Last edited on February 4, 2022 by Sarah Pereira
Jude was seven 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. As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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.
When I think of classic, cliche BookTok tropes I think of this book. I think it’s no surprise to anyone that I finally read this series. Ever since The Cruel Prince came out, people all over the internet raving about it. With the finale that came out in November 2019, I knew that was my chance to binge the series. My reviews have also been posted on Goodreads, if you want to check it out.
The Cruel Prince (#1)
The Cruel Prince was enjoyable and an overall quick read. The world building was mediocre; as the idea of faeries is nothing new. Although, I liked that Black mentioned faeries being evil pulled through with her statement. This book also surprisingly had more showing than telling. After finishing the entire series, I think it’s safe to safe this was the strongest and best developed book.
The Wicked King (#2)
This book wasn’t my cup of tea. After I finished this book I noticed that the book read very similarly to a journal entry. Confused? Let me explain. If you were the protagonist of a story (and you didn’t know you were) I don’t think you’d be saying stuff like “ok, here’s how this happened” in your head and this is very much what Jude was doing in many scenes in the book. The Wicked King also included and explored much more diverse characters. Nonetheless, Jude’s character was my least favorite as her actions were infuriating and annoying.
The Queen of Nothing (#3)
The Queen of Nothing was very similar to book two. This book’s ending and politics were quickly and sloppily put together. I liked the idea of how the world was run, but Black didn’t explain anything past Cardan’s families throne. I would’ve liked to see what happened to the past throne holders and smaller kingdoms. Especially, Nicasia and her mother’s kingdom.
A plus side of this book though, was Grima Mog. I really enjoyed her character arc and would love to read a short novella about her. The last I would like to briefly touch on before I post this review is Cardan. Throughout book two and three Black tries really hard to redeem the “bad” things Cardan did. However, in the beginning of The Cruel Prince, Cardan is shown ripping a wing of a lower class faerie (or magical creature I am not entirely sure). It is never explained why Cardan did this in the books, which doesn’t really sit well with me.
I’ve concluded after reading this series, Holly Black has a knack for short underdeveloped books. And as much as I didn’t like The Darkest Artifices by Cassandra Clare, it was triple the size of Holly Black’s book and double as developed. Holly Black constructs an interesting world in her The Folk of the Air trilogy, but ultimately falls flat on almost every aspect of the book.