I really expected to fall in love with this book. I’m disappointed that I didn’t.
First of all, this book should have been written in third person to allow for more than one point of view. Without Cardan’s point of view, I felt like I was missing half the story. I got more of it in How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, but it didn’t show up in this book. I loved Cardan in that spin-off, especially because I was able to get inside his head. But I wasn’t able to get that in The Cruel Prince.
Second, the book was really hard to get into. The story was interesting. The world-building was intriguing with an Alice in Wonderland type of feel. But I didn’t find myself liking Jude or the way the story often dragged forward. I’m not sure if I want to read the second book in the series, but I might consider it because I liked How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories.
My rating: 3 stars
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.