The Cruel Prince by Holly Black — Just Okay Or Worth the Hype? |Book Review

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is a book that has a ton of hype surrounding it. I’m a sucker for hyped books, so I had to know what everyone was talking about. Plus, I had read and enjoyed Holly Black’s other book, White Catso I hoped that I would enjoy it. My feelings on this book ended up being mixed, and to be honest, I’m not quite sure I get the hype surrounding it.

Let’s start off with the good stuff, and a good chunk of the good stuff revolves around our protagonist, Jude. She is a little rough around the edges, as she is a human that grew up in Faerie. She dreams of becoming a knight for the High Court of Faerie, and deals with a ton of internal conflict thanks to her upbringing. The passages where she feels conflicted on Madoc, her “father” figure, were interesting and engaging. My favorite part of the book hands down was her adventure plot. I loved the scenes where she gets wrapped up in Faerie politics. I wish we got more scenes of her sneaking around.

Much of the plot revolves around her school life. Some of it was interesting, and relevant to the plot, but it just made the middle drag. The plot picks up at the end when Jude’s adventure plot line comes back into play. Even though I saw the ending coming, I was so invested in last third of the story and could not put it down.

Other things I liked included Jude’s family dynamic and also Prince Cardan’s story arc. I’m very interested to see how he grows as the story progresses. It looks promising. Fingers crossed it goes in an interesting direction.

Aside from Jude and Prince Cardan (and maybe Madoc and Vivi), I thought the other characters could have been more fleshed out. Taryn especially needed more character development. Some of the choices that she makes, I just didn’t understand at all. I sort of feel like the conflict between Jude and Taryn was used for drama’s sake and nothing more. It came off super melodramatic, in like a bad way.

Also, I HATED LOCKE! SO MUCH! Yes, that needed to be in all caps. I can’t go into why exactly, cause SPOILERS. If you’ve read the book, you probably understand. Just know that his whole deal pissed me off so much.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Cruel Prince. It was a fun read, but not one that blew me away. The hype surrounding the book confuses me a bit. I get that there is an addictive quality to the book and faeries are super trendy right now, but it wasn’t OH MY GOD, AMAZING! It was just okay. This is not a story that is going to stick with me. With that being said, I will be continuing on with the series. It has serious potential to be one of those series that just gets better with each new book.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

What did you think of The Cruel Prince? Did you think it was worth the hype? Let me know what you thought of the book in the comment section down below. 

P.S. I seriously hate Locke so much. I hope he dies in The Wicked King. Also, is it weird that I put the synopsis in the bottom? Do people care whether it’s included or not? Let me know!


Synopsis: 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.

 

Top 5 Books That I Think Will Be 5 Star Reads!

Recently, I’ve been trying not to set high expectations for books because I’m afraid they will let me down. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re going to fall in love with a book and have it just miss it’s mark. *cough Six of Crows cough*

With that being said, I think this trend is so interesting and fun. I love hearing people’s thought processes behind their book selections, so I thought I would take a stab at it myself.

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that the lovely Bionic Bookworm does. If you are interested in doing any of her topics on your blog she welcomes it! Don’t forget to check out her upcoming topics if you’re interested in participating in future Top 5’s! 

 

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1. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #3)

This is a given (or at least I hope it is). I loved the first two books in The Mistborn Trilogy (The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension). They were my favorite reads of 2017. I love the characters, the world, and need to see what happens after the ending of The Well of Ascension. Plus, Branderson is excellent at writing conclusions. The first two books had solid endings, so I have faith that he’ll bring things home with an epic conclusion. Also, I gave both of the previous books a 5 star rating, so the third book has got to be a 5 star read too, right?

 

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2. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #2)

I have yet to officially start The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. Most of the people I’ve heard talk about it say that it’s her best work yet. I really enjoy the Shadowhunter Chronicles world as a whole, but not every single book has blown me away. In fact, I feel sort of meh on The Mortal Instruments series. Literally, the only reason I read it was so that I could see the crossover with The Infernal Devices (which I LOVED) and so that I could read The Dark Artifices. I say again, I hear it’s epic and blows the other two series away.

The reason I chose Lord of Shadows over Lady Midnight for the 5 Star Rating is because I’m really not sure what I’ll think of Lady Midnight. I don’t hand a lot of 5 Star Ratings out, so while I know I will like the book, I’m just not sure if it will completely blow me away.

