Magazine article School Librarian

The Cruel Prince

Magazine article School Librarian

The Cruel Prince

Article excerpt

Black, Holly

The Cruel Prince

Hot Key Books, 2018, pp400, [pounds sterling]7.99 978 1 4714 0727 7

The Wicked King

Hot Key Books, 2019, pp336, [pounds sterling]12.99 978 1 4714 0803 8

When their parents are killed before their eyes, twin sisters Jude and Taryn and older sister Vivienne are stolen from the mortal world by the faerie general who despite having just murdered their mother and father brings them up as his own daughters together with his infant son. The Cruel Prince begins ten years later as the girls now in their teens strive to fit in and be accepted in the glittering and hostile faerie realm of Elfhame, which they do with varying degrees of success. It is a strange home but it is really the only home they have ever known.

We see this struggle to belong from Jude's viewpoint, her ambition is to have status and be a knight in the High Court which is unheard of for a mortal. Their elder sister has returned to the human world, but the twins still go to school. They now endure daily clashes during lessons with the disdainful beautiful young fey of the inner court including the malicious and self-centred Prince Cardan who especially enjoys tormenting Jude.

There is an obvious dynamic undercurrent of dark attraction between Jude and Cardan which develops throughout the story. Without giving too much away Jude strikes a bargain with Cardan to protect the futures of those she loves. In a dramatic turn of events driven by a scheming Jude and her allies, Cardan becomes king and she becomes the power behind the throne for a year and one day. …

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