November Book of the Month by Annabelle F. Year 11

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This month is a very exciting month for Cruel Prince fans- Queen of Nothing, the highly anticipated final book of the trilogy is due to be released. So, to celebrate, November’s book of the month is the Cruel Prince, the first book in the series.

The day I read this book was certainly a memorable one for me, though I won’t go into the details of why- long story short I was very ill, and I was bored, so I bought a new book on my Kindle, which was the Cruel Prince, newly released a few days earlier, if not that day. Nothing else to do, I easily devoured it in a few hours- which is unlike me, because I usually need a few breaks when reading otherwise I will lose focus.  It was so good that I literally could not stop reading, I was unable to lose focus or to not pay full attention, this book demanded it all, and it definitely took my mind off how disgusting I felt, and away from the dreariness of bed rest, usually an impossible task.

Holly Black (author of many, many books, including the Spiderwick Chronicles, a very popular children’s book which has been adapted into film, so chances are you’ve come across it) certainly did not disappoint. It is a fantasy, for fans of Sarah J Maas and Cassandra Clare, or anyone who enjoys a good, albeit less child friendly than the ones you probably grew up with, fairy tale. In fact, if you are a fan of Cassandra Clare you are basically destined to love it, since the two are pretty much best friends and Holly Black inspired the faeries of the Shadowhunter world- but in my opinion Holly Black is the better author.

Jude is a mortal in the land of Faerie- brought up by her mother’s ex-husband, who also happens to be her parents’ murderer. It would be appropriate to call family life awkward. She is addicted to Faerie though, she grew up there and now she finds that she could not belong in the mortal world. Her entire life she has been tricked and mocked and hated by the faeries, simply for the curse (or perhaps the blessing) of not being like them, and she is more than desperate to prove them wrong and to show them that she is as good, as strong, as clever as any of them. Jude is ambitious and longs for power and recognition, and she’ll do whatever she can to get it- and have revenge on Cardan.

Whilst for many of you this book may be too far into the depths of fantasy (which is what I thought at first), it is beautifully written, the plot dark and rich: not only absolutely amazing, it will astound you, it certainly isn’t a normal book. It takes the phrase ‘plot twist’ to unknown heights. The malicious but captivating and ever exciting faerie court viewed through mundane eyes is addictive and you can understand why Jude doesn’t want to leave. It is unnervingly easy to fall in love with. The characters are brilliant.  Jude and Cardan are two of my all-time favourites, without a doubt. They aren’t normal, clichéd fantasy heroes- far from it- and I would say that they definitely aren’t the usual ‘I’m not like other characters’ characters. The sequel, the Wicked King, is even better than the first book, which is usually unheard of, plus I didn’t think you could get better than the Cruel Prince. You really won’t be disappointed.

It’s in the Senior Fiction section