Parents' Guide to

The Cruel Prince: The Folk of the Air, Book 1

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Tricky fantasy will keep readers guessing until the end.

Book Holly Black Fantasy 2018
The Cruel Prince: The Folk of the Air, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 11+

Loved It!

The content in The Cruel Prince does include some light, clothes on kissing (some other implied things, but your kid might not understand), rare swearing (ass, hell damn, around 2 uses of bullsh*t) but trust me, this is nothing most tweens haven't seen in movies or read about already. Honestly, I just think it's up to your child. If they can deal with these things and you know they've encountered it, it shouldn't be a problem. This is a great book and I do recommend.
age 15+

Fantastic story; some violence, bullying, and anti-heros

This series is one of my most favorite book series of all time. I am a huge fan of darker fantasy and so this book blessed my life with its gothic vibes. It was very clean, which is actually quite hard to find in a Young Adult fantasy book these days. This book is full of faeries, but these are not your typical sing-song happy-go-lucky faeries with pixie wings and a little magic. The faeries in this book are manipulative, greedy, deceiving, and some are straight up murderers. Even the main protagonist, Jude, is not necessarily "good". Yet, she is beautifully human. She is extremely strong and fierce. I love her in every way. This book has some great romance, no sex, just some passionate kisses. There are very few swear words. The violence is a lot, but I wouldn't describe it as "graphic" or "frightening", especially for older teens. Violence is typical in fantasy novels; a few stabbings are the main violence in this book. The one thing that bothered me just a bit was the bullying. The main character, Jude, is bullied by a group of faeries at school, which includes Prince Cardan (who is another main character in this series). The bullying almost crosses a line when this group of faeries try to drown Jude in a river and later on, they almost kill her by forcing her to eat a fruit that can be fatal to humans like herself. When bullying causes almost death, I see a serious red flag. Yet, I think older teens would have the maturity to see this red flag and address the issue correctly. Overall, I am in love with this series and I cannot wait to for the final book to come out later this year.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (112 ):

Some stories downplay the ruthlessness of Faerie, but this action-packed, twisty tale of magical intrigue makes it clear that members of the fey can be ferociously deadly. The Cruel Prince quickly sets up the conflict between Jude and Cardan, and author Holly Black finds numerous ways to keep the narrative exciting and unpredictable. Readers may foresee that presence of a cliffhanger ending, but most will be caught off guard by other surprises scattered throughout the book. The dialogue is droll, the characters vibrant, and the action near-constant. Only the first volume of a new series, The Cruel Prince is already a solid winner.

Book Details

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