Top positive review
Exciting, Fast-paced, and Engrossing
Reviewed in India on 1 April 2019
The first of a trilogy, the <i>Cruel Prince</i> tells the story of Jude who with her twin Taryn and older sister Vivi(enne) are brought to live in Faerie after her parents are brutally killed. Brought up among the gentry, as mortals, Jude and Taryn are still looked down upon by many, particularly the youngest prince Cardan and his minions, who lose no opportunity to torment them, especially Jude since she won’t take their actions lying down. Having only Faerie to call her own, Jude wants nothing more than to belong, and to give a fitting reply to her tormentors, becoming a knight is her dream. Taryn on the other hand, wishes to more conventionally, fall in love and marry. When Jude’s hopes don’t seem like they’re panning out as she’d like, she begins to take other steps to gain the power she craves (and perhaps needs). But in taking these steps, she also begins to get involved in the politics and power games that are at play in Faerie, and she finds herself playing an important role—in things that may affect the future of Faerie itself.
This was such an exciting and engrossing read and I enjoyed myself thoroughly reading every bit of it. While initially we focus on their life at home, lessons, and the battles with Cardan and his crew, once <spoiler>Jude become a spy</spoiler>, things really begin to pick up, and there is literally something happening all the time. There is politics, espionage, conspiracies, betrayal, violence and bloodshed (also the inevitable romance or the beginnings of one), and so many twists and turns that one doesn’t really know what’s coming. There are also plenty of secrets that are revealed as we go along (only one of which I’d guessed), so there’s excitement aplenty. Jude is a character one doesn’t always approve of (mostly one does), but certainly one that keeps the reader interested throughout. She is vulnerable, scared because the Faerie folk can harm, hurt, humble her but that doesn’t make her cow down, instead, she is ever more emboldened to fight back, to show her enemies that she may fall but will never give up. Cardan too, despite his cruelty is an interesting character, who one can see from pretty much the start has more shades to him than what are visible at that point. Madoc too, even if his actions are not all one can approve of, is a person, I still found myself liking more than disliking. Vivi, her older sister, is very likeable, and I also loved little Oak. There are others that are outright cruel like the older Prince Balekin, and some others who one dislikes too (naming all would be spoilers). I also enjoyed reading about court life, the parties, and all the clothes and such. I found this so entertaining that I ordered the next one before I’d even finished. I can’t wait to see what happens next.