The Cruel Prince – The Folk of the Air #1 – Holly Black

I liked this book. I did, but one thing bugged me above all else. Jude hated being human and seemed to have low self-esteem because of it. She kept describing all the different Faeries with horns, tails, hooves and green skin as beautiful which baffled me because, you know, ick.

The book begins with a Fae named Madoc arriving at six or seven year-old Jude’s house and killing her mom and dad in front of her twin sister and older sister, Vivi.

It turns out that her mom was married to Madoc in Faerie but while he was away at war, she faked her and Vivi’s, his daughter, death and ran off to the human realm with another human. Madoc discovered the truth and killed them both. He then told the three girls that it was now his responsibility to raise them. He put them all on a horse and rode away to Faerie.

Ten years later, Jude and her twin Taryn have adjusted to Faerie and even love Madoc who has treated them well and has given them everything they need. Vivi is still not a fan of his.

But humans aren’t treated very nice in Faerie. Faeries get bored easily and think it’s entertaining to enthrall humans and make them do what they say or make unfair bargains with them which can end up badly for the humans. Humans who don’t have powerful fathers like Jude can end up being servants who waste away because their Faerie masters overwork them, starve them and forget to let them sleep. These humans do it happily because they are in a magical daze.

Madoc is a general so Jude and Taryn have protection but they get picked on at school by one of the princes and his friends. Taryn tells Jude that she makes it worse by being defiant and not cowering to them.

Jude hates that she is just human and has no powers. She’s an excellent swordsman though and thinks if she becomes a knight, it will earn her the respect of the Faeries. She just has to convince Madoc.

The story and plot were interesting enough that I want to continue with the series. Unfortunately, the next book doesn’t come out until January 2019. I didn’t realize that or I probably wouldn’t have started reading this series. I like binge reading so I choose series that have at least three books already published. Hopefully, I’ll still be interested by the time the second book comes out.

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