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The Cruel Prince

(The Folk of the Air #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  722,343 ratings  ·  67,777 reviews
This is a previously published cover edition of ISBN 9780316310277. An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.

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 a
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Popular Answered Questions
E. M. Nikolaev No, there is a larger universe but there is no need to read any of the other books before this one.

Here is the reading order to help:

Cruel Prince

No, there is a larger universe but there is no need to read any of the other books before this one.

Here is the reading order to help:

Cruel Prince

The Lost Sisters (Optional, read at any time after Cruel Prince)

Wicked King

(Suggested reading: Modern Faerie tales, The darkest part of the forest)

Queen of Nothing

How the King of Elfheim Came to Hate Stories

Modern Faerie tales:




You can read any of these series in any order but this is my suggested reading order

Christina Unfortunately no! Book 1 officially releases on January 2nd, 2018. Book 2 is slated for sometime in 2019, and book 3 is slated for sometime in 2020. I…moreUnfortunately no! Book 1 officially releases on January 2nd, 2018. Book 2 is slated for sometime in 2019, and book 3 is slated for sometime in 2020. I'd keep an eye on Holly's website as well as Little Brown for future pub dates. (less)
The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackWar Storm by Victoria AveyardQueen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra ClareA Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa TahirObsidio by Amie Kaufman
YA Novels of 2018
1,019 books — 5,594 voters
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. MaasQueen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra ClareWar Storm by Victoria AveyardThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Can't Wait Books of 2018
1,183 books — 4,716 voters

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  722,343 ratings  ·  67,777 reviews

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Start your review of The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

“He looks like a faerie lover stepped out of a ballad, the kind where no good comes to the girl who runs away with him.”

If you guys ever want to see what my true heart’s desires are on paper, read this book. This book is a piece of heaven that was sent from above, this book is the perfection incarnate, this book is nothing short of magical, this book easily makes my top five books of all-time list, and this book is without a doubt the best book I’ve read in 2017. I’m not sure how I’m
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
*clears throat*

Excuse me, uh. Who cares?

This is not a rhetorical question. I truly want to know. I read this whole ass book and I am still at a complete loss for something, anything, to care about. Not a plot point, not a character trait, not a single line of quirky banter I could get myself emotionally invested in.


This is a book about fairies and it was a trial for me to get through. Me, a person who loves fairies so much she spent her entire third grade
Emily May
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.

4 1/2 stars. Over the course of this year, I've read both books that I've liked and books I've disliked. I've read books that I've loved and, it's fair to say, books that are better written, more unique, and more groundbreaking than this book. That being said, however, I am struggling to recall a book that has left me this excited about a YA series in a very long tim
Miranda Reads
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it

New week, New BookTube Video - all about the best (and worst) literary couples
The Written Review

If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.
Jude (and her twin, Taryn) are human but their older sister (Vivi) belonged to another world.

Their mother fled when she was pregnant with Vivi and escaped to the human world. Their mother gave birth to the half-fairy Vivi, married and soon had Jude & Taryn.

But their little family could not stay hidden.

Madoc (her mother'
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, where to begin.
Hype as we know it, is quite futile. The buzz it ignites is amazing. They create this excitement within you that has your mind wandering to all of the possibilities and direction the book can go in.

Because of the hype, I assumed I would enjoy this book. I'm quite an easy-to-please reader, so usually when a book is hyped up, I tend to enjoy it. Or even if I don't, I will feel indifferent. But this book brought about a rage within me; I hated it with every fibre of my being.

Feb 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I do not yearn to be their equal. In my heart, I yearn to best them.
Wow, what a start to the trilogy! I'm not sure what I expected going into The Cruel Prince, but it certainly wasn't this much fun or this much nastiness.

Jude was only seven years old when her parents were brutally murdered in front of her eyes. The man who killed them took her and her sisters to the High Court of Faerie, to be brought up as one of them. Yet, in the ten years since, Jude has never felt like she belonged. As a
Emma Giordano
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Absolutely loved this read!! A wondrous fantasy novel that is easy to get invested in. So many great plot twists and high-intensity, suspenseful moments!

