The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air Series #1)

The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air Series #1)

by Holly Black

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An instant bestseller!
By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316310284
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Series: Folk of the Air Series , #1
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 488
File size: 20 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library. Her website is

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The Cruel Prince (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Folk of the Air Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Holly Black novel I read. Back in college, I read the The Coldest Girl in Coldtown prior to it being a novel when it had been released as a short story and I don't remember anything about it, if I'm being honest. I am so glad I made The Cruel Prince the first Black book I read because this was phenomenally great in every single aspect of storytelling. This novel follows Jude and her two sisters: twin Taryn, and older half-sister Vivienne who is half-fae. Vivienne's father murders the girls' parents when they are young and steals them away to Faerie where they are raised in his household. Jude, is hungry to be included into the fae lifestyle and when plans of being accepted into the knighthood fall through, she is quickly swept up into something far bigger with political intrigue, fae court life, betrayals, spies, fae civil wars, intense sexual tension and frustration and so much more. First I wanted to express how much I enjoyed this writing style. Black has a way of inserting such lush and atmospheric writing into this novel, (that definitely fits into this world) without it sounding trite, over-the-top, and melodramatic. It's seriously the best type of "flowery writing style" while still being clear, concise, impactful and to the point. Each chapter, paragraph, and sentence fit into the overall plot of the story beautifully and wasn't bogged down with cluttering lines. Jude. JUDE. My girl Jude was the best voice to capture this story. She was what I wanted and didn't deserve. Since "the human world" is still present in this story, Jude was a heroine that didn't constantly complain about wanting a "normal life" that you sometimes see in teenage fantasy/supernatural shows *cough* Elena Gilbert *cough*. Nah, Jude was constantly pushing herself to find way to belong in Faerie even though she was human. I loved that. Her character arc was great. I also love when characters have great natural chemistry with other characters, and we see that with Jude. I also wanted to mention how much I loved the family dynamic here in all it's dysfunctional and complex glory. Jude, Taryn, and Vivienne have been raised by their parents' murderer for the past ten years. That man being Vivienne's birth father, Madoc. Madoc has since remarried and has a son. All the characters in this "family" you can say, have such interesting relationships with each other, no two are the same. The family interactions in this book were some of my absolute favorites. You don't see as many family relationships/units in YA and this was done so well. Can't not talk about the world building so here goes. I thought I knew things about fae. I've read a lot of urban fantasy books that have fae characters, politics, worlds, but whoa. Was I not prepared for this head-first dive into fae lore. And I say this lovingly. Before I went into this book, I knew Black was like an expert in faeries, and I was not disappointed with all the information I was introduced to and learned about fae lore. If Buffy taught me about vampires, Holly Black taught me about faeries. The Cruel Prince was the first book I read of 2018 and it just set the bar impossibly high for the rest of the year. Cannot wait for the next installment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't normally start books of a series until they all come out, but I have been in a major book funk with some pretty bad books so I broke my rule. I am so glad I did. I just loved this book! I couldn't put it down. Also even though I love the YA genre, there have only been a few mythical type stories I've liked- so if that's not really your thing try not to let it stop you. I love all the characters, there was no babbling page fillers, some romance but none of the distracting and unbelievable insta-love crap, action, suspense and a bit of mystery. I really can't ask more from a book. The sample is not very long but I knew on the 2nd page I would buy it. As far as it being the 1st in what will be a series (that appears will not be out until Jan next year btw) it does have a conclusion that even though left me wanting more, did not leave with a huge cliffhanger that you felt like the author just quit writing to be a jerk (authors please stop doing that-you owe your readers a real ending to at least that part of the story). I will continue this series as soon as it is out, and will next be checking out previous works by this author. If you like this book let me suggest Stacey Marie Brown's City In Embers series. It was the first Fae type series I read and it's one of my favorites. The Lightness series is excellent too- and her books are quite cheap. But is more like New Adult-very mature content (aka hot as hell) def not for young ones. Happy Reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gripping and tense. Ready for book two
