Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Holly Black for my ARC of The Cruel Prince. If there’s anything in this world I love, its stories about fairies. Growing up I was obsessed with them, I had collections of picture books and of course the staple fairy book; The Complete Book of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. My favourite film was Fairytale A True Story and I was convinced that I would be able to see them. Because I truly believed, and that’s all you need right? If you believe in Fairies, you’ll see them.
Holly Black follows in the footsteps of her friend Cassandra Clare in that her Fairies are not the sprightly, sweet, pink wearing Flower Fairies of Cicely Mary Barker’s compendiums. Instead they are dark, the Seelie and Unseelie courts, Lords and Ladies of Misrule, tempting humans into slavery with their narcotic spiked fruits, ensorcelling them with their commands and dark magic. That’s exactly what kind of world Jude and her sister Taryn walk into when their older sister Vivienne’s fairy Dad walks back into their lives and takes them to live in Faerie.
Jude has a lot to contend with, not only does she need to protect herself and her sister from the charms of the fey, she has also found an enemy in Prince Cardan, the youngest and cruelest prince who seems to be doing his best to make Jude’s life a misery.
But there are bigger players in this game, a game much larger and more complicated than child’s play. Somehow, Jude finds herself right in the middle of it. With everything to lose, she’s everything to play.
Dark, dangerous and deliciously deceitful. The Cruel Prince is an outstanding first novel in what I think will become an addictively good series.