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.
It's not a cliffhanger, per se, more like a shocking ending that leaves you desperate for the next book but you could technically stop here... If you're a crazy person.
Poison and stabbings and all whole manner of other not nice things.
I didn’t want to put it in that pile so it was time to read.
And….. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I loved it but… Oh yes. I liked it very very much.
It was delightfully twisted. Wrong… And not always in the right ways.
Reading it was an experience.
I’ve seen a lot of people say that they didn’t like Jude but I did. She’s a human living in a world of non-humans. She’s treated by the fae as lesser… Like she is nothing. Lowlier than the dirt beneath the gentry’s feet. I completely understood her desire to raise herself up. To be more. To not let them see her fear, even when she was terrified. To prove that she was equal - if not better than - them. I got it. I understood. And I’m honestly mystified as to how people could criticize her for it. The fae are not human but Jude - despite her fae-tainted morality - was very much so.
What I couldn’t understand for the majority of this book was why people liked Cardan so much! He starts off as a right prick. An epic asshat of the highest tier of asshattery! I disliked him so freaking much! But then… As it goes on… He changes. Or, you, the reader, change. Your perspective on him and his actions changes until you’re like, “OMG! Huh!” And then you kinda like him, even if you don’t love him. When I finished the book, I immediately went back and re-read some of the worst Cardan being a dick scenes and I could see it! I could see what I’d missed! It was right there for me to see… If only I looked properly!
Holly Black’s writing shot up in my estimation with that trick. She created a richly detailed world with vibrant characters, yes, but it was her skill with the smoke and mirrors that won me over completely.
And I’m so glad that I waited to read it and didn’t have to endure a years wait after that freaking ending! I actually didn’t see it coming. I should have. I owned the second book, I knew the title and had read the blurb and had even read reviews! I knew who became king but… Nope! I actually spent a nice period of time while reading pondering who exactly the Wicked King would be (and then reminding myself) and then bam! Death and madness and then another bam! Twisty twisty goodness and then a king! And I felt stunned by it all despite knowing the outcome! I guess I just didn’t know the journey to the destination and that’s what shocked, surprised and delighted me.
It was all a lot of fun.
I found the entire book gripping and easy to immerse myself in. I never had any trouble with all the scheming and I didn’t find the lack of romance - the fox freak flirtation doesn’t count - a detraction. The possibilities of what could happen in each chapter were endless, the push/pull connection between Cardan and Jude was riveting and the possibilities for the rest of the trilogy are the same.
I finished the book genuinely excited for what comes next and thanks to my procrastination skills, I have the rest of the series waiting for me to dive into! Hurrah!
So, yeah. Needless to say, I recommend this book, lol.
Love it! It's eye-catching but simple.
It's prickly and matches the story quite well as it is not a tale of sunshine and rainbows.
“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.”
“Have I told you how hideous you look tonight?” Cardan asks, leaning back in the elaborately carved chair, the warmth of his words turning the question into something like a compliment.
“No” I say, glad to be annoyed back into the present. “Tell me.”