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Cruel Prince had me guessing what Jude, our clever protagonist, was up to the entire book. Her character seems very reckless in the beginning, but she matures into a woman, although jaded, but one who would sacrifice anything for family. The tension within her family was a unique dynamic to read about, and her relationship with Madoc (her fairy father) surprisingly understandable. This author is a talented storyteller, as she can get the reader to sympathize with the cruel characters she creates, but somehow hate them as well. I found myself always wanting Jude and Carden to change their natures, in the end, old habits die hard. I definitely recommend this gruesome tale of loyalty, grit, and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Literally finished in a day. The characters in this book were interesting. It seemed that there really was no "good guy/bad guy" trope, but just everyone doing what they can to survive.Jude as the main character was very relatebale. It seems that she just gets pushed down in life but she is doing what she can to come out on top. The ending made it seem that there could be a potential sequel, soI cant wait.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well developed characters, excellent plot. It was hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Holly Black and her twist in modern folklore! A must read! I can't wait for the rest of the series to finish!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how Holly Black made Jude a neutral protagonist, not good or bad but neutral. It was an exciting read with lots of political drama. Excited for the next book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply quicksand . Had no choice in the matter of an all nighter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intriguing.... Enjoy the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...five times now. I usually don't re-read books. Once I read this, I went back & read Holly Black's previous series. That was good, but this is incredible. Amazing writing, great characters, a plot that never pauses - and a vision of Faery I desperately wish I could get lost in. WHEN WILL WE GET THE SEQUEL??!! (sorry, just... not knowing anything is painful)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn’t put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grreat book with intriguing characters and development. My only wish is thatit were longer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit slow in the first half, but the second part makes up for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me a chapter or two before I was totally drawn in. After that I couldn’t put the book down. I wish I could jump to the next installment straight away. Needless to say I have to wait till October for a novella and January for the 2nd book. I am totally intrigued now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter asked me to read this book! I had just finished another fantastic book with fairies and wasnt ready to read another one. I agreed to read only the first chapter after her begging, and was immediately hooked! This is a stay up late, just 1 more chapter, kind of book! I CAN'T wait for the next book in this series!! Hoping there will be many!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
if i could transport myself into any book / fictional world of my choosing, you can bet your buns it's this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A charming fantasy with twists and turns I never saw coming, much to my delight!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really can't wait for the second book ugh! I read this in only two days hardly able to put it down. It does have an ending but it still has you wanting more and thinking 'there can't be only this many pages left'.
gaele More than 1 year ago
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5 As a child I wasn’t fascinated with the idea of fairies: many of the stories shared with me showed them as rather spiteful creatures, full of mischief but with a mean streak. Few authors I’ve read actually take that opinion and run with it, and Holly Black ran wild with the fae in this one; the court of Henry VIII would have been shocked at their behavior! Jude and Taryn are twins, and with their elder sister Viv have been whisked off to Fairie after the massacre of their parents at the hands of Viv’s father Madoc, a general of Fairie. Viv is his daughter, and despite his acts, he sees Jude and Taryn as his responsibility – ostensibly his remaining feelings for their mother stirs him into action. The three are very different in their reaction: Viv hates him and Fairie with the heat of a million suns, Taryn and Jude have come to see him as a protector and father-like figure. They are living in the midst of Fairie, alongside the royal children, accepted but not, with each group forming their own cliques, learning the ins and outs of court politics, developing their own networks of informants and spies. Unlike her sister Viv or Taryn, Jude loves being in Fairy and wants to become a knight – a position of power that will earn her some freedom and respect. That is important, as the sisters aren’t seen as ‘belonging’ and the put downs and cuts are constant – these really bother Jude. And then, we have the Geoffry-like prince Cardan. Cardan is the youngest prince: a bully, mean-spirited and determined to make life difficult for anyone he can pick on. Jude has taken his abuse – repeatedly, swallowing down the insults and building a hatred for Cardan that sees no end. But, she hasn’t reacted – not really, she’s not sure of just what her powers could do, and then she decides that enough is enough, and stops throttling her emotions. As Jude accepts her dark side: one far darker than even she expected, other doors open and she is recruited by the chosen prince, Dain, and soon she discovers that much is hidden beneath the surface: secrets lead to more secrets, and each one seems to have more depth and possible implications than anyone would ever have thought possible. With an upcoming coronation and plenty of secrets unraveling and danger increasing, Jude is learning to maneuver as she tries to watch out for herself and her sisters. But when Taryn shares a secret, but refuses to say more – the danger, and stakes increase. Black has developed these characters completely: good and bad, in ways that I’ve not seen in YA fiction. She doesn’t steer away from uncomfortable or impolite feelings, actions or even impulses, and seems to allow them each to develop and embrace traits and pathways that will allow them to be their fully realized selves. With lovely and lush descriptions of place and things, the land of Fairie is easy to visualize and feel, drawing you into this very atmospheric read. Narration for this story is provided by Caitlin Kelly, and she manages to present the words, and the underlying emotion with precision: you understand Viv’s anger, Jude’s frustrations and even Taryn’s secrecy in a visceral way, even before the issue or action is complete. This really is Jude’s story, and every moment of her uncertainty, and her joy in discovering her own power, and wielding that power for revenge against Cardan or in her investigations comes with a touch of ‘ooh’ for liste
