The Cruel Prince should’ve been the book that I’d pick up and be blown by it, however the characters, the plot and the execute let it down 80% of the time, and literally saved by the ending. I really, really wanted to love it. So let’s see why I couldn’t give it more love…
Genre: Ya Fantasy
Year Of Publication: 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 370 pages
My rating: 2.5 stars
“Let’s have a toast. To the incompetence of our enemies.”
― Holly Black,
Jude is that type of female character that I want to bash in the head for doing stupid shit all the time and not seeing the bigger picture. Although she is being the victim of bullying and faerie intrigue, she does not do anything to actually better her situation instead, she stubbornly goes down this path of almost self-destruction and does not accomplish much. Although I can relate that she is a human in a world that hates her, her constant self-pity does not help her to see the traps laid out for her until the very end. I also did not believe that Jude was particularly skilled at spying and most of the time she had some dumb luck on her side. So I kinda hater her in the beginning however once the plot thickens towards the end, I started to like her as she finally stopped making dumb decisions. As a human, she has the power to lie, something which the fae do not possess and she finally manages to work with that. I also really admired her for being able to live with the man that killed her parents and brought her into this world and actually love him because I do believe that deep down she does love him. She does have strengths, she is brave, kind and can be selfless, but for me, it was all overshadowed by her actions that for me did not make sense most of the time.
So for the most part of this novel, I was kinda siding with Prince Cardan (who I know is a tool) in most situations because Jude was making all of these dumb decisions. We don’t get to know much of him, but they want you to believe he is some sort of Kind Jeoffrey from Game of Thrones, but really he is not. *Face Palm* His characterisation is weak and his inner demons are revealed by dumb luck as we know that Jude sucks at spying and we needed a way for her to warm up to him. *smack me again* The internal working models of his characters would make sense if we would see more of him, but until 80% in, we don’t really meet him much. For me, he was a cardboard character for 80% of the time serving the plot. And just like Jude, towards the end, I get to know him and like him more. Improvement!
Once characters that I hated from start to finish was Jude’s twin sister. She is annoying as f*ck and her actions were outright disloyal and stupid. Can we please have a novel where girls don’t have each other because of boys or looks? PLEASEEEEEE! I just don’t get it why their sisterly relationships had to be that way. Can’t say that the other sister was a lot better, but she had a bit more depth and she was actually nice for a fae. We can see how much I cared about them as I cannot even remember their names… Yup.
I’m not gonna say a lot about the plot because there isn’t much and whatever plot it was can be described as CONVENIENT. Like honestly, Jude has so much fucking dumb luck it’s unbelievable. The whole story is centred around her and since she is 80% annoying and acting stupid, then that’s what we get. The pacing is also all over the place and I struggled to read most of it, then couldn’t put it The other 20% was a lot better, with twists and turns… It was also predictable as fuck as I saw them a mile away and as I was reading I was wondering when will I be proving correct. down. *Sigh* Not the greatest then was it?!
The writing felt so juvenile and tropey I struggled not to gag; again, this improves at about 80% in which makes me wonder if there was some split personality issue there because it felt like a great divide between the two. Anyway, I struggled with the writing as it felt forced to me, it felt like shiny quotes were scattered through to catch your magpie eyes and give you the illusion of something good, something lyrical. It was all smoke and mirrors because once you break it down and you look at it for what it is. Maybe this is why I didn’t like it:
“Nice things don’t happen in storybooks. Or when they do happen, something bad happens next. Because otherwise the story would be boring, and no one would read it.”
― Holly Black,
Unputdownable once the plot picked up but overall struggled to read it and forced myself to continue until things picked up. Would I recommend it? No. I initially gave it 3.5 stars as I was buzzing after that good finale, but since reading it I believe it’s more of a 2.5 stars as the bad does outweigh the good.
Have you read this book? What did you think?