The Cruel Prince is more high fantasy than Black has attempted in the past. It's not just a story with faeries, like most she's done, but total immersion in Faerie. I loved her modern faerie stories so I was excited to read The Cruel Prince. It didn't disappoint.
I went through the majority of this book in one day. I just couldn't get enough! It has all the intrigue of Game of Thrones, with a healthy dose of teen angst. (Boy, do I love me some angst.) It moves at exactly the right pace and definitely leaves you wanting more.
Holly Black has a way of weaving the fantastical into reality that few other authors manage with any real success. Whether she's writing about vampires or faeries, Black creates worlds so real that you risk losing yourself in them.
One of the things that I've always loved about Black's writing is that she doesn't dwell on the romance, the way so many other YA/New Adult authors do. It's there, but it's not the main story. You've got strong females kicking ass and sometimes falling in love along the way, which we need more of. That being said...
I was dying for more romance in The Cruel Prince -- but not for the reasons you think. Cardan was becoming a very interesting character, with so much possibility. Exploring the romantic side of the story would have given him even more depth and catapulted this one from bloody awesome to breathtakingly brilliant. I hope we don't have to wait very long for the next instalment!
I used a free trial of Audible for this one (because I thought I might die of anticipation before I could afford to buy it.) The user interface of Audible is good, with merit badges and an easy way to share your progress. At almost £8 a month for one audiobook, it's not terrible value for money. (An audiobook runs about twice that.) To really make it worth the investment, though, I would like to see two audiobooks for that price.
Will I continue my subscription? Perhaps... I certainly wouldn't mind giving All the Crooked Saints
by Maggie Stiefvater a go. There are a couple of weeks before I have to decide so I'll let you know.