Melanie's Reviews > The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
3030788
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: fae, fantasy, young-adult, arc, read-in-2017, favorites, romance, signed, read-in-2018, subscription-box-owlcrate, subscription-box-fairyloot
Recommended for: Every Single One of You ♥
Read 3 times. Last read October 23, 2019 to October 25, 2019.



“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 even going to attempt to come up with a review fitting for this masterpiece, but I’m going to try.

Okay, maybe I should start this review off with a personal story. You know, full disclosure and all that. I was a young girl, at the mall with my mom, and we walked into a Borders Outlet. I’ve always been a rather ravenous reader, but at that time in my reading life I was reading only crime thrillers. Think things like James Patterson and John Grisham. Well, while I was perusing the new releases on this autumn day back in the 2007, a worker came up to me and started talking to me about her love for books, but more importantly her love for fae books. She was so kind and warm and enthusiastic, I couldn’t help but ask her to pick me one of her favorite fae stories. Well, she ended up handing me two, but one of them was Tithe by Holly Black, and this godsend Borders Outlet employee completely changed me and my reading life forever.

After that day, and after I inhale read that book, Holly Black became one of my favorite authors and my parents couldn’t keep unread fae fantasy books on my shelves. And ten years later, I’ve never looked back. I’ve been completely obsessed with fae stories ever since. And if I ever develop magical powers, one of the first thing I’m going to do is track down that Borders Outlet employee and thank her for making me the reader that I am today.

Okay, sappy and heartwarming story aside, this book was honestly perfection in every aspect. You want fae courts? Bloodthirsty fae royals fighting for a crown? Twists after twists and reveals after reveals? Heartwarming scenes followed by heart wrenching scenes? The slowest and most agonizing but also the most romantic and powerful and rewarding hate to love romance in the world? Pick this book up.

“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.”

And the writing? I mean, not only is Holly Black the literal queen of all things fae, she is also the queen at stringing together words that make me feel everything in the entire universe. The amount of sticky notes and highlights I have in this book is ridiculous, but Holly Black’s writing is so poignant and lyrical and honestly the most perfect thing my eyes have ever seen. This entire book reads like one giant tragic ballad, yet it is equal parts heartbreak and hope. This book is so haunting, so dark, and so twisted.

“But I will not stand in front of your happiness. I will not even stand in front of misery that you choose for yourself.”

Jude is a very young girl when she witnesses her parents murder. After that terrible night, she and her sisters are whisked away by the murderer to live in Faerie. Now, ten years later, Jude is trying to live among the fae, while constantly being reminded of her mortal human status. Yet, she soon gets wrapped up in a very elaborate game, from many different sides, which will cause a civil war to break out in the Courts of Faerie if the game isn’t played properly.

The High King has ruled for centuries, but people feel like it is finally time for him to step down and give the royal crown to one of his children. In this world, the king chooses his successor; it doesn’t automatically go to the oldest child. And the High King has six children in line waiting for him to make his choice.

Prince Cardan is the youngest son of the High King. He is wicked, and charming, and smart, and maybe even a little cruel. Oh, and he makes Jude’s life a living hell most of the time. He’s also one of the best characters I’ve ever read in my entire life.

And with Cardan, comes his group of friends: Nicasia who likes power, Valerian who likes violence, and Locke who likes dramatics, but they all love tormenting Jude in very different ways.

“That’s what comes of hungering for something; you forget to check if it’s rotten before you gobble it down”

Even though Jude is the only point of view, and is the main protagonist of this amazing story, her two sisters play a huge part of this story, too. Taryn is Jude’s twin, who must watch all the torment that Jude endures, and Vivi is their older sister and one of the best side characters I’ve ever read. She’s unique and defiant and strong and devoted, and her romance with her girlfriend meant everything to me. Also, Vivi is on the page bisexual and that representation meant even more than everything to me.

Oh, and speaking of adorable queer relationships; Ben and Severin, from The Darkest Part of the Forest, make a cameo in this and I was crying the happiest tears! I don’t think I will ever be over THAT whisper, and I’ve just completely accepted that. Be still, my heart.

But Jude is our main character of this story, and you can tell from everything that I’ve written above that she doesn’t have the easiest of lives. See, the fae in this world are very dependent on humans, even though they remind them of their lower status constantly, because the fae women have a very hard and sporadic time conceiving and bearing children, therefore, they rely on humans reproducing for them. Well, Jude doesn’t want that life, she wants to make a name for herself and be one of the greatest knights that the Courts of Faerie have ever seen!

