By Brooke Manuel, Skyline Desk Chief
ALPINE- “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black is nothing short of magic itself. Being the perfect blend of fantasy, young adult, coming-of-age, mystery, magic and romance, “The Cruel Prince” has something in it for every reader.
Book number one of Black’s series, “The Folk of the Air,” is “The Cruel Price,” which follows the story of a young girl named Jude who is stolen from the mortal world and taken to Elfhame, the land of faeries. Readers accompany Jude along her journey of self-discovery. Black incorporates themes of coming-of-age, isolation and power.
The family and political drama weaved throughout the story is positively delicious. Although Black does encompass some common literary tropes, she does so in an innovative way.
The main character Jude wants nothing more than to belong to Elfhame, and she is determined to prove her worthiness. Towards the beginning of the book, Jude says, “I do not yearn to be their equal. In my heart, I yearn to best them.”
Black describes the scenery so vividly that readers feel like they are alongside the characters in Elfhame.
The most intriguing aspect of this book is that not one character is 100% likeable – not even Jude with her fiery spirit. As soon as you start to like a character, they begin to show their ugly side.
Now, if you like your faeries cute, sweet and charming, this isn’t the faerie story for you. But if you’re like me and you enjoy reading about cunning, cruel, and wicked faeries, you’ll love “The Cruel Prince”!