Book Review

Review: The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince

Written by: Holly Black

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


A true enemies-to-lovers fantasy, The Cruel Prince delivers a story that will keep you on your toes.

I picked up Cruel Prince, wondering if this book would be worth the hype. After reading Book of Night, I was somewhat deterred from reading anything by Holly Black again. Let me just say I absolutely loved this book, and it was worth it.

Great Characterization

Holly Black did a fantastic job with the characterization in this book. Jude is a force to be reckoned with. A human girl in the fae world has to hold her own and learn to be fierce. And she does. Jude is not to be messed with, taking her adopted father’s teachings to heart.

Jude is strategic and clever in her planning. She is cunning, and I love that about her. There is usually a base formula for creating a “strong female character,” but Black goes above and beyond that. Jude does not fall into the cliches; she can stand tall on her own.

Moreover, the story is full of complex characters. It is easy to say some characters are inherently evil, but then there are others like Cardan and Maddoc. Nothing is black or white for these characters; layers are wrapped around them, making them engaging and allowing the tension of the story to rise and rise.


The complex characters and Jude’s badassery were my favorite parts of Cruel Prince. But the story was also incredibly engaging. I loved the world-building and the way the fae live in here. There is a lot of magic and danger in the fae world that made me think about Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The fae in this book was more reminiscent of classical fae tales rather than what has become most popular in fantasy nowadays. It makes it different in a sense. The court intrigue, the way the plot twists keep coming, and the way the story unfolds kept me on my toes.

Honestly, it was brilliant.

Final Thoughts

Cruel Prince is worth the hype it receives. This is worth the read with a plot that keeps the reader guessing and complex characters.


Thrilling and Kinda Badass | The Cruel Prince Review

A true enemies-to-lovers fantasy, The Cruel Prince delivers a story that will keep you on your toes.

Character Development:
Couldn't Put It Down-ness:
Writing Quality:

Cynthia Ayala-Bujnicki majored in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. Editor-in-chief of Cyn's Workshop, she loves to read and write while tending to her pepper plants. She currently lives in South Florida with her husband, two kids Dante and Selene and two furbabies Mr. J the Kitten who Thinks He's Batman (yes, that is his full name) and Nyx.

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