The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince

Book - 2018
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Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316310277
Branch Call Number: TEEN FICTION Black Holly
Characteristics: 370 pages :,map ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

I had to see what all the Folk of the Air hype was about and this first installment did not disappoint. Jude, a human, lives among the fae, but struggles to find power and acceptance. Her worst enemy is Carden, the cruel young prince. This book is full of political machinations, faerie revels,... Read More »

List - Twin Books

Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.

Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.

JCLAndrewP Jan 26, 2018

This book refused to let me put it down. I would often find myself so immersed that hours had passed in the blink of an eye. The characters and the world are so vivid it was like I was there. It's a story of intrigue, spies, revenge, and the lengths a person will go to make sure they're safe in a... Read More »

JCLStefanieE Jan 24, 2018

Few books grip me by the throat and force me to read them through screaming children who need things from me. This twisty story of political intrigue, spies, and a tinge of romance was so good that I listened to the audio book in the car by day and read late into the night to finish it.

From the critics

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SAPL_Teens Apr 10, 2021

I had quite high hopes for the Cruel Prince. Jude is a young girl who gets kidnapped and taken to the fairy kingdom with her sisters. In the kingdom, there is an evil Prince Cardan who wants to make Jude's life miserable. I personally loved the descriptions of the fairy kingdom and though that the world-building was excellent. I had a hard time keeping all the characters in my head at once and sometimes I would get confused a bit about what was going on. I didn't love that the sisters could travel back into the human world because that made me think, well why don't they just go home? There was a lot of action in this story and some scenes even made me gasp out loud! So it wasn't a bad book by any means. just don't think that it was the right book for me, but I believe that other teenagers who read more fantasy would really like it a lot. 3.5/5 stars - SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

LCPL_Krystyna Mar 09, 2021

An entertaining fantasy that takes place in the land of Faeire. It's about a human girl, that is raised in a fae world, and a cruel prince that despises her. This is packed full of deceit, lies, murder, and secrets. The beginning was a little bit slow, but push through and you'll be glad you did.

Mar 05, 2021


sjpl_rebekah Feb 13, 2021

I was never quick to pick up this book series for two reasons:

1. I read the Coldest Girl in Cold Town by this author and though I enjoyed it, I wasn’t terribly impressed.
2. The book synopsis for The Cruel Prince does not do it justice.

I have seen this book series mentioned enough times now that I finally decided to read it. As a result, I am going to do something I never do and review all three books together. Why you ask? Because I ripped through them so fast it doesn’t even make sense for me to review them individually. This was a book series that kept me reading late into the night and each book took me about 2 days to finish. I simply could not put them down. The romance is a slow burn (which I always appreciate), but it was the political intrigue and endless scheming that truly kept me glued to the pages. Jude is a very strongly written character, and it was fascinating to watch her turn her vulnerabilities into strengths. The pacing of this book series is excellent, and I was never once bored. Great cliffhangers and a great ending really cemented this as one of my favorite YA series of all time.

Feb 06, 2021

Here is a description of the novel: Jude, Vivi, and Taryn have all experienced a difficult childhood. They saw their parents get murdered right in front of their eyes and were then whisked away by a complete stranger to the land of Faerie. There, Jude and Taryn live as mortals, mocked and teased by everyone, while Vivi takes her rightful place among her fellow Faerie. Jude wants nothing more than to break the stereotypes against mortals. The Faerie believe that mortals are servants and that their sole duty is to serve. She wants to become a fighter, and so she trains. When she is offered a secretive role instead, she takes it immediately, but soon after that, everything begins to fall apart. Her family, the kingdom, and various other things change, and not for the better. Soon, everything that Jude has known has changed, and she must make some tough decisions in order for her to survive. Will Jude be able to push through? Or will she fall victim to the chaos going around her?

This novel is appropriate for readers aged 14 or above. Firstly, this book has a LOT of content and concepts, and only readers with more mature minds will be able to keep track and connect these different ideas, something that needs to be done in order for the novel to make sense. Secondly, there is a lot of violence that goes on in the novel. Some of this is described graphically and can be scary to some younger readers. There are also some adult topics as well. There is a lot of violence in this novel. Right at the start of the book, there is a graphic description of the killing of the girls’ parents. Throughout the novel, there are graphic descriptions of fights that use swords and knives. Poison is mentioned a lot throughout the novel, and the reader even sees Jude training herself to drink poison. There are graphic descriptions of blood as well. LGBTQ+ is mentioned in the story, as Vivi has a relationship with another girl. Prostitutes are mentioned as well.

