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The Cruel Prince
Cover of The Cruel Prince
The Cruel Prince
Folk of the Air Series, Book 1

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.

Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.

Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

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  • Lexile:
    760
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Holly Black is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children, including The Folk of the Air trilogy, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Eisner Award and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award and Mythopoeic Award.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 16, 2017
    When Jude Duarte was seven, she watched Madoc, general to the high king of Elfhame, slaughter her parents. Madoc then dragged Jude and her two sisters off to Faerieland, where he raised them as his own. Ten years later, Jude remains an outcast who is cruelly bullied by the other children of Faerie—the king’s youngest son, Prince Cardan, chief among them. Jude dreams of becoming a member of the High Court and the power that it confers, so when the opportunity arises for her to enter into the service of one of Cardan’s brothers, she seizes it, inadvertently placing herself at the center of a bloody coup and endangering the lives of everyone she loves. First in a trilogy, this spellbinding fantasy from Black (The Darkest Part of the Forest) reflects on the cost of ambition and explores the bomb-strewn border between love and hate. Breathtaking set pieces, fully developed supporting characters, and a beguiling, tough-as-nails heroine enhance an intricate, intelligent plot that crescendos to a jaw-dropping third-act twist. Ages 15–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2018

    Gr 9 Up-Jude Duarte, her twin sister Taryn, and her half-fey, half-human sister Vivienne are taken to be raised in Faerieland by Vivienne's father, Madoc, after he kills their parents. In order to survive, Jude must learn the ways of the Faerie Court, making enemies as she succeeds, including the youngest son of the High King, Prince Cardan, who is as cruel as he is handsome. Learning strategy from Madoc and becoming a spy for one of the princes, Jude attempts to outplay them all and must make sacrifices in order to save her family and the Faerie world itself. Caitlin Kelly captures the capriciousness and cruelty of the Fae, along with their sweet tones and charming but deadly personalities. Her Jude is both strong and vulnerable, and Kelly portrays her changing emotions well. Black's dark Faerie tale world draws listeners in and definitely leaves them wanting more. VERDICT Fans of her past works will want this one, as will those who enjoy Julie Tagawa, Sarah J. Maas, and Melissa Marr.-Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • AudioFile Magazine In this series opener, narrator Caitlin Kelly perfectly crafts the fierce and determined voice of 17-year-old Jude, a human who is desperately trying to fit into the faerie world despite having arrived against her will and under dire circumstances. When the opportunity to become a spy for one of the princes comes to pass, she's finally given a chance to take control of her life and find her place. Kelly smoothly transitions from one character to the next, creating energized dialogue that reflects the drama of the story. Listeners will be enchanted by Jude and her fantastical world of fast-paced adventure, political intrigue, and a hint of romance. M.D. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
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    Hachette Book Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Folk of the Air Series, Book 1
Holly Black
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