27 December 2018

The first installment of The Folk of the Air series, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black brings young adult fantasy to a fun and thrilling level at a time when I needed it the most.

When Jude is abducted by her real father in the human world after he murders her human parents, he spirits her and her two sisters away into the High Court of Faerie, Jude spends ten years learning to love this new world and even this father, a man who took away the only parents she ever knew. It is a world filled with magic and courts and secrets and thrilling twists and turns, a world that completely fulfilled my need to escape my reading slump. Not many turn to this category when a reading slump happens, and not many even care one bit about young adult books or fantasy tales when we are in our older years, but I'd like to remind you that most of us love Game of Thrones (actually called A Song of Ice and Fire series) by George R.R. Martin. And when once we were all young, we read Judy Blume, or Go Ask Alice for tough subjects, we read J.K. Rowling, or J.R.R. Tolkien, and we loved books and movies like The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride, or  (What? I never wrote a review of this??) and one of my favorites, Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Back to this one, though (and I hope I've convinced you to give Young Adult fantasy tales a try). Holly Black's writing was exciting, toggling us between the land of faerie and the land of humans, graduating the audience from one level of Jude's plans to another, and I eagerly awaited each shift in scene when Jude's plans for knighthood are thwarted and she instead is thrust into a completely different world of games of politics and strategy. When the cruelest prince of them all, Prince Cardan is in line for the kingdom, surprise and shocking changes ensue when Jude's own father becomes more involved in a scheme unexpected by all.

Holly Black is a fantastic writer and The Cruel Prince makes me pine for the second installment, The Wicked King, which I believe is out now but I have to check my library app. The audiobook was narrated by Caitlin King, and many of you may know her voice as she has a bajillion books she's narrated (click here to see the available titles on Audible.com). The Cruel Prince is 12 hours and 36 minutes, and so many people say to me, "I can't sit that long and listen to a book." Yeah, me neither. I don't know many people who do. So since I do a ton of errands and drive my car and clean the house and do yard work, that's when I listen to audiobooks and podcasts, and my life is more enriched because of it. Check out Holly Black's The Cruel Prince or listen to the audiobook, and have a fantastic time. Can't wait for this to be turned into a mini-series of some sort.

About the Author (from her website)
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, The Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and The Darkest Part of the Forest. She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.

Visit the Author


  1. I love your review, and I like how you brough up that many adults ignore YA fantasy. I loved this book too and found it very suspenseful!

  2. @Yomna Mahmoud - Thank you! I love YA fantasy stories and YA sci-fi and more so I'm always sad when it gets overlooked by others because they might think they won't get it. Hey, if ya love Harry Potter, for example, you're going to like YA fantasy books!