Jude is strong willed and very determined, but she is also one of the most selfless characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading from. She is a very morally grey character, yet she will completely capture your heart. But she’s young and learning that love comes in very different forms, and sometimes we are unable to control what we feel.

“I stand in front of my window and imagine myself a fearless knight, imagine myself a witch who hid her heart in her finger and then chopped her finger off.”

One of the most beautiful things about this book is that none of these characters are perfect. Jude, Cardan, all of them do bad things, and none of them are ever excused of their crimes, but they learn to deal with them and the other ramifications that come from their actions. I mean, none of us are perfect people, and we all make bad choices at times. But this book accepts that and reflects that, but also highlights the importance of growing, and becoming a stronger person, and picking what battles you choose to fight. It’s a truly beautiful message and I really appreciated having a full cast of nonperfect characters that do nonperfect things.

“But we all want stupid things. That doesn’t mean we should have them.”

Also, this is a spoiler free review, but I just have to yell from the rooftops say that Chapter 26 is the best chapter I’ve read in all of literature. I will fight anyone that says otherwise. Chapter 26 tortured me, broke up, killed me, rebirthed me, and gave me new life. The end of Chapter 25 through Chapter 26 was the most romantic scene my eyes have ever witnessed. I feel so blessed to have even been able to read those glorious paragraphs. Like, I’m a different person after experiencing Chapter 26. When I’m sad or hurt or angry, I’m going to reread Chapter 26 so I know the true meaning of this life.

“…like taking a dare to run over knives, like an adrenaline strike of lighting, like the moment when you’ve swum too far out in the sea and there is no going back, only cold black water closing over your head.”

Also, fair warning, this book has a cliffhanger ending that puts all other cliffhanger endings to shame. Just typing that sentence gave me full body goosebumps, by the way! Oh, and the title of this book is absolute perfection, as well.

This book has touched me in a way that very few books have in my life. This is the type of book that reminds me why I fell in love with reading in the first place. This is the type of book that makes me believe words have the most powerful healing magic of anything in this world. This is the type of book that completely sets my soul on fire and makes me feel utterly enchanted. I just know that The Cruel Prince is a once in a lifetime series, because this first installment was everything I have ever wanted in a book.

Holly Black immerses me, captivates me, and makes me believe in magic. I have no words of gratitude for that, and I’m not sure what the world has done to deserve her stories, but I will forever be grateful. Holly Black helps me forget all the actual cruel princes in our world today, and their terrible choices that they are making for all of us. And honestly, I’d be super surprised if she isn’t an actual fae queen, that just escaped faerie to torture us with real stories that went on while she was ruling.

Again, if you can only preorder one book for the rest of the year, please pick The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. It’s not only my favorite book of the year, it’s one of my favorite books of all time. And then read the rest of Holly Black’s work, because her books are truly the closest thing to magic and each is a tangible vessel of joy that I have an an unconditional amount of love for.

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

Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch

Content warnings for bullying, talk of suicide, and abuse.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.


(Thank you so much, Diana. You've completely made my entire bookish life! This book means more to me than you'll ever know. I am forever grateful and will always remember and cherish your kind note. Thank you for giving me an ARC of my favorite book! 💖)



[Reread: December, 2018]
Yeah, this is still my favorite book of the year. Such a damn masterpiece! And rereading this was truly the best holiday gift I could have ever given myself. ❤
1350 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Cruel Prince.
Sign In »

Quotes Melanie Liked

Holly Black
“I stand in front of my window and imagine myself a fearless knight, imagine myself a witch who hid her heart in her finger and then chopped her finger off.”
Holly Black, The Cruel Prince
tags: jude

Holly Black
“But I will not stand in front of your happiness. I will not even stand in front of misery that you choose for yourself.”
Holly Black, The Cruel Prince


Reading Progress

May 31, 2016 – Shelved
May 31, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 13, 2017 – Shelved as: fae
June 13, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 13, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: arc
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
September 20, 2017 – Started Reading
September 20, 2017 –
page 78
20.0% "I stayed up late starting this last night and it’s everything I knew it would be and I was completely enthralled from page one! I also posted a pretty cringeworthy video last night on my bookstagram story when I started it! 🤣💗"
September 20, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
September 21, 2017 –
page 213
54.62% ""
September 22, 2017 – Shelved as: romance
September 22, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 8, 2018 – Shelved as: signed
December 11, 2018 – Started Reading
December 14, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
December 14, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 13, 2019 – Shelved as: subscription-box-fairyloot
June 13, 2019 – Shelved as: subscription-box-owlcrate
October 23, 2019 – Started Reading
October 25, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 130 (130 new)


