Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wyrd And Wonder: Audiobook Review of The Cruel Prince By Holly Black

The Cruel Prince By Holly Black
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Format: Audiobook narrated by Caitlin Kelly
Source: Audible
My Rating: 
★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

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.
Holly Black is legitimately one of my favorite authors, and I will adore anything she writes. I actually got to meet her a few years ago when The Darkest Part of The Forest came out, which I unfortunately still haven't read. I'm the worse. I knew she was coming out with a new book this year, so I definitely put it on my TBR, but I kept hearing such awesome things about the audiobook of The Cruel Prince. So I used one of my audible credits, and it did not disappoint!

I like to refer to Holly Black as the Queen of Fae. It was her Tithe novel that I read way back in the early aughts that really made me get into reading books set in Faerie. What I like about her books is that she shows the Faerie that is dark and full of tricksters. Faeries are NOT nice. If you make a deal with a Faerie it's probably not going to end up well for you. To the Faeries, humans are just play things that they toss away when they get bored. The world of Faerie in The Cruel Prince lives up to all of these ideas of what the world is and how they treat humans. Our main protagonist Jude has grown up in Faerie her whole life with her sisters, and she knows what it is to be a human in this land. Jude can never go back to the human world as it is now a place she does not understand, but at the same time she will never truly fit in with the Faeries. Her classmates mock her and try to trick her on all occasions, despite that she is the ward of a powerful general. Like a lot of kids that are bullied, Jude suffers in silence because she knows if she tells her "father" it would only make it worse.

Jude is an intriguing character to me, because I'm not completely sure I actually like her, but I found her journey really compelling. It's interesting that I feel this way about her since I think at the end of this book, she doesn't really care if the Folk like her, she just wants power to wield. I do like that she doesn't just want to be married off, but wants to be a knight. She later becomes a spy for someone in The Court, and I think that's where she really starts to come into her own. Jude slowly starts to become the grand schemer and she figures out a way to put all the pieces together to be the person with the upper hand at the very end of the novel. I definitely was not expecting how this one was going to end up. I love when a book can surprise me!

I think this is my first experience listening to Caitlin Kelly narrate an audiobook. I think she did an awesome job with this one. I think some of her male characters sounded a touch similar, but I think they were different enough that it didn't trip me up. All of the other different cadences and different voices she does for the characters in this book were done really well. I felt like I could really feel what Jude was going through. Kelly's narration really hit me during Jude's lowest points, and when she was at her highest. I'm not sure if she is going to narrate the sequel to this novel, but she definitely should. I don't know if I could listen to another narrator telling Jude's story.

I'm not sure what to make of the relationship between Cardan and Jude yet, and I think that's going to be fleshed out more in the sequel. There is definitely a hate-to-love thing going on there, which is one of my favorite tropes so I am own board, but I just need more from it. I will for sure be reading the next book in this series!

Have you read this book, what do you think? Are you a fan of Faerie stories? Which ones?

Happy Reads Everyone!