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The Cruel Prince

(The Folk of the Air #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  215,515 ratings  ·  28,259 reviews
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.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome
Hardcover, UK, 370 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Hot Key Books
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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)
Jake Hill Rumour has it that The Darkest Part of the Forest is set in the same world as Holly Black's Faerie Tales series (Tithe, Valiant and Ironside) and that…moreRumour has it that The Darkest Part of the Forest is set in the same world as Holly Black's Faerie Tales series (Tithe, Valiant and Ironside) and that this world is going to be connected to both of those as well.
But you don't need to read the others to understand. Each story, to my understanding, is so very removed from the other that I don't think it actually impacts on the other two at all.
So if you are only interested in this, you don't have to worry. However, we do recommend the reading of all of Holly Black's faerie books as they are awe inspiring and so poetic and fantastical whilst maintaining the grit and mess that is reality. Actually anything by Holly is a safe bet in my opinion. I hope that answers your question at all. =)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Start your review of The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every Single One of You ♥

“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
Emily May
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
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
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
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.

Miranda Reads

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's ex husband) belongs to the fae and according to their wild ways, he was honor-bound to murder th
Marie Lu
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Victoria Aveyard
I require book 2 immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen.
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
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
not a day goes by without thinking how freaking annoying Jude was in this book
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
while everybody else is happily reading the third book in this full (negative) review of the first book is now POSTED ON MY BLOG!

you're welcome?


*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 my
Cristina Monica
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairies, fantasy
You know a story is good when, at night, before falling asleep, you eagerly replay the story in your mind, but this time with you as the main character living an exciting adventure full of intrigue, danger and romance.

It’s one of my preferred ways of falling in the arms of Morpheus.

What we have here is Holly Black’s best work if I dare say so myself. I am amazed with this author’s ability to paint scenes of faerie romance, glamour, deception and terror that make your heart pound and stop, poun
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
C.G. Drews
Read 2 | January 2019

because one must prepare for an eternity of internal screaming, I reread this before The Wicked King and just let me say: aaaaaaaaaaaa wHY IS IT SO GOOD THOUGH. It is vicious and merciless and gorgeous and bloody and ajdfkslad I don't know what this says about me, but this is my favourite type of book. I really didn't ship Cardan/Jude the first time but I do now. Look at these two completely dysfunctional slytherin darlings go.

Read 1 | January 2018

Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, on-app, favorites, fantasy
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
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’
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
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
Mary S. R.
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: seekers of dark fairytales
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 Non-Snowflake ⚓️
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
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please enjoy the following visual presentation of my true life reactions whilst reading this book:

((elevator music playing))




This was NOTHING at all like what I expected it to be. I am actually shocked by how much I enjoyed it. Honestly, 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.

Going into this one, I was expecting angsty romance, whiny little girls and unlikable love interests.

I am so happy to report t
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!?
chan ☆
me reading the folk of the air trilogy in a day *spoilers*:

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
Helena of Eretz ✰
“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
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fae, 2018-reads, fantasy
Brace yourselves, folks, we're jumping on the hype wagon!

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

First Stop: Elfhame
With all the raving reviews about The Cruel Prince, how could little ol' Katerina resist? The Hype (yes, Hype with a capital H because it's a being of its own that swallows the innocent and the weak) was a siren, luring me to dive into its dark waters, and, thankfully, I was not eaten alive. With a successful blend of modern world and faerie
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed.”

Um yes, I totally gave in to the hype and for once I am glad.

After reading The Darkest Part of the Forest, I developed a sudden thirst for more faerie stories and more Holly Black. The Cruel Prince was like a gift from heaven. By the way, if you have only read one of these two books, you might be interested in checking out the other. You might recognise a few characters.

This book is like paradise for fans of young adult fantasy. Naturally, I
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 The Cruel Prince ★★★★★
#2 The Wicked King ★★★★★
#3 The Queen of Nothing ???

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

It had been years since I’d picked up a Holly Black book, but I loved her writing as a kid, so I was a little bit apprehensive about re-entering her little fae world. Believe me when I say, though, that this book was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Her writing is impeccable, the lore is woven seamlessly through the tale, the characters are lovab
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Wren (fablesandwren)
I want to begin with saying that what probably killed this book for me was the hype. I was literally expecting the feels I got when I read A Court of Mist and Fury or Strange the Dreamer. Instead, I would have gotten the feels like when I read A Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Caraval: It was good, but like it wasn't astonishing or mind-blowing.

So, story begins with a Fae coming and murdering the parents of a pair a twins and their half-Fae older sister. After witnessing this tragedy, Jude and her
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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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