November 19, 2017

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | SLJ Review

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redstarBLACK, Holly. The Cruel Prince. 384p. ­Little, Brown. Jan. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316310277. POP

Gr 9 Up –Human Jude has been raised along with her twin, Taryn, and half-sibling, Vivi, in Faerieland by Madoc, the faerie who murdered her parents. This intricate realm is filled with beautiful, blood-thirsty, playful, and powerful faeries who seem to have no patience or use for humans beyond enslaving them with magic. Despite this, Jude is determined to earn respect and a place in it all by becoming a knight. First in a planned trilogy, this YA fantasy features a political scramble reminiscent of Game of Thrones, with spies, manipulation, romance, swordplay, betrayal, and an intoxicating darkness that manages to enrapture Jude and readers. Black has created a brutal and captivating world, filled with complex characters and their intricate and layered relationships. Jude is a mighty heroine; strong, smart, cunning, and yet completely vulnerable. Teens meet her as she’s no longer interested in restraining her emotions and actions and is willing to give up anything in order to work for what she wants, which makes for a powerful and dangerous damsel getting herself out of distress. VERDICT Another fantastic, deeply engaging, and all-consuming work from Black that belongs on all YA shelves.–Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ

This review was published in the School Library Journal October 2017 issue.

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