TW: murder, physical abuse, sexual abuse, suicide

Holly Black is truly the queen of creating exquisite worlds. Her interpretation of faeries is always so fascinating and glorious. It’s hard to fully capture what it is about her world-building that is so magical, but her books are always my favorite when it comes to faeries. I believe a part of it
Marie Lu
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WHAT IS THIS BEAUTY. Someone please revive me because I am dead from the awesomeness of this book.

If you want to read a masterpiece of character and story, look no further. The Cruel Prince showcases Holly Black at the top of her game: it is exquisitely dark and delightfully wicked, set in an intricate world of highlighted sensation--the taste of faerie fruit, the feel of rich, decaying fabrics, the smells of dangerous old chambers--and populated by a cast of characters that left me dying from f
Aug 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
384 pages. ZERO SUBSTANCE.

Unless you call pages littered with problematic shit... substance.

I don’t get it. I just don’t fucking get it.

Before: This book is my 1st experience with Holly Black. It’ll either make or break our future relationship.

After: Any plans for a potential future relationship is hereby terminated. Over. Done with. Null and void. Cancelled... you get the point.

when you go into a book expecting gold and it ends up being your worst read of the year. In January…

Oh, the ra
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I liked this a lot! I completely get why so many people didn't enjoy this and there are plenty of things certain characters do that are inexcusable. There were just so many other things about the book that I enjoyed! The plot itself was a wild time. One of the later chapters had me staring at a wall in a state of disbelief in regards to what had happened. The world was such an interesting one to explore! I've got more to say on this, but my mind is just asdfghjkl; after reading it so that's all ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Sorry folks, I don't get it.

2.5? Maybe...

Unmemorable. Another YA fantasy with fairies and humans, clichés and cringe romance similar to all the other fantasy/dystopian books that have been coming out. I don't understand the hype because there was nothing I found good in here. There wasn't anything horrible either which leaves me with a "meh" review.

Won't continue the series. Don't recommend it.
chai ♡
you: I want Jude and Cardan to be in a romantic relationship

me, an intellectual: I want Jude and Cardan to remain supreme enemies who occasionally make out and always make sure the other stays alive for no reason other than an unspoken understanding that life without the other would be a complete and utter bore
Victoria Aveyard
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I require book 2 immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
not a day goes by without thinking how freaking annoying Jude was in this book
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please enjoy the following visual presentation of my reactions whilst reading The Cruel Prince:

((cue the Muzak)):

This was NOTHING at all like what I expected it to be. I am actually shocked by how much I enjoyed this. If I'm being honest, I didn't think I would.

I had previously read, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Black, and it was just okay for me. There was nothing wrong with it, but I didn't find it particularly memorable either.

Going into this one, I was expecting angsty romance, whiny
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, on-app, favorites, ya
4.5/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

“(…) cheekbones sharp enough to cut out a girl’s heart.”

I love me a cruel and tipsy Faerie prince and that’s Cardan and only Cardan.

I mean everything I said in the previous sentence. Every. Word. Is. True.

Cardan was the best thing happening to this book and if you deny this that that’s strictly your problem. He’s a charmer.


I don’t read hyper-hyped books in general. But when I do, I read them aeons after they’re out so the hype has worn out
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
"If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse."

I see why people call Holly Black 'Queen of the Faeries'. Hoooly wow. What a delightfully dark, twisty novel.

If you know anything about me, I'm all about the court politics & intrigue, villains & anti-heroes, and schemes within plots within schemes. This book had my name written ALL over it.

Okay so here's the basic rundown without giving away too much. Jude and Taryn are twins. Vivi is their older sister. It turns out, V
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

My first order of action: I'm starting an "I hate Taryn" club. If you want to join, just comment below and you'll receive instant membership status. It is the hate that binds us.

Edit: I made a badge with MS Paint. >:D

What would happen if you combined Hana Yori Dango with Game of Thrones? This book.

I'm kind of surprised at how much I enjoyed THE CRUEL PRINCE. It was receiving a lot of hype, and normally that turns me off, because so much
Elle (ellexamines)
...I have no idea how this review got deleted, but here is a reupload from my blog!

