One day in October, I was living my best carefree life-blissfully unaware of the Folk of the Air series until my dearest friend Nessa decided to ruin my life by casually mentioning this series followed an enemy to lover’s trope.
In case I haven’t made myself clear on my feelings about this Trope, I loved them! This trope is top-quality writing, redemption arcs, soft moments. I live for it all.
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I never had an inkling to dive into YA fantasy set in lands with fairies, but here I am ignoring everything that Shakespeare has taught me, and letting these fairies enchant me.
The Cruel Prince begins as you would expect any YA book to begin, three young sisters, Jude, Taryn, and Vivienne, chilling at home watching cartoons when suddenly a wild man claiming to be their mother’s ex-husband knocks on the door and decides to murder their parents. But this man, Madoc, doesn’t stop there, he also decides that the children did nothing wrong and he always wanted to be a dad, so he scoops them all up and takes them all with him to live at his cool house in the Fairy world.
Despite Madoc’s murderous tendencies in the opening of this book, he’s a pretty decent dad. But enough about this man. Jude and her twin sister Taryn adjust to their life in faerie rather well despite being fully human, their oldest sister Viviene who is Madoc’s daughter by blood, hates it but she chooses to stay because of her sisters.
Over time the girls learn to love their captor and accept him as their father, except for Viviene.
Jude’s life in faerie is typical for faeries. She attends school in the woods, sometimes in a dusty tower, gets bullied by the Fairy Prince, and tries her hardest to survive in this world in which she is very much vulnerable to compulsion, poison, and death. However, none of those things ever stop Jude from living her best life, she fights her bullies, has a side romance, trains to become a knight, and even cuts a deal with the future king.
However, everything goes up in flames during the new king’s coronation, and Jude must figure out a way to protect the only place she has ever known as home while simultaneously trying not to get herself killed in the process.
In my previous review, I commented that reading Red Queen was like slipping on a banana during a game of Mario Cart. Reading The Cruel Prince is a similar experience except instead of bananas, they’re turtle shells, and they’re on fire.
The writing is amazing, and the world-building is easy to digest. There are frogs that Jude rides like horses, and plants that can be charmed into Seahorses, these are just a few things that this world has to offer us.
All in all, one of the things I loved about The Cruel Prince wasn’t the romance or the magic or Jude’s ability to kick ass. Nope, it was the fact that Jude and Taryn must put their hair up in little horns when they are attending special events. I thought the Star Wars space buns were the epitome of cuteness, but Jude and Taryn’s hair horns are cuter.
Well, maybe that one scene in which Jude’s stepmother has to put a leash on her younger brother Oak because the boy is acting energetically in front of company. That was also super cute.
Despite all these really cute moments, Cruel Prince is not afraid to shed blood. There are many scenes of violence in this book that lean a bit towards the graphic side, so if that isn’t your style, curve this one or skip over the violent scenes, whichever you prefer.
The plot of the Cruel Prince is amazing, I thought I knew what was going to happen next, but Holly Black kept throwing those turtle shells at me! There is no time to recover from one twist before another one was thrown.
Here’s the real Tea, in other worlds the spoilers.
I did not trust Locke’s feelings for Jude since he first began to express interest in her. I thought it was odd that he helped Cardan bully her one day, and then the next, he wanted to kiss her? Only a truly manipulative person expresses that kind of behavior.
I was surprised that Taryn fell in love with him! Locke acted kind and he was charming, but Taryn completely overlooked the fact that Locke was also kissing her sister. Did Taryn just expect that? Is that how relationships are like in this world?
Regardless it was a snake move to still choose Locke after he played her sister like that.
I don’t trust either of them. I can only imagine what they’ll be plotting in the next book.
I never expected Jude’s betrayal although I should have, given all the twists and turns leading up to this moment. Clearly, I did not learn from the previous plot twists and for that, I am a clown.
Jude got the ultimate revenge on her bully by forcing him on the throne. Poor Cardan, or Carpal tunnel as I like to refer to him as, hates the royal fanfare, the politics, and the scheming. Unfortunately, he played himself by trusting Jude to honor his wish of seizing the royal properties and wine, while also leaving him out of the royal drama. Carpal tunnel’s flaw was admitting his feelings towards Jude because, after that, it didn’t matter what their bargain was Jude could use his attraction against him.
Although Jude is also attracted to him, these two are too smart for their own good. I can’t wait to see how Cardan will repay Jude for this ultimate betray. I have my doubts it won’t be too bad though since this boy is a lover, not a killer.
Cardan is a kind of a butthead, I mean how hard is it to let a girl know you think she’s kind of cute? He is the Prince after all that must count as extra points. I really feel for him first his brother beats him and then his crush plays him. How much longer will Carpal tunnel be able to withstand the abuse?
In my opinion Cardan is just a really sad Prince. His father kind of accepts him but his other siblings don’t. He lives with one of his older brothers but as mentioned earlier, he is abused in his home. Additionally, he doesn’t understand his own attraction towards Jude. He only resents her for loving the man who killed her parents because if love is that simple why can’t his own father love him.
Okay I’m done being sad.
Oak is a sweet baby Angel, and I hope he outlives the snakes in this series.
That’s all, for now, I give The Cruel Prince four Stars and my stamp of approval. This book is amazing and crazy, and you should read it.
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Until next time continue living in Libros,
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If you want to read my review of the next novel in the series. Click here to read what I thought about Wicked King.
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I’m glad you liked this book! It just didn’t click with me and I had to DNF, but I know it’s very loved in the community
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I hope my review was at least a bit entertaining for you lol.. I’m thinking of reading more beloved books by the book community this year. Maybe even dipping my toes into a Court of Thorns and Roses.