Reviews: The Cruel Prince + Between the Blade and the Heart

pub 1/2/18 by Little, Brown Books
for Young Readers
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received ARC from pub for review
What happens when a young seven years old girl witnesses the murder of her parents at the hands of the Fey and is then stolen away, along with her twin and her older sister, to be raised in the High Court of Faerie? You get one very complex heroine, which was one of the many things I loved about this book. Now seventeen, Jude wants nothing more than to fit in, albeit by her own rules. She wants to show the fey, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest son of the High King who delights in torturing her, what she's capable of. But it's not the simple. She's got a lot of hate and resentment inside of her but also wants to find her place in the world, to love, and do the right thing. It's a lot of emotions in a world filled with cruelty and with people who will never be quite like her. Black's faeries are a dark classic – they're cruel, mischievous creatures who hate humans but thankfully cannot tell a lie. This is what Jude is up against. She goes a journey that I certainly didn't see coming and I found myself rooting for some unexpected surprises along the way.

Do I recommend? This was my first Holly Black book and I was super impressed! I can't wait to see what she does next in the series and while I wait, I might end up checking out her backlog.

pub 1/2/18 by Wednesday Books
Young Adult - Urban Fantasy
I'm a big fan of Valkyrie lore! I was first introduced to it through Lost Girl (anyone else watch that show?) and loved it in Thor: Ragnorok. So the idea of a whole book centered around these powerful women intrigued me! And in short, Hocking did a good job of bringing the mythology to life in contemporary times. The Valkyries' sole responsibility is to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them as soon as they receive the orders and Malin fully believes in these duties. Then she finds out that her mother disobeyed her orders once and her world is literally thrown into chaos. She doesn't know what to believe and more importantly, it's up to Malin to set things right when her mother's past comes back to haunt them. I liked Malin a lot and thought her struggle between what she was raised to believe and her new reality gave her depth. Plus, I'm a sucker for unlikely individuals banding together to fight and this book definitely had that. There was very cute guy named Asher (I really liked him!), her best friend (she was the Willow to Malin's Buffy) and her ex all by Malin's side. Although, the one aspect of this book that fell flat was the romance. There wasn't enough of it and what little it did have wasn't fleshed out to give me any feels. But in terms of world-building and action, I thought Hocking got that all right.

Do I recommend? This was another first for me as I've never read anything by Amanda Hocking before either! I would recommend it and am looking forward to the next book in the series.


  1. YAY CRUEL PRINCE!!! I haven't ever read any Amanda Hocking either but maybe I'll check this one out. My biggest January priority is reading the Air Awakens series after seeing how much you loved it!

  2. I love The Cruel Prince! I've reread it a few times already, and it still continues to be one of the best books I've read from Holly Black.


with love,