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

God, this book killed me. The Cruel Prince has just about what you’d expect from Black: court intrigue, an atmosphere of terror, vaguely dark romance, and a main character who is a terrible person, but is also so interesting. Plus some interesting dynamics and setup for an even better sequel. Needless to say, I found it delightful.

I think Black’
Cardan Greenbriar holds my heart in his hands, and he looks rather smug about it, the absolutely perfect insufferable jerk.

This is one of those books where the faerie are actually scary. Yes, they're pretty immature, but they're cruel, terrible people who play with mortals for fun. These are not your Sarah J. Maas fae. They can't control the wind or change shapes -- but they can force humans to do their will, which is almost worse. Unless you wrap a string of rowan berries around your neck or tu
Maryam Rz.
Once upon a time, a wicked girl with a cold, cold heart traipsed through a forest so light and stark. Trees of clean bark. Branches dangling with folk art. And it was thus she came upon a hole so, so dark.

Our restless little devil looked through the hole and glimpsed trees of bark covered in blood, branches twisted and falling with a thud, screams coming out of the mud that had seen much brutal flood.

So the girl backed up, and ran, and jumped.

I fell into the Holly Black hole for fun so dark.
Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
Well, despite marking this as "currently reading" (I put books there that I plan to read within the next week or two) I finally cracked this bad boy open today...and finished it in one three-hour siting.

So, if that's not an indication of something being a seriously above average read, I don't know what is.


Jude was a really edgy, imperfect, relatable character and I really liked her.

So often, I want characters to do something - maybe say something or do something I want them to do in a specific
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
some books are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

this book is all of the above. my mind simply cannot comprehend what i just read because its greatness transcends human understanding. what a blessed world we live in where this kind of greatness exists for us mere mortals.

i cant even fathom what sort of perfection ‘the wicked king’ will be. the last half of this book is one of the best build-ups to a sequel i have ever read. like, are you kidding me!?
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”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 a
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US 10/14/20

3 stars this time. Reread 2020


I already knew it was coming but here is my Fairyloot box =) Clink link below pic to see about the items!


OMG! Click on my link below the picture to see close-ups and my synopsis of the items =)


Holy sh*t balls! I love it =)

I love Jude! She's my new bad to the bone girl! She gets dragged away with her two sisters to Faerie by the man that killed her parents. Lives in Faerie most of her life. I
Era ➴
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
buddy read with the very sassy rein!

Actual footage of Cardan:
booksnpenguins (wingspan matters)
“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 can't.”

august 2022
i hate this book and the power it has over me. 5 stars could never be enough for the magnificence that is this series.
in case you're wondering, kiss with a fist by florence+the machine is the song i picked for jude/cardan in t
chan ☆
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-bfs, 2018, ya-fantasy
me reading the folk of the air trilogy in a day *spoilers*: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLg5D...

hi i'm chandler and this is my favorite book of all time

no for real, this book has EVERYTHING. but first off i just want to say that y'all have been SLEEPING on holly black. she is incredible and i genuinely love every single one of her books that i have read. so i guess it's not surprising that i loved this one. what did i love you may ask?

- the writing... HELLO! YES! how can a book that is short
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I know you missed my star auctions… Here comes the new one! Let’s start with five billion! Did I hear five centillion! Are you out of your mind? I don’t think there are centillion stars on the universe! Well, red head lady slaps the bidder and gave this book FIVE CENTILLION STARS anyways! SOLD with an all exclusive trip to fae world ( limitless Chardonnay and tequila shots included)

Awwwwwwww I’m in love with this book! This is definitely a Tarantino story taken place at the Fae World and we have
✨ Helena ✨
“Nice things don’t happen in storybooks. Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”




Holly Black, you are going to be the DEATH of me! I loved the Spiderwick Chronicles as a child (so cute!), mildly enjoyed the Modern Faerie Tale series (kinda cringey, not gonna lie :-/), appreciated The Darkest Part of the Forest (so much faery tale-esque w
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Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house ...more

Other books in the series

The Folk of the Air (3 books)
  • The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)
  • The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

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