370 pages of perfection there was basically everything I crave for in a good faerie book and I really couldn’t be even more delighted than I already am. ❤ This book was AMAZING and totally worth the hype! Enough said! 😉

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