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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 (56 ratings)

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The Cruel Prince cover art

The Cruel Prince

Written by: Holly Black
Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly
Free with 30-day trial

₹199 per month after 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.

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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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    4 out of 5 stars

An amazing fantasy with a great listening experien

Hello! I listened this novel (that's still reading folks so no one come at me and say but you didn't read this book so you are not a bookworm 🙂). It was a great experience bc it was quite time saving as I could juggle other stuff. I did phase out from time to time but i could just rewind it quite easily.
Coming to the novel, I really liked this book. Slow for most of the part, this book just pick up halfway and you won't see that stuff coming! 😮 My first Holly Black book and what a marvelous setting and writing! Can wait to read The Wicked King! 💜

2 people found this helpful

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dark & unpredictable

"They talk about honour but what they really care about is power. I am good enough with a blade, knowledgeable in strategy. All I need is a chance to prove myself."

This is my second modern fiction and I feel like I have been living under a rock. As a kid, I woke up one day to realise that everyone in the fellowship of the ring is male and dumped fantasy for contemporary fiction. But how delightfully the world of fantasy fiction has changed!

A female protagonist skilled at fighting and strategy, and never making herself smaller than the male characters! Being an emotional being with empathy and desire AND keeping her eyes on the real prize! And blazing with all of her fury at moments, that the media I have consumed so far, I have only seen male characters allowed to express — this is clearly not a review. I'm a contemporary-fiction reader delving into the fantasy land after over a decade.

Totally loved the iconic moment between Jude and the cruel prince 🔥

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Very boring

the story is soo boring i fell asleep.. and the narrator has an annoying voice

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story is good but would have improvised narration

I didn't like narration very much! should have added male voices and various people in narration, rest no complains , I really enjoyed the story

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A Dark jewel indeed!

And amazing journey with an extremely compelling plot. The dark and thrilling nature of the story is what kept me reading. The characterization is complex and Unique. I recommend this book to all the thriller-fantasy lovers.

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  • Audible Customer
  • 04-10-20

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
  • 12-12-18

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
  • 11-02-18

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ricqui
  • 13-06-22

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
  • 06-02-21

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!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-06-18

Not What I Expected...

Reading the description of the story initially, I thought it just sounded like just another mortal girl in an immortal world that happened to be a love story. I was wrong. I fortunately caught sight of the word 'antihero' in another person's review of the book, and it was enough to intrigue me because I'm a sucker for a good antihero. And oh buddy, is the main character, Jude, a delightful type of antihero! I shall name my first born after her. Give it a listen - it's fun, it's dark, and it has some fantastic characters.

25 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicky Hemingway
  • 21-01-18

A must read!

A brilliant story and a brilliant performance! I cannot recommend this book enough. Bring on book 2

17 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurie
  • 29-09-18

Awful

This book was recommended by audible based on previously read books, but this is aimed more for a young teen instead of an adult. Probably good for a young teen but I don’t recommend for anyone older than 14.

14 people found this helpful

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  • trog
  • 30-01-18

Fabulous

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, the story draws you in, so you just have to carry on listening. Can't wait for the next book.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie Edwards
  • 23-07-18

How voice acting can make or break a book

A typical YA novel that hits it story beats well with twists that keep you hooked through out.

Sadly the narrator some times makes it hard to tell which characters are speaking (as some of the male voices sound similar) and when it is Jude thinking, or Jude speaking.

It is an enjoyable listen and I will be looking over for the second in the series.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie
  • 30-10-18

Fantastic twisty story - eventually

The last third of this book is excellent. Secrets, lies, politics, murder, betrayals and twists. If only it hadn't taken so long to get there.

