Jude does not belong in Faerie. For one thing, she and her twin sister are human. The other thing is that the father of their half sister murdered their parents and spirited them away to his stronghold. Jude is tormented by Prince Cardan and his gang of equally merciless friends. All she wants is to find a place where she belongs. With the new king’s coronation fast upon her, Jude must fight not only for her future but for the lives of all others living in Faerie.
I was so worried that this book was going to be a cliched disappointment. I was ready for a premature enemies-to-lovers plot with predictable twists and turns. What I got was a beautifully crafted story in a truly enchanting world. The characters, the settings, the royal intrigue, all came together to form a rich folklore that feels like it’s really existed for hundreds of years.
The book itself is cosmetically gorgeous with poems segmenting the story, a map of Faerie and lovely chapter illustrations. The version I have has a striking dust jacket and cover art on the book itself.
The story is fast paced and I found myself unable to put it down for too long. There was not a dull moment to be found.
That all being said, The Cruel Prince is not perfect. A couple times throughout the book, characters (usually Jude) do some really baffling things that go against what we’re lead to think they would do, perhaps in an attempt to show “development,” I’m not sure. It comes off as contrived and stupid but I was able to those parts slide and I still had fun overall. The ending is a bit sudden but not altogether unsatisfying.
If you’re a fan of fairy stories, TOG, or ACOTAR by S. J. Maas you cannot skip this one, it’s a must-read.