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  • The Cruel Prince

  • The Folk of the Air, Book 1
  • Written by: Holly Black
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly
  • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (499 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The start of a thrilling new fantasy series from best-selling author Holly Black about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a dangerous web of royal faerie intrigue.

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.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.

Dramatic and thrilling fantasy blends seamlessly with enthralling storytelling to create a fully realised and seductive world, brim-full of magic and romance.

©2018 Holly Black (P)2018 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about The Cruel Prince

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Liz
  • 2019-02-04

Exciting Fantasy Story with Problematic Romances

Overall I think this is a really great audiobook: Holly Black did such an amazing job building the Faery world, that it was easy to get immersed. The plot was interesting, exciting, and full of twists. The narration was excellent. But the romance elements were problematic for me. I don't want to veer into spoiler territory, so I'll just say that the whole "boy is mean/abusive to girl, but only because he really likes her," is an outdated cliché, and that the young adult readers that this book is marketed towards deserve better.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Decent book filler

This is a decent filler book, I didn't love it because it lacks what I love most (steamy/romance/magic). It is ultimately a love story with a twist but this book doesn't show any of it, there is no romance what so ever, I'll give it that there was one kiss but it wasnt legendary in any way, I loved the prince character, I understand the cruelty and where it comes from, I root for his sarcastic smile to be a shield for his feelings, and I definetly love a dark romance but while there is some good character development from the main protagonist, the love story seems a little forced or non existent. The magic doesn't get much attention, it is mentioned yes, but the most powerful magic shown is glamour... compulsion, there are other books that are better at that and more entertaining.

I didn't hate the book, but it wasnt memorable overall, as the title I gave it, I find it a good filler in between other great book finds.... The best characteristic it has, is the politics scheming.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable addictive listen

I’ve never heard of Holly Black before, but I picked this book up on a whim. At the beginning I really wasn’t sure what I was going to think as it starts off with a bang. But the world was described so well, the narration done so well, that it grew and grew on me. As the chapters wore on, the drama and action escalated, and I found myself needing to listen even when I wasn’t driving or doing something else. I just had to find out what happened.
It was compelling throughout, and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not a fantastic story.

A bit childish to my taste. Maybe it was overrated, maybe I had too high expectations. Bad romance all over the place. The performance was good though ! She has a nice voice making it easy to listen to this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bought as a 'daily deal' fill in

#Audible1 I had originally bought this as a fill in to read, awaiting my next credit purchase. Was pleasantly surprised that I found the story quite interesting, and enjoyed how the characters grew. Although based on fantasy, I still got drawn into everyone's plight, and always looked forward to the next chapter. The narrator was very good; clear and distinctive between each individual so I had no trouble following along.

In the end, even though it WAS a 'fill in' for me, I can see me possibly purchasing Book 2 as I would like to know how the story comes to conclusion.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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this needs to be a movie!

Move over Harry and Catnyss, there's a new Queen in town.
I am rushing to read book 2!!

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Cringe and distasteful

Constant teenagers dangerous and degrading bullying with vibe of bordeline sexual assault .

Unrelatable stupid girly "not like other girl" Pick-me main character.

It was a suffering to go through and used the story as background noise


highly not recommended as a whole because it's cringe unbearable to listen.

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great read

good story. I enjoyed the main character for evolution of the story. could have had a more concluded ending though

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wicked and whimsical

I enjoyed this story, it didn't go in the way I expected in severa key plot momentsl and it was different and original in a lot of the right ways. I liked the cast of characters and I enjoyed the performance. totally worth the monthly credit I invested into it!

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Overall a great story!

Really enjoyed this book and I’m glad that I’ve finally read it. I do wish there was a bit more world building but other than that it’s great! I love the enemies to lovers trope so it did not disappoint.

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  • Audible Customer
  • 2020-10-04

Star performance by Caitlin Kelly

Armed with a sharp wit and a heart both passionate and fierce, Jude's soul-searching journey to fit in a world where she doesn't belong; Holly Black's imaginative and lyrical prose; and Caitlin Kelly's lively narration together make The Cruel Prince as addictive as Faerie fruit itself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chrisy
  • 2018-12-12

My Favourite Book of 2018

Princes, faeries, espionage, 11/10 writing, 11/10 narration. My favourite book this year. Extremely highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Birgitta
  • 2018-02-11

A bit slow - but worth it

The story was a slow burner for me, however in the end I cannot wait for the next one!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ricqui
  • 2022-06-13

EPIC!!

I won’t lie, it was a slow but enjoyable start. However, the story picks up pace as you go along and by the end, it’s a full on sprint to the finish. There are a few plot twists that I did not see coming which just kept me glued to the story. I highly recommend if you’re into complex fairy kingdoms with a bit of confusion and a touch of violence. This is not for the romantics 😉

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-02-06

just wow

I was debating for a while if i should read this book. I saw it recommended by a lot of people. And i have to admit...i loved it!! It was one wild ride. I cant wait for the next book!!