The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

The Cruel PrinceFrom the publisher:  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.

Jude and Taryn are born to mortal parents after their parents escaped from Faerie with their older sister, Vivienne.  Vivienne is the daughter of the Faerie High King’s General, Madoc.  Years later, Madoc discovers his daughter in the mortal world and quickly kills the parents to take Vivienne back to the Fae.  He feels duty-bound to take the other girls, daughters of his first wife, back to Faerie.  He becomes quite fond of the mortal girls and offers them his protection.  Vivienne is old enough to remember the mortal world and schemes to return.  However, Taryn and Jude are determined to find a place for themselves with the Fae despite continual torment from their Fae classmates.  The cruelest tormentor is the youngest prince, Cardan.  Jude excels in pushing his buttons far past any boundary of safety.

Jude wants to be a warrior and attracts the attention of the Crown Prince, Dain.  He enlists her into his network of spies and Jude sees this as her ticket to belonging.  But it is only the beginning of Jude’s introduction to court intrigue, politics, and murder.  While the fae are immortal, compared to humans, they can be killed.  This is my favorite from the magnificent Holly Black.  There are so many twists and turns, I applaud the author’s cunning.  Highly recommend!

eGalley review                                          Publication date 1.2.18

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