You guys!! You guys!! *holds book up and shakes it frantically* Y’ALLLLLLL! This book was everything I never thought I needed. I loved it and I hated it and I wanted to cry, scream, laugh, and beat someone up all in the space of almost 400 pages.
I knew going in that this was gonna be good. I mean it’s Holly Black so yeah. I think that woman could write in her sleep and it would come out to be prize winning. I’m a fan from way back. I think I first read Tithe when I was in my senior year of college and I was blown away. That was over 15 years ago. Yes I know I’m old. Anyways, back to what I was saying, I mean, first Tithe, it’s about fae and I LOVE fae stories. Second, it’s so well written that it had the ability to suck you into Kaye’s story so deeply that you don’t want to come back to reality. So. Yeah, another fae book from Holly Black = one happy me.
The Cruel Prince is dark. I mean, dark as the darkest night. And I LOVED it! Jude, the protagonist, is amazing. She’s good and yet she isn’t. But growing up as she does, you kind of expect that. The book starts with a 7 year old Jude letting a large man into her house much to her mother’s dismay. Cause this man is the man her mother fears the most, the man she had run from, faked her own death to get away from. And Jude just let him in the front door. In Jude’s defense though, if her momma had told her that fairies were real and they didn’t look like Tinker Bell, she probably wouldn’t have let him in the door.
The man, Madoc, is Jude’s mother’s first husband. And he’s not too happy discovering that his wife, his supposedly dead wife, has stolen his child and run away from with another man. Who she then marries and has kids with…all while Madoc thinks his family has been burned alive. Crazy, huh? But Madoc is back. And he wants his family back. Unfortunately, his wife isn’t too keen about being his wife again which causes a problem for Madoc. But he solves that by killing her and her husband with quick skill. At which time he has to figure out what to do with her kids.
So he grabs them. He tells Vivi, his child, to grab her sisters and pack cause they were going with him. To which Vivi kindly tells him to fuck off. Maybe not in those words but you get the idea. However once he explains that if he leaves them they will die, she sees the light and starts getting them ready.
The girls, Jude and Taryn, along with Vivi are raised by Madoc in Faery. And while many may think it’s weird that Madoc is raising his wife’s bastards he doesn’t seem to think there is anything wrong. And if the girls aren’t exactly the most popular children among the Gentry, the fae nobility children, then at least they have each other, right? Think of the Kardashians but better looking when you think of the Gentry. Anyway her tormenters, led by Prince Cardan, youngest son of the High King, remind Jude everyday that she doesn’t belong, that she’s mortal and she will never be good enough. But she is going to show them just how wrong they are and how a mortal can bring about change in the world Under the Hill.
It is safe to say I loved this book. Jude is my favorite followed closely by Vivi. She is believable and as the child of parents that may not have been the best, I can see why she struggled so with her feelings for Madoc. We can’t help the ones we love even when they hurt us and no one can hurt you quite like your parental units.
Many nights I drifted off to sleep to his rumbling voice reading from a book of battle strategy. And despite myself, despite what he’d done and what he was, I came to love him. I do love him.
Cardan I will probably loathe until the day I die. I am all for bad boys that redeem themselves. However, he never does. If anything he’s even more annoying at the end of the book than he is scary at the beginning. And I get it. He’s a prince, with a lot of responsibilities, and he’s not as bad as he wants you to believe, yadda, yadda, yadda. To which I say, he makes her eat fruit that drugs her and then makes her get naked. In the middle of her classes. With everybody and their momma making fun of her. So yeah, Cardan can suck it. Grr.
Vivi is the sister I always wanted as a kid. She is willing to stick her neck out for her sister and yet will give Jude shit about it even when she shouldn’t. I LOVED the plot twist about her and I can’t wait to see where that goes.
Taryn. Jesus, Taryn. I get Taryn. Hell, I was Taryn growing up, and maybe today also. She is making the best of a bad situation. She can’t accumulate like Jude. She doesn’t have the fight like Jude does and so I get that she’s put in a bad position. Her sisters are her family though and I think she forgets that. I think Taryn wishes she was Jude in a lot of ways that Jude wishes she was Taryn. But while the girls are twins, they are NOTHING alike.
“I mean, I think I could stand being teased and being made to cry if you didn’t know about it.” She gives me a steady look, as though evaluating how much truth I can handle. “I can’t just pretend my day was fine with you as a witness to what really happened. Sometimes it makes me not like you.”
Madoc was another one of my favorites. I hated him. But I loved him also. I grew up in a world where Madoc was a lot like my father. He didn’t kill anyone but he wasn’t the best dad either. So I get Jude’s conflicted feelings as she tries to understand the feelings that arise against parents who aren’t ideal. Madoc is terrible, but he’s her terrible. He’s the only terrible that she will ever know since he killed the only other father she had.
I look deep into his eyes as I sheathe my sword. “Father, I am what you made me. I’ve become your daughter after all.”
This book. So good and I can’t wait for the next installment which isn’t until 2019. Excuse me while I go cry for a little while.
out of 5 stars.