November 24, 2019

"Black is a master at world-building, conveying integral details without that information ever seeming tedious or encyclopedic, whether you're well versed in faerie or a newcomer to the genre....the experience of reading a novel like this is something like being surrounded by magic."―The New York Times Book Review

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•♛• Synopsis •♛•
Jude was seven 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.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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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•♛• Review •♛•
First things first... this was my first read from the infamous Holly Black and I was beyond impressed with what I found. Her writing and the world she created were both eloquent and ethereal. I fell in love with her words and I think I may have fallen in love with the least liked characters of all!

Now on to my issues...
I'm going to be of the minority here. I know this. I accept this. And I'm good with this. I didn't like Jude. At all. She drove me absolutely nuts and as much as I wanted to admire her fight and her gumption, I couldn't. I found her to be pathetic, senseless, impulsive, and impudent. She continued to play a game she didn't know the rules of. She constantly put herself into situations she didn't know how to get out of. She forever and a day made assumptions about people (especially Cardan) without actually knowing them. I get making judgments based on appearances and observations, but she only took the negative and never analyzed the positive. I'm trying to remember if there was ever a heroine I hated more than I hated Jude. I'm drawing a blank. She lacked respect, loyalty and honor.

I have wished for many things over the years, but the first wish of my heart was that none of this was real.

If that was truly her wish, then why doesn't she go home. And I'm not talking about Madoc's house. I'm talking about her real home. Why was she putting herself through all of this mess if there was another alternative? She's human. She can live among humans. What's the problem? Oh yeah, I guess the story would have to end there, huh? I just don't get why she was so desperate to fit in when it was beyond obvious that she'd never fit in because she's human!! When she's given the opportunity to go home, she not only spurns the chance, she scorns it. I wanted her to fall into a sinkhole.

"I like for things to happen, for stories to unfold. And if I can't find a good enough story, I make one." - Locke

Was I the only one who saw some foreshadowing with these words? Could the dude be more obvious? And yet, this naive, oblivious chick, who slithers like a snake, 'beyond her station', who believes that she is all-knowing and all-powerful, didn't see it. Not so smart now eh? I thought it was hilarious how many ways and times this phrase was made and she didn't have a clue of what was really going on. If the best friend of your enemy who has enjoyed making your life miserable suddenly ingratiates himself to you, be suspicious!!

I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.
I hate that most of all.
Even if, by some miracle, I could be better than them, I will never be one of them.

If you know this, why do you keep pushing? I get that I'm supposed to cheer you on, hoping you vanquish your enemies and triumph in enormous ways, but I only wish for your downfall. I know that's bad. I know I'm probably the only one. But here I am, at the end of the book, and once again you've annoyed me. I can only hope that Cardan finds some way to punish you... severely. Maybe even let Madoc in on that action.

I'll probably read the next book, The Wicked King, because I have a signed copy sitting on my shelves, but it's only because I want more of Cardan and Madoc. I can't get enough of those characters and I can only hope and pray that I'll finally get their perspectives. I can't stand being in Jude's head for a minute longer than I have to.


I feel like I'm reading a completely different book than everyone else. With all of these five-star ratings, I thought for sure Jude, as the protagonist and narrator, would be this incredible heroine that would blow all other heroines away. She would be the new epitome to which all future heroines would be measured. She would dazzle me with her strength and spunk, making me fangirl all the way to the end. Am I reading the same book?

What I'm getting is a pitiable human girl trying to be something she's not. This sounds familiar. All too familiar. I've read so many books with other Judes before. Too big for their britches, rash and reckless, and too foolhardy to pause and reflect. I'm unimpressed. Same goes for Cardan, Taryn (effin beeyatch), Locke, etc. The only character I seem to find any caring for is Madoc. Love that dude.

Ah well, I'll continue reading and see if my opinion changes...

•♛• About Holly Black •♛•
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.

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