The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was a dark faerie tale that had me hooked

Title: The Cruel Prince
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: January 2nd 2018, Little Brown Books
Pages: 370, Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5/5

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 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. 
I heard SO MANY good things about The Cruel Prince. My expectations were high. Not only because everyone in the blogosphere seemed to love it, but because I adored The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Cruel Prince seemed reminiscent of it. I had a weird relationship with The Cruel Prince. For the first 200+ pages I wasn't really feeling it; I never felt compelled to keep reading. That being said, when I started getting into it, I started really enjoying it and ended up LOVING IT. I really hope I love the sequel from the start, though!

👑 The world. It was pretty much all set in the faerie world. A lot of fae books I've read focus on the human world. Now, where's the fun in that?
👑 The characters. If you like morally grey characters, you'll love this book. They were cruel and violent and cunning. There wasn't a single purely good character in here, which made for an interesting read. I loved how complex the characters were and how they evolved throughout the book. Jude was such a fierce, smart, terrifyingly brilliant character. I loved the Bomb, Toad and the Ghost. They were great, and I loved their dynamics. Also: Carden. I think I love him?! He was an utter jerk initially, but he changed. It's all good. I also loved how fierce the fae were. Holly Black perfectly captured the deceptive, cunning nature of them.
👑 The family dynamics. I didn't love it because it was all cute and "aww family is everything", more because they were very dysfunctional and it was written super well! 
👑 The writing was utterly delectable. I loveee the way Holly Black writes. It's mesmerizing, enchanting, and completely captivating.
👑 The plot. HOLY SMOKES. It was intense. I wasn't that blown by this book in the beginning, but from page 200 things got crazy and gripping and dangerous - the plot twists, the danger and the darkness of the characters had me completely enamored. 
👑 The politics. I love it when books have politics in, especially fantasy books. Holly Black brilliantly crafted the world. It was never an overload of information. The violence, betrayal and trickery of the faerie courts made for such an exciting read!

Nothing in particular stands out to me. The only thing is, for some reason, my attention wasn't initially captured. 

The Cruel Prince is a dark, lyrical faerie tale filled with morally grey characters, scrumptious writing and a shocking, exhilarating plot. Holly Black is YA's Queen of Fae. 

I give it: 4.5/5 cupcakes