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and I absolutely look forwards to reading what comes next. Jude has made her play and Cardan has not long until he can break his chains and make his. I cannot wait to see what it might be, for time makes fickle things of us all. The one thing I wasn’t overly impressed with was some of the predictability in the plot and in the characters. This is definitely one of those books where if something seems too good to be true (particularly in the cruel world of Faerie) then it is. Every time. However I will say that the predictability tended to lie in the major moves, the cleverness hid in the details. So while I could guess what turn or "twist" the plot might make at major points, Jude was always a mystery and this is why she was such a fantastic character to read and why I greatly anticipate the sequel. Wickedly delightful and seductively clever, THE CRUEL PRINCE spins a tale of faerie and what a small mortal girl might do if willing to do anything at all. Captivating, conspiring, and as all-consuming as faerie fruit on human lips, this stunning fantasy will leave you gasping for more. **Read the full review on Wordpress: Pooled Ink
Lauren Hassan More than 1 year ago
I'm not going to lie - I was skeptical about this book. I was worried about the amount of hype and praise this book was getting and the fact that I usually fall into the category of not loving the books that everyone else loves and raves about. So when I saw this in the book store, I bought it on a whim and hoped for the best. I can safely say that I am so GLAD I did because this book was just breathtaking! Whilst there were a couple of scenes written in the human world, the vast majority of this book takes place in Faerie. The world building that went on in this book was just beautiful. It was vivid, lush and it really popped from the page. I easily got lost just in the world building alone and it was like I was there with the characters, watching what was going on. I loved the way in which the beauty of the world went against everything else about this book. It went against the dark nature of the creatures that inhabit the world and it fit together perfectly.  I loved all of the characters - even the horrible ones. Each and every character brought something new to the plot and the world as a whole and no two characters felt similar at all. I loved watching characters and personalities clash as the book went on, along with the subtle ways in which the characters went against each other and the way in which it all wove together. Each and every character was complex and had multiple layers to them. I also loved the fact that none of the characters had any inhibitions about the fact that they were manipulative and nasty. They knew exactly what and who they were and they revelled in it.  I was expecting hate Prince Cardan... and I just didn't. He is a dark and twisted character, but has another side to him that no one else knows about. I have such mixed feelings about Cardan - I know he is horrible and nasty, but I still really like him as a character and I am totally on bored with this dark and twisted character and I just want MORE.  Locke was another character who I found extremely interesting. I had guessed his game from the very beginning, but I still felt convinced by him despite knowing what he was doing. I felt as betrayed as the characters by the end - despite knowing! I loved the way in which he manipulated and twisted his words (considering the whole Faeries can't lie thing) and it really reinforced the dark and twisted nature of the Fey and their manipulative sides.  As mentioned throughout this review - the book was DARK... and I loved every second. The characters were manipulative and dark and the plot itself added to the whole theme. I loved the betrayals, the word games and just everything about this twisted book. I lost all expectations for this book because it was just so twisted and I was just completely hooked. I HAD to know what was going to happen next. I physically could not put this book down to save my life and it resulted in me finishing it in one sitting.  The plot itself was also complex. It had multiple plot points and layers and they all wove together and intertwined to come together as one thing at the end. The plot was extremely easy to follow and get lost in despite the various points - I never once felt lost or confused. The plot had a direct effect on the character development - and I loved it! Between Jude and Taryn's relationship developments, along with Cardan and Judes etc. It all worked perfectly together. Can I also just mention that I am totally on board with the twisted canon that was going
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are things in this story that seem inevitable and you guess and others that slap you in the face. I loved the book.
13835877 More than 1 year ago
The Cruel Prince was a book I was iffy on reading, but after hearing so many amazing things about it, I decided to give it a chance. I contemplated putting this one down because it does start out a little slow, but I decided to push through in the hopes it would pick up. I am SO SO glad I stuck with this one because the story picked up and took a few twists and turns on the way to its action packed ending. One of the things that stood out to me about these characters is the fact that the characters are not black and white. These characters are complex and deep with a mix of good and evil that makes them seem so REAL. Even the characters who are supposed to be the bad guys have some spark that makes you hope they will overcome the bad in them. Even though I was able to predict a few of the details about the way this one would end, there were several surprises along the way that made this story wonderful.