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. It's an especially neat trick because the experience of reading a novel like this is something like being surrounded by magic. Jude, who possesses just enough badness that you really root for her…will have fans eager to follow her.
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By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a 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.
Jude was seven years old 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.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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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When Jude Duarte was seven, she watched Madoc, general to the high king of Elfhame, slaughter her parents. Madoc then dragged Jude and her two sisters off to Faerieland, where he raised them as his own. Ten years later, Jude remains an outcast who is cruelly bullied by the other children of Faerie—the king’s youngest son, Prince Cardan, chief among them. Jude dreams of becoming a member of the High Court and the power that it confers, so when the opportunity arises for her to enter into the service of one of Cardan’s brothers, she seizes it, inadvertently placing herself at the center of a bloody coup and endangering the lives of everyone she loves. First in a trilogy, this spellbinding fantasy from Black (The Darkest Part of the Forest) reflects on the cost of ambition and explores the bomb-strewn border between love and hate. Breathtaking set pieces, fully developed supporting characters, and a beguiling, tough-as-nails heroine enhance an intricate, intelligent plot that crescendos to a jaw-dropping third-act twist. Ages 15–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Jan.)
Praise for The Cruel Prince:
A New York Times Bestseller
An IndieBound Bestseller
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2018
An ALA 2019 Children's Notables List Pick
"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
"Lush, dangerous, a dark jewel of a book. Black's world is intoxicating, imbued with a relentless sense of peril that kept me riveted through every chapter of Jude's journey. And Jude! She is a heroine to lovebrave but pragmatic, utterly human. This delicious story will seduce you and leave you desperate for just one more page."—Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom
"I require book two immediately. Holly is the Faerie Queen."—Victoria Aveyard, #1 bestselling author of The Red Queen series
* "[S]pellbinding....Breathtaking set pieces, fully developed supporting characters, and a beguiling, tough-as-nails heroine enhance an intricate, intelligent plot that crescendos to a jaw-dropping third-act twist."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Another fantastic, deeply engaging, and all-consuming work from Black that belongs on all YA shelves."—School Library Journal, starred review
* "Jude, who struggles with a world she both loves and hates and would rather be powerful and safe than good, is a compelling narrator. Whatever a reader is looking forheart-in-throat action, deadly romance, double-crossing, moral complexitythis is one heck of a ride."—Booklist, starred review
"This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life. Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in."—Kirkus Reviews
* "Black, quite rightly, is the acknowledged queen of faerie lit, and her latest shows her to be at the top of her game, unveiling twists and secrets and bringing her characters vividly to life."—VOYA, starred review
"With complicated characters, a suspenseful plot, and a successful return to the Faerie setting of many of her popular books, Black's latest is sure to enchant fans."—The Horn Book
"Another enthralling story in Black's fantasy catalog."—PASTE.com
"Black has a compelling series about fairies, politics and finding your place in the world, starting with this novel, which I read in a single day."—USA Today
Praise for Tithe:
YALSA's Teen Top Ten
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
New York Public Library's "Best Book for the Teenage Reader"
* "A gripping read."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Gr 9 Up—Jude Duarte, her twin sister Taryn, and her half-fey, half-human sister Vivienne are taken to be raised in Faerieland by Vivienne's father, Madoc, after he kills their parents. In order to survive, Jude must learn the ways of the Faerie Court, making enemies as she succeeds, including the youngest son of the High King, Prince Cardan, who is as cruel as he is handsome. Learning strategy from Madoc and becoming a spy for one of the princes, Jude attempts to outplay them all and must make sacrifices in order to save her family and the Faerie world itself. Caitlin Kelly captures the capriciousness and cruelty of the Fae, along with their sweet tones and charming but deadly personalities. Her Jude is both strong and vulnerable, and Kelly portrays her changing emotions well. Black's dark Faerie tale world draws listeners in and definitely leaves them wanting more. VERDICT Fans of her past works will want this one, as will those who enjoy Julie Tagawa, Sarah J. Maas, and Melissa Marr.—Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY
Gr 9 Up—Human Jude has been raised along with her twin, Taryn, and half-sibling, Vivi, in Faerieland by Madoc, the faerie who murdered her parents. This intricate realm is filled with beautiful, blood-thirsty, playful, and powerful faeries who seem to have no patience or use for humans beyond enslaving them with magic. Despite this, Jude is determined to earn respect and a place in it all by becoming a knight. First in a planned trilogy, this YA fantasy features a political scramble reminiscent of Game of Thrones, with spies, manipulation, romance, swordplay, betrayal, and an intoxicating darkness that manages to enrapture Jude and readers. Black has created a brutal and captivating world, filled with complex characters and their intricate and layered relationships. Jude is a mighty heroine; strong, smart, cunning, and yet completely vulnerable. Teens meet her as she's no longer interested in restraining her emotions and actions and is willing to give up anything in order to work for what she wants, which makes for a powerful and dangerous damsel getting herself out of distress. VERDICT Another fantastic, deeply engaging, and all-consuming work from Black that belongs on all YA shelves.—Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ
Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black's latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)