Before I started reading it, I heard the most mixed reviews about this trilogy by Holly Black. People either fell in love with Jude and the world of Elfhame, or they hated it. I try not to learn about books in the negative or the positive before I read them so I can give a clear review without having someone else’s bias in my head, but I couldn’t ignore this one. I went back and forth for a long time, trying to decide if I should buy the first book and start it.
I knew that I had to read it. Even if I hated it, I would at least understand why others did. If I loved it, maybe I could still see why others hated it. It contains a very popular trope right now called enemies-to-lovers, and I’m always interested in more of those plots. So, I threw up my hands and ordered the first book. Then it sat around for a few more months before I picked it up.
The principal character Jude and her twin sister Taran are vivid characters that are simple to understand. Through the trilogy, they gain some wicked character development. Jude was a very fiery girl while Taran was quiet and obedient, and placing them as twins in the story was a brilliant move. They contrasted each other in a way that challenged both girls to become who they were meant to by the end of the trilogy.
Black built the magic in this Elfin world simply as well, but the characters make the danger of it very clear. It’s easy to forget that magic is dangerous in a place as beautiful as Elfhame, and Jude makes sure that the reader knows how many precautions she must take. The faery food can drug humans and make them vulnerable to the mischief of the Fae. But Black curses her Fae with their own disability: they cannot lie. Jude learns quickly to use this to her advantage.
I honestly loved these books. I can understand why people didn’t like Jude or the relationship she formed with the “cruel prince”. Also, I see why people wouldn’t like the twists and turns that this story takes, each one more unexpected and terrible than the last. But I appreciated the oddity of the story, and it felt like magic to read something that was in such a strange world.
I recommend this book to fans of fairy tale retellings, stories of the Fae, or readers looking to read outside of their preferred genres. I’ll list the individual ratings I gave the three books below this post. Thank you so much for reading this series review! Please let me know either down below in the comments or on Instagram (@litandleta) if you’d like to see me do more series reviews.
The Cruel Prince Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
The Wicked King Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
The Queen of Nothing Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Leave a Reply