My coworker recommended The Cruel Prince while we were discussing what to read after Sarah Maas’ Court books. She said I had to read it. On pain of death. And them proceeded to tell me how to get an ARC for the follow up… In case I liked it.
I liked it. I liked it a lot.
I read both The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King in a day each. I hadn’t done that for awhile. Jude, the mortal heroine living in Faerie after seeing her parents be murdered, grabbed my attention from the very beginning and wouldn’t let go. It seems like we all want a badass these days and Jude is one but Black is quick to point out that she is not always a match for her fae opponents, physically or emotionally. There are constraints on her skills in politics and swordplay, but more importantly in coping with the onslaught of bullying and ostracism that she endures at fae hands due to her humanity. Even when she was failing I admired her strength and determination, the sheer tenacity of spirit with which she went after her goals. She is probably my favorite female fantasy character after Delilah Bard.
The best part about the series of which The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King are a part of is that despite having the usual sort of YA Fantasy points covered, both books never failed to surprise me in the most interesting ways. I gave them both five Stars on Goodreads and glowing reviews – as I’m doing here.
In the Darkest Part of the Forest has been a little slower going for me. Not because it’s bad but because at times the tension/stakes for the main character have been a bit overwhelming. I’ve needed to take a break to calm down! It reminds me of when Peter Falk tells Fred Savage in The Princess Bride that he can stop reading to him if the story is getting to be too exciting and intense. And Fred Savage says: “Nah… You can keep reading… if you want.” That’s me! Clutching the blanket and try to slow my heart rate.
Cover-wise: In the Darkest Part of the Forest is my fave. I think it best captures the content of the book.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Wicked King by Holly Black
In the Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black