I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Holly Black is my latest author crush. It helps that many of her books feature the Fae and Fae characters are one of my favourite things.
The Cruel Prince was one of those books that I asked my public library to order and then fidgeted while I waited for it to arrive and to be catalogued. It was worth the wait, in my opinion. It may be a young adult book, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying it too.
I like Black’s version of the Fae—they don’t play nice, they aren’t always fond of mortals, and there are rules that both sides have to follow. Jude is a mortal girl, living in the Fae world, trying to fit in despite the sneers of her contemporaries at school. She and her mortal sister are picked on and disparaged by the princes and princesses of the Realm of Faerie. And, of course, there’s a boy—Prince Cardan, the cruel prince of the title—who captures her imagination, though maybe not in a good way. Jude decides that if she can’t be accepted by playing nice, perhaps she can scheme and plot her way to a protected position in her adopted world and she proves to be highly adept at it.
It’s pretty obvious where this story will be heading in the second book—Jude & Cardan obviously have some chemistry, despite the rather evil trick on Cardan that Jude indulges in. However, it’s not immediately clear how Black is going to change these passionate enemies into a couple. Now I just wish there wasn’t a whole year to wait for the next installment.