The Cruel Prince – The Folk of the Air #1 by Holly Black

I have read a book series written by Holly Black before, called the Magisterium series (it is actually pretty good, you should check it out, I think I have written a review on it before…) but that series was co-authored by Cassandra Clare along with Holly Black, and maybe that’s the reason why, but I can’t believe that the same author wrote that and The Cruel Prince. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of the series, but omg what?! To me, the writing style really differed in both the series. Infact, I love both the styles. Magisterium had a more modern vibe, fun, adventurous, like in the 21st century, while the Cruel Prince is like more old fashioned with slightly more formal language in conversations, it’s not really noticeable most of the times, but at others you get that the author wanted a more ancient vibe, even though the elven world in question (where the story actually happens) co exists with the modern mortal world. I loved the ideas of gowns and dresses and doublets and more old-fashioned clothes than t shirts and jeans, and also that details such as this are mentioned, it’s not all assassinations at coronations (and that rhymed, coincidentally) or typical stuff, it’s got a lot of details that actually immerse you in the story. Details count. I love that the notion of the fey (elves and such) being capricious and deceitful was explored fully in this book, and that the plot was like, really well thought out. As it is the first book, the personality of all the characters hasn’t yet evolved fully, but you just know that these are intricate, planned characters from their actions and words, and glimpses of their personality. All the subtle hints that are dropped, don’t seem at all relevant initially and later be like – ‘oops, my plan to ruin the kingdom and secret letters of correspondence have been read! Never mind, its too late for anyone to stop me now! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!’ (I’m being melodramatic here, but in all honesty, I wasn’t able to pick up on them until the whole thing was revealed and when you look back and you see that tiny detail there that you didn’t pick up on, and you just feel like ‘omg yes! It clicks!’ and that feeling of satisfaction, well, it’s hard to match). I’m going to be rather vague here, as I really don’t want to spoil the storyline. As for the characters, Madoc and Oriana were actually characters that I liked, because honestly I feel that they are underestimated and underrated (especially after that end). They are like, both cruel and kind, the typical fey. Oak was adorable even though his page time was very little, though that increased by the end, but still. Taryn surprised me with what she did in end, I mean, what?! I didn’t think she was capable of doing that. I hated Locke by the end, I mean what a horrible boy. (Yes, again, vague). The Ghost, Bomb and Roach were great characters, I have a feeling they will have even more page time and become some of the main characters in the other books. Cardan was actually not that bad, he was very likeable by the end, you actually feel kind of sympathetic eventually. Jude was actually a character who was sort of relatable but even with the fact that she was the main character, I sort of got attached to the other characters more. Jude is a great character, but the others were just a tad bit more interesting. The royal family was interesting, it’s sad that the majority of them died without us knowing a lot about them, I would have liked to know more about all of them. Maybe their stories will be touched upon in the next books, but I doubt it. I mean, they’re dead and gone, with not a lot of relevance to the storyline anymore. I feel sure I’m missing someone at this point, but, oh well. Another thing, I LOVED the idea of putting mystical old faerie poems by old poets before the parts, I especially loved the one denoting the start of ‘book 1’ (I think ‘book 1’ means part 1, since there is another part called ‘book 2’ in this very book, even though this is the first book. Go figure). Anyway, I loved that poem of ‘book one’ called ‘I’d Love to Be a Fairy’s Child’ by Robert Graves. The poem in question is given below –

Children born of fairy stock

Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire,
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old,
Every fairy child may keep,
Two strong ponies and ten sheep,
They have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone,
They live on cherries, they run wild-
I’d love to be a fairy’s child.

Also, the spelling of ‘fairy’ in the book was changed to ‘faerie’ which while technically correct just makes it even more charming and mystical. And the ending?! What was that?! I can’t wait to continue this series!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m dying of curiosity here?! Holly Black has literally earned herself another fan. Seriously though, her writing is really good, and this is one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. You should totally read it if you’re a fan of this genre (and even if you’re not). I love this book so hard!!!! It’s basically like a fantasy book which despite sounding typical is actually original and really really fun to read. This is the best book I’ve read in a while. 5/5.

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