Elle (TheBookishActress) I borrowed my arc of this from my local bookstore (where I get most of my arcs lol) or else I totally would ❤️❤️ good luck getting one!!


message 2: by RL (new)

RL How do you get arcs from a bookstore?


message 3: by Cal (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cal (Cal's Reading Corner) ^


Elle (TheBookishActress) @RL Lee often local bookstores will be sent arcs so they'll be more likely to buy copies of the books once they come out


Paloma *The Romance Queen* whoa this looks good


Melanie Elise wrote: "I borrowed my arc of this from my local bookstore (where I get most of my arcs lol) or else I totally would ❤️❤️ good luck getting one!!"

Thank you, Elise! I'm currently 1 out of 21 people in the Goodreads giveaway that is giving away 10 copies! I like those odds, even though I know it won't stay that way! Hahahaha! Happy reading! 💗xo


Melanie Paloma *Rhage's Shellan* wrote: "whoa this looks good"

RIGHT? This book is probably going to be my favorite book of 2018. Like, I have no words besides it is everything I want in a book. 💗xx


message 8: by Cindy S. (new)

Cindy S. Hey you mentioned a giveaway for this book on goodreads but I can't find it at all ?


Melanie Cindy S. wrote: "Hey you mentioned a giveaway for this book on goodreads but I can't find it at all ?"

It's just on the main page for the book. After your activity, but before your friends' reviews. ❤️


Melanie Cindy S. wrote: "Hey you mentioned a giveaway for this book on goodreads but I can't find it at all ?"

Ah, I'm sorry, Cindy (I just saw you live in Belgium), It's US only! 😢


message 11: by Cindy S. (new)

Cindy S. Oh no worries then, you get used to it when you live overseas and read in English haha I hope you win a copy tough :)


Melanie Cindy S. wrote: "Oh no worries then, you get used to it when you live overseas and read in English haha I hope you win a copy tough :)"

Awh, thank you so much, Cindy, and I truly am sorry again. 💗


message 13: by Becca (new) - added it

Becca Ashworth I'm guessing you live in the US, otherwise I would totally send mine along x
If circumstances change and I happen to be in the US at all, I promise I will send:)


Melanie Becca wrote: "I'm guessing you live in the US, otherwise I would totally send mine along x
If circumstances change and I happen to be in the US at all, I promise I will send:)"


Awh, I do unfortunately! But I would totally be willing to pay any amount of shipping if you are interested! But thank you so much for the offer regardless. Happy reading, love! 💗xo


Bridget Vollmer Oh wow! Super excited for this one. How does it compare to ACOTAR???


Melanie Bridget wrote: "Oh wow! Super excited for this one. How does it compare to ACOTAR???"

The only thing ACOTAR and this has in common are that they both have fae! Lots and lots of fae! An Enchantment of Ravens was VERY much like ACOTAR though, so I totally recommend that if you're looking for fae stories reminiscent of that.

This was... This was... beyond words! It's honestly probably in my top five favorite books of all time. I still can't talk about it coherently. Ahhh! I promise, I'll have a review up soon, I just need to compose myself. And try to talk myself out of rereading this instantly! 💗xx


Bridget Vollmer Lol ok! I have Enchantment of Ravens on pre order but now I'm super excited for this one


Melanie Bridget wrote: "Lol ok! I have Enchantment of Ravens on pre order but now I'm super excited for this one"

Yayyy! You'll have to tell me what you think of both these amazing fae stories! Ahhh, just give me all the fae books! Seriously! Happy reading, love. 💖xx


☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness I'm so jelly. I luuurve everything fae <3 <3


Melanie ☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness wrote: "I'm so jelly. I luuurve everything fae <3 <3"

You have to get your hands on this, Tinja! I need more people to gush with, and I know you'd absolutely love this one! 💖xx


message 21: by George (new)

George Jankovic Wonderful review, Melanie!


vicky. What a fantastic review Melanie! I've never read anything from Holly Black but know I'm really curious about this book.


Melanie George wrote: "Wonderful review, Melanie!"

Thank you so much, George! 💗xx


Melanie Victoria wrote: "What a fantastic review Melanie! I've never read anything from Holly Black but know I'm really curious about this book."

