Waterloo Region Record - - Books -

“The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black (Lit­tle, Brown Books for Young Read­ers; 370 pages)

With “The Cruel Prince,” au­thor Holly Black (“Tithe,” “The Dark­est Part of the For­est”) proves once again why she is the queen of the dark fairy tale. This well-plot­ted fan­tasy is chock full of courtly in­trigues, di­vided loy­al­ties, and com­pli­cated, dam­aged char­ac­ters.

Jude Duarte is tired of be­ing vul­ner­a­ble. A mor­tal raised in the faerie world, she faces dan­ger on a daily ba­sis: eat faerie fruit and crave it for­ever; join a revel and never stop danc­ing; fall un­der a faerie’s spell and lose your willpower.

More than any­thing, Jude craves a place in the royal court and the pro­tec­tions that go along with it. So when the crown prince of­fers her a po­si­tion as his spy, she gladly ac­cepts. She soon un­cov­ers a deadly con­spir­acy that could change the en­tire faerie realm, mak­ing life much worse for mor­tals like her­self. Ev­ery­thing just might hinge on the cruel young prince who de­spises Jude … and yet can­not takes his eyes off her.

“The Cruel Prince” is the first in the “Folk of the Air” se­ries, fol­lowed by “The Wicked King” (com­ing Jan­uary 2019). The third and fi­nal vol­ume, “The Queen of Noth­ing,” is ex­pected in 2020.

Jes­sica Sh­eff is a se­nior branch as­sis­tant, at the Idea Ex­change Pre­ston. She rec­om­mends:

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