Lord of Shadows on the other hand has literally blown away everyone who has read it. I feel like I have not come across a review that wasn’t a rave review. Plus, it’s supposed to hit you hard in the feels and I’m more likely to give a book a higher rating if it hits me hard in the feels.

 

Red Sister

3. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor #1)

Okay, so now is when things get hard for me. As I said before, it takes a lot for me to give a book 5 Stars and it’s hard to predict what will be my new obsession. So the first book I’m going out on a limb on is Red Sister.

I’ve really gotten into the fantasy genre in the past year or so. This is a fantasy that has been on my radar because there are assassins and I live for assassins. Not only does this book feature assassins, but it’s all female assassins who I think are nuns? That concept just hooks me. Plus we get to see assassin school, which is always a good time. This book sounds like it is exactly what I’ve been in the mood for lately, so I’m hoping for 5 Stars.

 

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4. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

I have lots of good feelings about this book. I recently read Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson which I loved and am obsessed with (seriously, I need the sequel now). That book is a mystery like this one, and since reading it I’m in the mood for a good mystery.

Not only does this sound like a good mystery with an complex plot, but it gives me Inception/Memento vibes. It follows Aiden Bishop who is always too late to save Evelyn Hardcastle, so he is forced to repeat the same day over and over again. In order to get out of this loop, he has to solve the mystery. Playing with time and dimensions is a Christopher Nolan thing, and this sounds exactly like the kind of film he would direct. Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time, so the fact that it’s giving me these vibes tells me that this book could be next obsession.

 

The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo

5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Even though this book has a very similar title to the previous book, it is completely different. Honestly, this is probably my most random pick on the whole list because it’s literary fiction. Literary Fiction and I don’t always see eye to eye. It just is a genre that is hard for me to get into, because I’m usually bored by the story. I think this book might be different though.

It has gotten great reviews from a lot of BookTubers, one of them being Emily from Books with Emily Fox. I think that our taste in books is very similar, and she gave this book a great review! She described it more like chick lit than literary fiction, and I’m all about chick lit. Especially, chick lit that hits me in the feels, which it sounds like this book will do. So I think it’ll be a book outside of my reading preferences that will blow me away.


Those are the 5 books that I think I will end up giving 5 stars. This honestly was SO much harder than I thought it was going to be. Now I’m afraid that I won’t end up loving any of these books like I thought, but I’ll just have to read them and see.

When I do eventually read these books, I will do an updated post and let you know what I ended up thinking of them. Maybe try it again? I don’t know, we’ll see.

For now, let me know if you gave any of these books 5 Stars. Also, let me know which books you think you will give 5 Stars. I just want to know, because I think this topic is so interesting.

P.S. I’m back 🙂

 

Top Ten Series I Actually Need to Start but Haven’t!

Hey guys! Sorry for being a little MIA this past week. I had a run of extremely bad luck and then suddenly found myself super busy with Father’s Day and all. It’s been rough, but things have finally started to turn around. I’m back and will hopefully be posting more frequently.

Anyway today is Tuesday, so what better way to celebrate me being back than a Top Ten Tuesday. This meme is presented by the awesome people at The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s theme is “Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t.”

I find that I’m really good at starting series, but awful at finishing them. That being said, the list of series that I want to read is never ending so it was not very challenging putting together this list. Here is what I came up with!


1. The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan — Everyone talks about this series. Seriously, it’s all over the book community and I feel extremely left out! The first book is even sitting on my shelf giving me judgmental looks for not reading it. I’ve heard such good things about this middle grade series. Also Riordan’s writing is supposed to be very comedic which is right up my ally. I actually need to read this and see what all of the hype is about.

2. The Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab — This is another series that has taken the book community by storm. Again, I feel left out for not having read at least the first book. The premise sounds super cool too! I love the idea of parallel universes and don’t think I’ve ever read anything that explores this concept. Needless to say that this to is high up on my TBR.

3. Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin — I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this series. Some people love it. Others hate it. Then there are those who think the books got worse as they progressed. However, I’m a sucker for the memory loss trope and like how creepy the book sounds. Also, this series is getting a spin off series so I might as well hop on the bandwagon now, before there are like 6 books.

4. Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalo — Okay, so I’ve come to realize that I love historical fiction that takes place in London. I am also fascinated by the whole Jack the Ripper case. I’ve actually read two other books, Marking Time and The Name of the Star, and watched two TV shows that deal with this famous case. Also I’m a sucker for mystery and the whole “forbidden secret life” trope. The second book in this series is coming out in September and it sounds just as good.

5. Shadowshaper Series by Daniel José Older — I recently went to BookCon and received an ARC of the second book in this series, Shadowhouse Fall. I really enjoy urban fantasies and don’t read enough of them. This one sounds both interesting and unique. I love when these art forms are played with in books. I’m interested to see how it gets used in this series as they use paintings and music to connect with spirits.

6. Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi — This is another popular YA series that I for some reason have yet to read. There are so many of those on this list. This series seems like one of those books that you binge read because they’re crack that you can’t get enough of. I like book crack so I should probably read this.

7. Red Rising Series by Pierce Brown — I love the science fiction genre and don’t read enough of it. Many of my favorite BookTubers have raved about this series and it has been on my radar for a while. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I just haven’t. I finally have a copy of the book, so hopefully that pushes me to finally read it.

8. Themis Files Series by Sylvain Neuvel — This series just sounds so unique and interesting. I really enjoy books that are different and what is more different than a story surrounding this mysterious hand that appeared out of nowhere? The story is told through interviews, journal entries, transcripts, etc. Illuminae was told in a similar way and I liked reading a book structured like that. It just sounds cool, okay?

9. The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima — I have recently gotten into fantasy/YA fantasy and Regan from Peruse Project always raves about this series on her channel. She talks about it so much and it only makes me want to read the series more. What can I say, I’m a sucker for hype and have been looking to read more YA fantasy. It just seems like a good fit for me.

10. The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken — Speaking of hyped series, this is a series that I completed missed when it came out in 2012. Now there is a movie being made and I’m so behind. I’ve heard such good things about Bracken’s writing and really just want to see what all of the hype is about.


Those are the series that I haven’t read, but actually need to start soon. I’m not sure when I will actually get to these series as I have started a bunch of new series already this year. As I said before, I’m not great at finishing series so I’m trying to work on that. Although, it is only June which means I have plenty of room on my TBR for good new series.

Have you read any of these series? Which one should I start with? I’m leaning towards Percy Jackson or Shades of Magic, but I’m not sure. Are there any other series you think I need to read? Let me know down in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Top Ten Fantasy Novels That I’ve Recently Added to My TBR

Fantasy is a genre that I’ve recently gotten into, so I figured it would be a great genre to pick for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. Big thanks to The Broke and the Bookish who came up with such a cool topic for this week. Also, I’ve been adding fantasy books like crazy to my TBR thanks to the book community. They just sound so good and I can’t wait to dive into them. Here are the ones that I’ve recently added to my TBR.


1. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maasa court of wings and ruin

This is the third book in the ACOTAR series. It is the most recent fantasy novel that I have added to my TBR. I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury and holy hell, I loved it. I can’t wait to dive into the next one. I’m so glad that I read that book around the time of this release so I wouldn’t have to wait for it to come out. If you have not checked out this series, where have you been?

 

 


2. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare Lord of Shadows

This is the second book in The Dark Artifices series and the most recent release in the Shadow Hunters Chronicles. I literally know nothing about this book other than it’s Cassandra Clare’s most recent release (which is why I added it to my TBR). I do plan on reading it as soon as I finish the previous books. Currently, I’m on City of Heavenly Fire. I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Dark Artifices series and I cannot wait to actually get to it. Part of the reason I’m reading The Mortal Instruments series is so I can get to these books.

 


3. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwellthe last magician

I stumbled upon this book through the blogging community. I cannot remember who blogged about it (if it was you, definitely let me know in the comments), but as soon as I learned what this book was about I knew I had to read it. It takes place in modern day New York where magic is basically extinct. There are people who still have it, Mageus, but if they enter Manhatten they immediately become trapped by the Brink, which is a dark energy barrier. We follow this girl, Esta, who is a thief that can manipulate time and has been raised to steal magical artifacts. She goes on this final mission where she travels back in time to steal this ancient book. I think that that it contains a bunch of secrets that I believe will help free the Mageus. Please check out the full synopsis on GoodReads as it does a much better job at explaining things than me.

