Monday, February 19, 2018

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

Narrated by Caitlin Kelly
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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. 
“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.”
Oh, wow. The beginning of this book is brutal, and that's just the first unexpected twist to the story. I never knew what was going to happen next! Almost everything Jude decides to do is a surprise, and it wasn't often I was able to guess her next move.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story for The Cruel Prince. It's different, but in a good way. There's a love interest, but there's not. There's a good family dynamic, but there's not. Good friends? Yes and no. You never know what you're going to get from page to page, because the rules of the game are constantly changing.

It was interesting to see how two mortals would survive in Faerie (twins!), even though they were practically raised there from a young age. Humans are the equivalent of toys, and it doesn't matter who your "daddy" is. They have the same problems as other mortals, so they cannot eat faerie food, they're susceptible to compulsion, and their only advantage is that they can lie without consequence.

A little more character development and background information of the secondary characters would have been nice, but it didn't detract from the overall story.

It's so hard to review this book, because I feel like every small detail could clue you in on something big that happens, and I want you to be as surprised as I was! All I can say is: READ THIS NOW (and then we can talk about it πŸ˜‰).

Unrelated: If you want to participate in the next DNF&Y, it's going to be posted on the last day of the month (February 28th). You'll be able to link up on here!

40 comments:

  1. Crap, I typed a whole comment but my wi-fi stopped working and I think it got lost :-( Well, anyway, I'll try again.

    This sounds great! You had me at brutal ;-) I love unpredictable books, and I'm very intrigued by all these good but not good relationships. Maybe there will be more development for those characters in the next book? I'm looking forward to reading this one! And then I'll be sure to chat with you :-)

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    1. Oh no! I hate that! I feel like my thoughts were wasted, lol. I'm glad you tried again!

      Yes, I do think this is one you might enjoy! It's darker--very violent! I felt the need to occasionally close my eyes, which I could do since it was an audiobook. πŸ˜‰

      I think the characters were developed enough to advance the story, but some of them seemed so complex, and maybe I'm being greedy wanting more than I got!

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    2. I feel like my thoughts are wasted when it happens to ME, not that my thoughts were wasted because it happened to YOU. Haha! I felt like that needed clarification. You're thoughts are never wasted! Also, I can't wait to talk about this book with youuuu!

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  2. I've seen nothing but great reviews for this and have it on hold at the library, I can't wait to read it!

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    1. It's worth the wait! I almost cried when I put it on hold at my library. I was number #243 on three copies. 😱 IT TOOK FOREVER. I started it immediately, because there was no way I was going to request it again and wait ages to get back to it. (Occasionally, I have to do this when I'm overeager and borrow 5+ books at once!)

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  3. I love the idea of humans trying to survive in Faerie, and with the disadvantages they have it seems like it would be really tough! Plus I keep hearing Holly Black is the queen of Faerie lol so I've been wanting to try her stuff for a while. I think I have Tithe on my TBR somewhere... maybe I'll start w/ this one.

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    1. I was hesitant to read this one because I wasn't a fan of the Tithe series (it was many, many moons ago, so I have no idea why), but the raving reviews got to me. Plus, Karen was reading it and she tends to avoid hyped books. It was all the incentive I needed! Lol!

      I would definitely start with this one, because I can tell you FOR SURE that it's wonderful. Violent, dark and twisted--so I'm sure you'll enjoy it. 😘

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  4. I have not read Holly Black before but this book really appeals to me. I love stories with the fae and I think this sounds like it was done well. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I love all things fae, lol! I thought it was an interesting concept that I hadn't seen before, so that's always a bonus! I hope you like it. 😘

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  5. I've heard mixed things about this one, but I'm glad to hear that you really liked it. Sorry the secondary characters weren't as established but hopefully in the sequel!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I hope so! I feel like they all have very unique backgrounds and personalities to contribute to the story.

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  6. I need to read this! Everyone seems to be loving it.

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    1. That's what made me hesitant (hah), but I'm glad I decided to read it! The wait at my library was ridiculous. Read it and let me know what you think!

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  7. I just finished this one this weekend. I'll be honest, the first 100 pages didn't hook me and I almost considered DNF'ing it. However, after that, I pretty much devoured the rest and it's kind of hard to explain why. There are a lot of twists and turns in this one and I think that's what kept me going. I'm STILL not sure I like Jude, but in the end, she was okay. I actually think Vivi was a more interesting character and I'd love to see more about her in the next one.

