Hi everyone! Happy February! This is the best time of the year to curl up with a book by the fireplace and I think I have a recommendation that you will all really like! Happy reading!
What to Read if you are looking for a Whole New Fantasy World
|Photo from Amazon.com|
Wow. I think that that was one of the more prominent words in my head at the conclusion of The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black. The book is an absolutely decadent and delightful journey into the world of the Faerie, a shimmering, gilded, and entirely dangerous place. This book is entirely successful at creating a new fantasy world that is unique from the other books that I have read about Faeries (quite a feat nowadays, considering that Faeries seem to be quite the popular topic). The land is both scintillating and perilous, with Black utilizing vivid and gorgeous imagery to convey the nuances of the world. The plot of this story is also one that I promise will not disappoint. Every page is filled with breathtaking plot twists and whispers of deception: you never know who exactly it is that the main character, Jude, can trust. In fact, at times you are unsure if you can trust Jude herself to do the right thing and have pure intentions.
This brings me to what is undoubtedly my favorite aspect of this book: the way that it requires the reader to think about questions of morality. (I promise this is not a spoiler, it happens in the first chapter) Jude witness a man kill her parents when she was only a child. She remembers the experience and she remembers the man taking her and her sisters away to live with him in the Faerie world. Yet, she still sees this man as her father and loves him in a twisted way. Is this wrong? That is the question whose answer still eludes me, even after finishing the story. The novel is peppered with questions such as these, perfect in their ability to make the reader truly think about what he or she thinks of the morality of the situation. There are characters who appear in this story that are not as good as they seem, characters who are not as bad as they seem, and characters who are unapologetically morally gray. This is what makes the book truly come to life. You won’t be finding a Mary Sue in this story, that’s for sure. Jude is a phenomenal main character, who is clever, motivated by her desire to fit in in a society that she has no place in, and a strange mix of ruthlessness and restraint. She is certainly compassionate, while maintaining a hard edge that was undoubtedly passed on to her through her years at the faery court.
Please read this novel. Read this novel for the breathtaking, twisting, turning, tumbling plot that is really quite a roller coaster ride. Read this novel for the stunningly detailed new world that Holly Black creates out a mishmash of tales that allows her creation to seem familiar and entirely new all at once (as paradoxical as that may sound). But, most of all, read this novel because it will make you think. It will make you question your position on moral stances, it will make you question the actions of characters, it will make you question whether certain emotions can be right or wrong, it will make you question how far it is okay to go in the name of revenge. And read this novel for the cast of characters that are flawed, human (or, in some circumstances faery) and yet you still want to root for as they make mistakes and struggles to do what is right. And when you finish the book, move on to the sequel The Wicked King, which just recently came out. (You guys won’t have to wait many months to read the sequel like I did! You are very lucky people!) Enjoy your reading!
P.S. If you want to buy this book, here is the handy link to amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Prince-Folk-Air/dp/1478923733