The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, review by Shelly Walston
Holly Black has done a great job world building, taking standard tropes in faerie tales and putting her particular spin on things with "The Cruel Prince," the first in a new series from Black, who is a seasoned writer of lore.
I stayed intrigued by the story, compelled to continue reading how a mundane-born Jude forges her own way, wields her cunning, ferocity, and spite to make a place for herself in her stepfather's world. All the while keeping her family safe - or as safe as she thinks she can make them.
Along with Jude, Black infuses characters with strength, passions, and shortcomings of their own: a faerie-born stepsister who longs for the mundane world; a twin sister who tries desperately to fit in and to love strongly; a stepbrother who is young and innocent of the cunning around him in the faerie world. And the protagonist of the novel, the young prince, who seems not to care for Jude, who pushes and punishes her without relent, is one with whom readers can loathe but still sympathize with - a deft accomplishment on Black's part.
Jude learns the ins and outs, becomes a trained spy, and levels the playing field by using the faeries' words as magically as they manage, and it's the wordplay that Black employs which keeps this book building from one page to the next.
Can't wait for the next episode in this series, one that I'm sure will be at the top of my list in 2018.