9 people found this helpful

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  • CurlyBR
  • 04-11-18

The ending has me gagging for book 2!

basically I need the next book asap k thanks bye. no seriously. right right right now. Here's to spoiler free reviews 😉

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MM
  • 19-05-18

Lots of twists

I loved this book. Although I found the narrator's voice a little distracting initially I did get used to it and the plot is superb. There are many twists and turns, only one or two of which I suspected. Very entertaining with a great lead character. In fact, the lead character and the plot decisions elevate this book above some of the well-worn fantasy tropes I was expecting which was extremely refreshing.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-12-18

Best book ever

Truly loved this book, found the narrative engaging and calming. I believe it for a teen market but enjoyable for all ages, very well written and intriguing story. Can't wait to see what awaits jude in the land of fairy.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie-ann S
  • 15-01-18

Love it

What an amazing story. This girl isn't the most beautiful or powerful but this doesn't deter. Really enjoyed, can't wait for the next!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-04-18

good

was good but the music annoyed me during the prologue and epilog and at the beginning of book 2

5 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick Lancaster
  • 21-02-20

The BEST book I have read in a long time

I’ll start by saying that if you’re looking for a lighthearted, happy story, then this book is not for you. This book is dark. It is dark and not particularly happy. That being said, I cannot love it enough. I was absolutely hooked from the first chapter and devoured the whole book in two days. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but what I will say is that the story is fast paced, with so many twists and turns in the plot that every time you think you know where the storyline is heading, something throws it into a whole new direction. The characters are brilliantly flawed and the descriptions are so beautifully done I could see every detail in my minds eye. I LOVED this story so much and I simply can not recommend it enough. I have not found a series I have loved this much since Harry Potter. If you have not already read The Cruel Prince do yourself a favor and pick it up ASAP! You can thank me later.

4 people found this helpful

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  • manga_me_over
  • 01-06-18

great

i really enjoyed this book. It was faced paced and kept me on my totes. Downside I wanted more character development and romance.

4 people found this helpful

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  • S. Humberstone
  • 13-11-21

I tried...

I really wanted to like this book, and gave it a good six chapters. Unfortunately, the writing is just average and I couldn't stomach it anymore.

You lost me at the beastiality aspect, the way that Jude talks directly to the reader, the simplicity of the dialogue, the shallow descriptions, and Jude just accepting that people close to her are killed.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • nikki
  • 06-07-21

More teen than young adult

Definitely a story aimed at younger listeners - it was disappointing and lacked much depth in terms of its characters and its descriptions. The narration maintained the same time whether it was a chill conversation or an attack on someone…made it very unexciting. It wasn’t bad, but IMO definitely not great either. If you want a relaxed story just to listen to in the background maybe this is a good option for you but I wouldn’t recommend it, especially not after reading exciting fantasy books such as a court of roses and thorns etc.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-07-21

decent

Jude is annoying - she doesn't know what she wants. Overall a decent story, but not as good as everyone raves about it

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-11-22

Couldn’t stop listening

Just downloaded this by chance and I loved it! I found it far better than the Acotar series for some reason! Highly recommend!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adriana Baddeley
  • 18-11-22

Original plot line

I love the originality of this story. The character development is fantastic. The world building and the unexpected twists in the story. I also fine the writing style so witty. Beautiful use of words. I’ve read this series at least 5 times and I do t get tired of it. It is Holly blacks best work. I really like Caitlin’s audiobook she has a nice voice with which she interprets Perfecto toy all characters

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua
  • 17-11-22

Went in bored and curious, came out appeased

Don't buy into the hype or you will be disappointed, but... It gets good, really, effing good.

Plot is a little weak and there is a little too much peace time between scenes of heavy conflict. however, when there is action you probably won't be able to hit pause, and 'THAT' scene between Jude and Cardan will probably be on repeat a couple of times.

Strongest points of this story are characters and romance, weakest are the overall plot and world building.

Choice of voice actress was the strongest factor for this story, well done.

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  • AlexL
  • 17-11-22

Entertaining

I really liked the story. It was quite predictable but still very enjoyable. Looking forward to reading the next in the series.