The Cruel Prince

The Folk of the Air (Book 1)

Holly Black


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.

Reader Reviews


Rating: Liked It

dark political intrigue

Generally solid world building and a compelling story. Irreverent and foreboding at the same time. The major flaw of the novel is that the personalities of the characters seem to shift on the fly in order to advance the plot. The romance seemed rushed and underdeveloped, but the family dynamics were interesting.

11/19/2022 7:28:50 PM

Rating: Loved It

dreamy, plot twist

This book was wonderful. Although the story's fantasy setting initially put me off, I ended up enjoying it.

Quite a few unexpected twists. Absolutely dying to start the next one.

11/21/2022 9:43:11 PM

Rating: Loved It

fae, magic

Wow, that's a fantastic series premiere! Getting to know the fae and their magical customs has me extremely excited. The series as a whole seems intriguing, so I'll be continuing on with it.

11/19/2022 11:13:02 AM

Rating: Loved It

ya fantasy

The story may have moved at a leisurely pace, but I found the anticipation leading up to the climax to be part of the story's appeal. What a fantastic read!

11/18/2022 6:17:04 PM

Rating: Loved It

easy to read

The book had a great story flow, and I found myself engrossed from the first page.

11/20/2022 9:12:24 AM

What Can You Read After
"The Cruel Prince"?