You guys know my love for heists, so as soon as I saw that our main character was a thief I was most definitely interested. Time travel is another thing that I love to read about in books, so I’m just super excited. The fact that it takes place in New York is an added bonus. Also that cover though. Unfortunately, I will have to wait to read it as it comes out July 18th.


4. Shadowshaper by Daniel José OlderShadowshaper.jpg

This book is the first book in an urban fantasy that takes place in New York. There is this supernatural order called Shadowshapers who can connect with spirits through paintings, music, and stories. It sounds like a really cool world and I love the fact that it is a diverse book. I’ve heard nothing but great things and am excited to see what it’s about. As you can see, I have a soft spot for stories that take place in New York.

I also met the author this weekend at BookCon and received an ARC of the sequel. Even more reason to start this series.


5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the dreamer

This is the first book in Laini Taylor’s new series. It is a recent release that a lot of people on BookTube have been talking about. I don’t know too much about it, but that’s okay. I’ve heard it’s best going in not knowing anything. However I do know that it does deal with dreams (hence the title) and that made me want to read the book. I am fascinated by dreams and love when the subject is explored. Also, I really loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and have been interested in reading more by this author. Adding this to my TBR was like a no brainer.

 


6. The Queen of the Tearling  by Erika Johansenqueen of the tearling.jpg

This is the first book in a series by the same name (I think). This is another fantasy series that I hear a lot of people talk about in the book community. It seems to be pretty good overall, though it does seem to have some mixed reviews. I guess some people were lead to believe that it was a mix between The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, and were let down because of that.

From the little I know, there is political intrigue and a really cool female protagonist. I’ve just heard a lot of people talk about it and want to see what it’s all about. Especially since I’ve gotten into the fantasy genre.


7. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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This is another fantasy series I’ve heard nothing but good things about. It is the first book in The Nevernight Chronicle, with the sequel set to release later this year. What interested me, aside from the fact that it has been getting a lot of buzz, is that it is about assassins. Assassins are right up there with spies and thieves for me. Our main character Mia basically goes to assassin school to become deadly so that she can get revenge on the people who destroyed her family. It just sounds awesome and I need to read it. Also, I absolutely love the cover.

 

 


8. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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I love that the world in this book is a matriarch. That’s probably the main reason I added this book to my TBR. You don’t get to see a matriarchal society very often and I love the idea. Plus the concept of three sisters fighting for one crown sounds really interesting. I like books that are dark and this definitely sounds like one of them.

 

 

 


9. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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This one got on my radar because I heard that there was a strong theme of female friendship in it. I don’t really know too much about this one either aside from the fact that one of our main characters is a Truthwitch. A Truthwitch has the ability to be able to discern the truth from lies, which sounds like a pretty awesome ability if you ask me. It is also the first book in a series that a lot of people in the book community talk about. The world sounds different and cool, so I’m in.

 

 


10. Flame in the Mist by Renee AhdiehFlame in the mist.jpg

Renee Ahdieh is an author I’ve been meaning to get into. So many people talk about The Wrath and the Dawn duology and how great it is. Those books are also on my TBR, but we’re talking recent adds to my TBR today. This is Ahdieh’s new book that just came out.

From my understanding this book was marketed as a Mulan retelling, but actually isn’t. The only similarity it shares is the fact that both lead characters impersonate men. There may be more similarities, I have not read the book so obviously I have no idea. However, the story is most definitely different from Mulan.  Mariko, our heroine, impersonates a peasant boy to infiltrate the Black Clan who attacked her convoy. It seems like a revenge fantasy turned love story? I’m not entirely sure, but I really like the trope of a woman pretending to be a man (She’s the Man anyone?). Also Mariko is basically a female samurai, which sounds awesome. I really just want to see what this book is about.


There are so many other fantasy novels that I’ve recently added to my TBR, but these are the most recent ones that I have yet to really talk about on my blog. I definitely wanted to showcase some other books today and not talk about the ones I usually talk about. Hopefully I can read at least half of these, if not all, before the end of 2017.

Aside from ACOWAR (which I already have plans to read with my friend Bella) and Lord of Shadows (which I can’t read until I finish the other books), which book on this list do you think I should read first? Are any of these books also on your TBR? Let’s chat about it in the comment section. If you have any other cool fantasy book recommendations that you think I should read, definitely let me know down below.