Awh, thank you so much, Victoria! Holly Black is... beyond words! You should for sure try out The Darkest Part of the Forest and then come gush with me, before this book comes out! Hehe 💗xx


message 25: by Sara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara I'm so excited for this! Lovely review ❤️❤️


☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness I think so too. I didn't like Tithe or the others in that series but the Darkest Part of the Forest was amazing <3


message 27: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa I love Holly Black as well and Fae are my very favorite too, they are so much fun!!


message 28: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary <3 Omg I'm sooooo hyped for this now! I'm so glad this book lived up to your dreams because I'm so ready for this book xDDDD It sounds so good. Thanks so much for this review Mel! You never fail to add more to my endless tbr pile.


Melanie Sara wrote: "I'm so excited for this! Lovely review ❤️❤️"

Thank you so much, Sara! 💗xx


Melanie Lisa wrote: "I love Holly Black as well and Fae are my very favorite too, they are so much fun!!"

This is my life motto right now, Lisa! 💗xx


Melanie Mary wrote: "<3 Omg I'm sooooo hyped for this now! I'm so glad this book lived up to your dreams because I'm so ready for this book xDDDD It sounds so good. Thanks so much for this review Mel! You never fail to..."

MARYYY! I wanted to write to you immediately and sing this book's praises to you! You are going to LOVE it and I can't wait to completely gush with you! Thank YOU for always brightening my day! 💗xx


message 32: by Coco.V (new)

Coco.V Terrific review as always, Melanie! Glad you loved it. :) xx


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Great review hon! 😘xo. I'm going to have to add it to my Amazon list!! It just never ends 😄


Melanie Coco.V wrote: "Terrific review as always, Melanie! Glad you loved it. :) xx"

Thank you so much, Coco! 💗xx


Melanie Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ wrote: "Great review hon! 😘xo. I'm going to have to add it to my Amazon list!! It just never ends 😄"

Thank you, beautiful! It truly NEVER ends! But you are going to freaking looooove this one, Mel! I'm so excited for you to read and review it! 💗xx


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Thank you love 💕😊 I hope I do love it. Oh, so many books 😊💕xo 😘


chai ♡ were you trying to live up to the title and write the cruelest review BECAUSE HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SURVIVE THE WHITE AFTER READING THIS SDJHSJKFHSKJFGHSDKJG SUCH AN AMAZING REVIEW


Melanie kazzy boy ϟ wrote: "were you trying to live up to the title and write the cruelest review BECAUSE HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SURVIVE THE WHITE AFTER READING THIS SDJHSJKFHSKJFGHSDKJG SUCH AN AMAZING REVIEW"

Ummm, are you just going to drop the nicest comment anyone has ever left me and then leave? ALSO, I can't wait to gush with you over this and The Darkest Part of the Forest! 💗xx


SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ Wonderful review pretty girl! ; ) xx


Melanie SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ wrote: "Wonderful review pretty girl! ; ) xx"

Thank you, gorgeous! 🍂🎃💛xx


message 41: by Paul (new)

Paul Falk Excellent, thorough review Melanie!


Melanie Paul wrote: "Excellent, thorough review Melanie!"

Thank you so much, Paul! 🍂🎃💛xo


message 43: by A. (new) - added it

A. Dawes Sounds a ripper!


Melanie A. wrote: "Sounds a ripper!"

Best book I've read all year! I recommend it with every fiber of my being! Happy reading, A! 🍂🎃💛xo


message 45: by TS (new)

TS Chan Wow! Just wow!! Beautiful review!!


Melanie TS wrote: "Wow! Just wow!! Beautiful review!!"

Awh, thank you so very much, TS! I got a little fangirly, but I couldn't resist! Hahaha! I loved this so very much. Happy reading, love! 🍂🎃💛xo


Hussaya Wow!! Thanks for the review. You make me want to read this book. I should send a request to by local library.


Melanie Hussaya wrote: "Wow!! Thanks for the review. You make me want to read this book. I should send a request to by local library."

Awh, thank you so much, Hussaya! You should FOR sure put a hold on it once it is available. Sadly, this book doesn't release until January, but I'd for sure make sure I was the first one the hold list when possible! Hehe! Happy reading! 🍂🎃💛xo


Karina Webster Great review! I adored Tithe when i was younger too! It blew me away but i haven’t read anything by Holly Black since. Now this is high on my tbr 😍💕 thanks for reminding me of a book i loved!!


Melanie Karina wrote: "Great review! I adored Tithe when i was younger too! It blew me away but i haven’t read anything by Holly Black since. Now this is high on my tbr 😍💕 thanks for reminding me of a book i loved!!"

You will love it so much, Karina! Come gush with me when you've read it! And thank you so much for your kind words! Happy reading, love! 💗xx


« previous 1 3
back to top