Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Politics
The journey with the sequel of “The Cruel Prince” begins with five months having passed since our courageous lead Jude Duerte had played a role in crowning Carden as the High King of Faerie and has taken on the position of seneschal. Much to Carden’s dismay, Jude being assigned the role of seneschal came with a cost as he would be under Jude’s control for a year and a day. This unusual companionship brought out the worst of one another as Cardan was not pleased to be controlled as a puppet. Meanwhile, Jude being the mastermind behind the crowning of Jude was given the freedom to make decisions for Carden and that comprised of having to counterbalance formidable political alliances and the possibility of having one of her trusted allies betraying and interfering in her plans.
The story started off at such an excruciatingly slow pace, with Jude trying to balance all the events happening in her life, predominantly having to babysit Carden and ensuring he says the right words to satisfy the Kingdom. Though, it was entertaining to watch Jude dominate Carden, it was repetitively noted by Jude as to how much power she has over Carden. As the reader, it put me off as the plot developed and it was constantly used against the other.
On a positive note, the book did pick up in the second quarter, revealing the plot twists, surprise kidnapping and betrayal which made the story even more alluring. Each character had their own battles to play, however, the sibling relationship between Vivi, Taryn and Jude was written in such an intricate way, which made it extremely captivating to read.
Jude’s dilemma with having to trust her adoptive father Madoc, the Great General of the High King whom she looked up to ever since she was brought in to the Faerie was aggravating and having to see her overcome with anxiety whenever the two are on their own revealed how much she was out of her element and that she is playing a big game with experienced players and yet as the player it displayed her lack of inexperience which she managed to conceal with her over confidence.
All in all, the book was compelling to read with romance, and well-developed characters, which made the pages go flying by. The book ended with a cliffhanger, filling me with such anticipation to reach my hand out for the third and final book “The Queen of Nothing”.