I definitely liked this book! I am a huge fan of fantasy and action, and this book definitely fulfilled my craving. I loved how the author didn’t fill up the novel with a ton of romance. I’ve read a lot of fantasy novels and a lot of times the romantic tension and content kind of override the story. But this had a perfect balance! I do think that it was slightly predictable. It was similar to a guilty pleasure because you know exactly what was coming. I think that I would recommend this novel to beginner fantasy readers, as I think it is the perfect way to introduce them to the genre. I definitely think that this was a great book!

Dec 27, 2020

I read this book and the rest of the series and loved it. Like some of the other comments said, I did find the first half a little slow. The whole Faerie aspect of the book is difficult to catch on to if you’re new to that genre. It is sort of all thrown out there and you’re expected to understand what it all means. I also had trouble picturing every scene being at nighttime, it just seemed strange to me (although probably normal to others) that they were always awake during the night and not the day. On the other hand, I liked how Jude isn’t your typical lovey-dovey small weak girl that many other books tend to portray. She’s strong, has a fierce personality and knows what she wants. It was overall a great read with many plot twists and I would definitely recommend this book but to fairly regular readers, it would not be an easy read for a beginner.

Nov 04, 2020

oh my god if you are considering reading this book GO FOR IT. i picked it up yesterday and i couldn't put it down and finished today. genuinely this book continually surprised me, and sure there are predictable things but those distract you from the real secrets brewing underneath the words. i fell in love with the world, characters and entrancing writing. the plot is so good and i never found myself getting bored, i was always on the edge of my seat trying to read every word as fast as i could so i could flip the page. i have no complaints.

Sep 11, 2020

Although the title implies that this book has a strong focus on the relationship between Jude and Cardan, it really doesn't. It's a story about Jude, and almost more-so about the land of Elfhame and the world of Faerie. The world building is rich, detailed, and very well thought-out, drawing on a lot of classical Irish faerie lore. I believe this series takes place in the same world as some of Black's previous YA titles, with some of her old characters popping in for cameos (correct me if I'm wrong). It was a quick read. *fair warning, while the first book has minimal romance and nothing more than a kiss, the scenes get more explicit as the series progresses.

Sep 10, 2020

Definitely one of the best books I've read, I honestly thought I was over faerie worlds but this book proved me wrong. Jude is one of the best fictional characters I've ever read, and the plot is phenomenal, with everything in general just being very well written. Jude has loads of amazing moments and epic quotes

Vilka Aug 13, 2020

The first half is a slow burn, though I very much liked the complicated dynamics of the faery family and the realistic push-pull of loyalties and conflicts between the sisters, who each have their own different (sometimes clashing) desires/plans for the future. The second half was fast-moving and wonderfully unpredictable with the dangerous schemes and counter-schemes!
Unpopular opinion: I don't ship the romance. But thankfully, it only comes up later and doesn't take over the story.
Definitely picking up book 2 to see how things play out!

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Add Age Suitability
Sep 11, 2020

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 18, 2020

bookstuck thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 20, 2020

blue_fox_2162 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jan 23, 2020

orange_crane_59 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 21, 2020

Lunartic2231 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aug 06, 2019

gurleena thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

OPL_KrisC Mar 31, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Quote

What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong?

Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.

nadia_89 Sep 29, 2020

" worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear. "
- Jude

Jan 23, 2018

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.


Add a Summary
Jan 23, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Jude and her twin sister, Taryn, are mortals who have lived in Faerie since they were children, raised by the Faerie general who murdered their parents in order to retrieve his daughter, their half-sister Vivi. Despite this violent beginning, Jude longs to find her place in the High Court of King Eldred, and dreams of knighthood and acceptance. However, many of the high fey will never see a mortal as anything more than a servant, to be used and discarded at will. Worst among these is Prince Cardan, youngest of the High King’s sons, who seems to have a special hatred for Jude, and the way she had been raised as if she were part of the Gentry. When the High King announces that he will abdicate his throne, and pass the Blood Crown to one of his six children, Jude is caught up in political intrigues and violent betrayals, and is quickly reminded why the Faerie Court is no place for humans.


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