CEO Reads: The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince

Do you love entering into a dark world of the Fae? Then Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy is for you. Black has given us a tale that is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and filled with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life. It also encompasses high school drama as it appeals to a teenage audience. But do not be put off by the teen genre as if you love the dark side of the Fae then this is definitely a story for you.

We meet the three sisters, Jude, Taryn (mortals) and Vivi (Fae) when their father, Madoc, comes for them in the mortal world after their mortal mother had escaped his control. They see him murder their parents and he brings them all to the Faerie world to live, each having to find a way to survive. Cruelty and disregard for mortals is what they need to navigate in the dark world of the Fae, where mortals can be slaves, where a sip of a drink can lead to humiliation, and traps are everywhere. Vivi, who is Fae, just wants to return to the mortal world. Taryn just wants to belong, and her twin Jude wants to fight and become a knight. The Fae are bullying, deceitful and manipulative – to each other as well as with the three sisters. Black seamlessly takes us from the Fae to the real world and expertly shows us why there is such fascination with being ‘more’ than human.

I was instantly hooked on the fates of Jude, her sisters and the Cruel Fae Prince Cardan. The plots are many and intricate with sly reveals of the past that impact the present. It is clever, fast paced and nuanced as we are challenged by the actions and relationships of all the characters. Political undercurrents abound, betrayals are gut wrenching and we want Jude to prevail in the face of every danger. Once hooked by this first book you will definitely be waiting spellbound for the next two parts of the trilogy to hit your bookshelf.

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