As hyped as this book was, when this came out, Cruel Prince garnered its fair share of criticism. Naturally I had my reservations about picking it up after that… mercifully though I needn’t have worried- it ended up being wonderful. Well, as wonderful as a twisted YA fantasy can be- if that’s your cup of tea (and it so is mine).
From the get-go, I loved the premise: three sisters kidnapped by their parents’ murderers and taken into Faerie- YES PLEASE! I was utterly absorbed by the sharp world building and even more so by the plot.
While the story falls into a little lull immediately after the opening, don’t be fooled, it gets faster and far more deadly than I expected. Half my notes were just exclamation marks, because as much as I thought I could tell where it was going, it kept taking me by surprise! And every time I thought I had a handle on it- BAM- it span round and stabbed me in the gut. Really, the plot gets better and better.
What’s especially clever about this is how the foreshadowing and hints are such that they could be applied in multiple directions. I was even left questioning wait who is the cruel prince? Cos, let me tell you, there are several possible candidates in these pages.
Speaking of the characters, there are a great range of messed up and fabulous here to choose from. Some that you’ll inevitably root for and some you might want to get a bit stabby over- all of whom are interesting. For me, the main character was a gem- I cackled with pleasure at her tricksy ways and found she won my affection with both her skill with a sword and her even more deadly intellect. I probably loved Vivi even more if I’m honest- she was always trying to do the right thing and was probably the best human being in this (hehe ironic). And while I know there are a lot of people that hate Cardan- sorry, I’m on that runaway train 😉 For me, it’s quite simple- I found myself sympathising with him- reluctantly at first and then oopsie-daisy-we’re-headed-off-a-cliff. However, I did not like Tarryn- she sucked. I’ve been told she redeems herself in the novella Lost Sisters– which I have on my kindle- but don’t hold out much hope. That said, I liked how Black dealt with the issues of betrayal- even if I thought the other party was fairly obviously a backstabber (I mean, fox imagery is a dead giveaway).
Also, the writing was very well done. The main character’s voice is engaging and full of personality. I adored the descriptions, the humour and its quotability. In fact, I did that thing in my kindle copy where more of it is highlighted than not, so I can’t find any specific examples without rereading the whole book 😉
The only real downside for me was that I wasn’t head over heels for the romance (even if I liked both parties). I mean, it made sense and was logical- I didn’t quite feel the fireworks. Other than that, I thought it was an excellent read:
Have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!