Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Cruel Prince - Holly Black

I don’t think this book is aimed at grown-ups. Which is a relief because I’m a grown-down. I also don’t care what ages books are aimed at because if I like them I like them. Did I like this book? You bet I did!!!

It was a delight from start to finish. A book that fosters the love of reading because it’s all a book should be. It’s Muggles in Faerie Land. It’s Game of Thrones for youngsters. It’s knights and damsels. It’s good and bad. It’s love and hate. It’s real and fantasy. It’s contemporary and traditional. And all of it balances out so well. This is the first in a series and when you reach the end I can almost guarantee you’ll be desperate for Part Two. 

It’s a clever book for it takes many of the elements so popular in contemporary adult fiction and renders them suitable and accessible for the younger age range without diluting any of the actions or the emotion contained within. Nor is there any sense that readers are being patronised, it’s so subtly done with some beautiful writing and descriptions, So you have the ubiquitous flawed narrator almost obligatory in todays writing and view the events from her perspective. The book is very character driven with some strong leads. Jude is a wonderful character leaping off the page at you insisting you feel what she feels and grapple with her conundrums, want what she wants even if it might not be quite right. It’s almost as if you are making the decisions with her. The characters are real, if that is not a a paradox in a fantasy novel, and many of them do horrible things and several of them have not very nice aspects to their characters. There’s anti heroes, villains, plotters and schemers.I’m not one for spoilers so I’ll say no more than state that some nasty things happen. In one sense so many of the elements in this book have been done before and you are reminded of them as you read but the execution is fresh and rich. It’s a well plotted story with some unexpected moments.  The ends aren’t completely tied up because there’s more to come. 

I get a feel that this is the next generation’s Narnia. How long do I have to wait for the next book?

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