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    1. It was a little slow in the beginning after the initial WTF moment, but I thought it established Jude's feelings about her place in the world and Faerie. We needed a bit of information before the story really took off! I'm happy you stayed with it, though--that second half... 😱

      I agree! I thought Vivi was a wonderful character! Hopefully she plays a larger role in the next one.

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    2. Oh, and as for Jude--I didn't like or dislike her. I thought she was an interesting character overall!

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  8. I'm sooo happy that another friend of mine read it!! I'm sad that you can't participate in the giveaway, but maybe next time!
    Anyway, I expected things to go a little differently than they originally did.... and I complained about this in my review but I don't get the hype over Cardan and Jude's so called 'love' relationship. It barely sailed in this one... what do you think?
    Btw, I was wondering if there was a way to like ur posts, I want to show u some love but I don't know how! πŸ˜…

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    1. I never thought of them as a couple, or even as people in a relationship. I blocked all of that weirdness out of my mind and pretended it didn't happen, lol. Like, her using THAT as a method of "torture" seemed incredibly odd and misplaced. I'm sure everything will be sorted out in the next book, but for now I'm happy pretending.

      I don't think there is a way to like individual posts, but I'll look into it! I'm sure there is some code out there somewhere.

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  9. Eeek what is that big thing! I wonder if my library is getting this one, I need to check

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    1. Haha! There are a lot of small details that could hint toward different twists and turns. I didn't want to spoil anything!

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  10. I love that you never know what you're going to get from page to page. I have this on hold at the library but I think I'm 40th in line so it might be a while. It sounds so good though that I might just break down a buy a copy. Great review!

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    1. That's such a long wait! I don't think you'd be disappointed if you bought it, but you could always do a giveaway (or just gift it to a friend) if it doesn't work out. 😘

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  11. Holly Black's writing is definitely addictive! I might have to look up the audio version of this. Glad to hear you enjoyed its twists and turns! :)

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    1. I listened to the audio version! It was great! Once you hit the second half of the book, it's hard to stop listening.

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  12. My review posts tomorrow and yes, it was really hard to review this one. There's the spoiler factor but also, it's complicated. lol

    Everyone has dueling goals (even within themselves) and it can change suddenly and despite that, like you said, it doesn't' really dig that deep - so I wasn't 100% invested. But I did really enjoy the overall reading experience.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I think I enjoyed it more because it was an audiobook. If I had been reading a physical copy, the beginning of the book would have dragged a little too much for me. However, the audiobook was just playing in the background while I did dishes and such, but I could not stop listening at the end! So intense! Like you said, the overall experience was great.

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  13. I do enjoy her writing but I'm not sure I want to read it and then review it. I may spoil something! LOL I know how hard those are to write. You have me completely curious about this one!

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    1. You could write your entire review with emojis! πŸ˜‰

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  14. This sounds right for me as I love surprises I never see coming. Sounds like the author did a good job with the flow of her surprises too. That is always a bonus. Books like this I always find hard to review because like you I do not want to spoil anything.

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    1. Marking my calendar for Feb. 28 to partake in DNF&Y.

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    2. Yay! I'm so happy you'll be participating! I've only got one book so far this month (since my last DNF&Y), but I plan on doing this post even if I don't. That way people can still link up every month!

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    3. I know! It's like, "Oh this happened, but..." Haha. I just have to be very vague and still convey how I felt about it.

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    4. Thank you for hosting and posting DNF&Y even if at times do not have any. I have 2 so far. I was going to start this year once a month with mine but I love that you will host this. It is always interesting to see what others reason for DFN a book.

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    5. I agree! I like to know why a book didn't work for someone. I'm glad my DNF&Y post was something you liked! I can't wait to see what you post! 😘

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  15. Great review! I really enjoyed this one and you're right about so many twists that it's truly hard to review, lol!

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    1. But since you've read it, you know exactly what I'm talking about! 😏

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  16. This is waiting for me at the library and ... I can't wait to try it. I'm nervous.
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. Don't be nervous! Be excited! If anything, you should at least be surprised, lol.

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  17. I've heard SO many good things about this book. But despite all of the hype, I haven't picked up a copy nor have I read any of Holly's previous books. Perhaps someday I will though... time will tell. (And maybe this is the one to start with.)

    Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland, Lindsi. :)

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    1. Holly Black is always hit-or-miss with me! Sometimes I love her books, and other times they don't really work for me. This one did! I was concerned at the beginning, but things really started to come together about halfway through. There are just so many twists and turns, and I wasn't expecting a lot of it!

      I was happy to visit, and I plan on doing so again!

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