So I am a little ashamed about how long it took me to discover this book, and then how long I then waited to actually read it. I am going to put this down to being a relatively new convert to the YA fantasy genre, but it was probably more about plain ignorance.
However, boy am I glad to have found it.
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls and brings them to the world of Faerie. Mocked and tormented for being merely mortal, Jude soon realises that to survive in treacherous, dangerous world of the royal court, she needs to be as cunning as the Fey themselves.
But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.
Let’s start with the man himself, Prince Cardan.
I am so glad to finally see a book that doesn’t instantly portray the male interest as the most amazing thing to have ever existed with next to no flaws. Sure, he is described as being unbelievably beautiful, but there is also no denying that he is an absolute dick. No wonder Jude hates him for basically the whole novel. Who can blame her?!
That said, I did think the romance aspect would come a little earlier on. I felt like I was waiting and waiting for it, only to be slightly disappointed by the lack of action that actually happened. Sorry if that is a spoiler!! (Although most of you have probably already read this) In this way, I guess the synopsis is a little bit misleading. I assumed from it that their budding relationship would be a major part of the book, but it really wasn’t. I’m guessing that the relationship between Jude and Cardan is going to be a major driving point for The Wicked King, which is set to be released in January 2019 (yes, I have already pre-ordered my copy and did so the second I turned the final page of this one). AND, Cardan bullying Jude because he secretly really likes her? Are we ten years old again?
I’m also pleasantly surprised and glad that Jude actually stayed human throughout the entirety of the book. I had a small fear that she was going to somehow become one of them, like the synopsis says she wants to be. I like that she is different and isn’t accepted by them, living with her parents’ murderer in a strange world. I like that she has to fight for her place and fight for respect. She is such a strong character who takes no bullshit.
The second half of the book was definitely better than the first, probably because it was much more fast paced, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying all of it and flying through it. There is plot twist after plot twist and you have to keep reading. You don’t really get any choice in the matter.
I really, really want to give this book 5/5 stars, but I think the romance side of it was just lacking a little bit of substance. Maybe this is because I went in to it expecting it to be really like A Court of Thorns and Roses, which it isn’t really at all, but hopefully The Wicked King redeems this for me. I’ll settle for 4.5/5.
What did you think of Jude and Cardan’s relationship in The Cruel Prince?