If you're into Young Adult Literature, you've probably heard about Holly Black's latest novel, "The Cruel Prince." The reviews have been good. Leigh Bardugo is quoted on the paper jacket. There are faeries, there are strong female characters, how much more persuasion do you need to read it?
Here's a quick, spoiler free synopsis with no more information than you would get from reading the blurb on the cover: Jude, her twin sister, and their older half-sister were taken by their half-sisters father, also the murderer of their parents, to live in the land of the faerie. The story picks up ten years after they first arrive there, Jude and her sisters having been raised rather well by their father among the others who were a part of the High Court. However, despite having love from their father, Jude and her human twin are not liked by the other fairies and are tormented and lived a treacherous life growing up. Now seventeen, Jude wants to fit in and to have power. Throughout the book, we learn what lengths Jude will go to not be the powerless human she's been her entire life.
It's a page turner. My only complaint? I wish it had been longer.
I've read some of Holly Blacks other books, and each time I've had an experience I didn't see coming. There were a few moments that were expected, but the expected moments were tropes that I know and really love. "The Cruel Prince," was a gritty read and I loved every moment of it. The plot gets more and more complex throughout the novel as the characters are revealed to be more complicated than they were previously. I loved and hated and then loved every single character and I was eager to see what they were going to do next. Hopefully the sequel will head down the path that I want it to go down...but I am sure whatever Holly Black does will be spectacular, just like this novel.
I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
In the next book I hope that Jude lets herself relax a little bit. I love her intensity, but I just want her to be able for her to relax for her own sake and maybe have a good day here and there. I totally get that she wants power, but she goes a little too far. She definitely gets in way over her head, and I can't wait to see what happens with that.
Holly Black totally loves to play with readers' expectations regarding romance. Anyone remember "The Darkest Part of the Forest" and how the romantic relationships were totally satisfying but also unexpected? That happens again here, but without the satisfaction. I really hope there's a bit more romance in the next book. Speaking of "The Darkest Part of the Forest," there's some familiar faces in this book. I shouldn't have been surprised at that, seeing as that's another thing she does in her books.
I should have known better than buying a book that didn't have a sequel out already, but, hey, I certainly have a long pile of books that I can read in the meantime. Re-reading the book is also always an option, but that might have to wait until the summer.