books like the cruel prince
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13 Books Like The Cruel Prince

13 Books Like The Cruel Prince

As fans of the magical world of Fey ourselves, we’ve come bearing 13 books like The Cruel Prince for you fantasy fans. 

Holly Black is crowned ‘Queen of Faeries”, and for good reason. The Cruel Prince is dark and hauntingly beautiful, and it is a tale that carries all themes of political machinations, betrayal, murder, cruelty, romance, and brilliance.

The Cruel Prince weaves the tale of Jude surviving the brutal world of fey as a mortal.

In a world so cruel, one must harness a little brutality in themselves to survive. All clean-cut morals and values are out the window with this read.

If you’ve binged The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King, and The Queen of Nothing as I did in one go, here are 13 other book recommendations to get your fantasy bulb going. 

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13 Books Like The Cruel Prince

1. The Lost Sisters by Holly Black

What are the readers saying? 

Can’t let go of  books like The Folk of Air series yet? 

If you’re looking to continue TFOA series with books like The Wicked King, we strongly recommend this additional read.

The Lost Sisters takes a look at Jude’s world from a different perspective. Namely, this book looks at the parallel events of The Cruel Prince through Jude’s twin sister, Taryn’s eye. 

This packs all the punch for a short novel.

This book may help you better understand certain characters’ motivations, especially Taryn’s.

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 

What are the readers saying? 

This is the first book of the A Court Of Roses And Thorns series

Feyre, a nineteen-year old huntress is dragged away to the magical world of fae by a beast only to find out he is in fact Tamlin, one of the immortal faeries from the stories Feyre grew up hearing and fearing.

Soon enough, hostility between the two turns into passion as they embark on an adventure, and Feyre eventually must choose between her kingdom or Tamlin’s world.

A Court Of Roses And Thorns is one of the best fae romance reads that’s adventure filled, heart-warming and definitely steamy.

Romance aside, each character in the book underwent major character developments that made the fictional relationships extremely authentic and fulfilling. 

Read More: 24 Books Like A Court of Thorns and Roses

3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 

What are the readers saying? 

Readers describe this series as “Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games”. This is also a good book to pick up if you like reading The Queen of Nothing (TFOA series).

In a world of silver or red blood, this stories a red-blooded girl from poverty who suddenly finds herself in the heart of the royal court when she displays silver-blooded powers.

Lost and confused, she finds herself navigating her survival in deception, betrayal, and romance – and learning some hard lessons along the way.

Readers especially liked the build-up in this book and said that it had a good balance between action and politics that were engaging enough to keep them wondering what’s next.

There is a hint of a love triangle here, so that’s something to keep in mind if love triangle tropes isn’t your favourite.

In this blend of dystopian tones and fantasy, this book is one that collides magic, romance, betrayal, and political intrigue. 

4. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

What are the readers saying? 

This is the first of the Crescent City series and it’s a fantasy series for adults.

The story begins in the city of Lunatihion on the planet of Midgard, where humans and Vanir (supernatural creatures: angels, shifters, werewolves etc) uneasily co-exist. 

Bryce’s world is turned upside down when she finds her best friends murdered on a night out.

She finds herself tangled in the web of investigation alongside Hunt Alathar to uncover a looming dark power that presides over their city. 

This book poses a fantasy world original to Maas’ works, and it includes a brand new world with complicated systems, governance, and politics – making it the perfect read for those who want to be transported into a new world. 

House of Earth and Blood is a captivating read in the sense it structurally blends in facets of mystery, romance, the emotional turns of YA genres, and even elements of horror to keep readers on their toes. 

5. Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

What are the readers saying?

Bardugo creates us an original world of Ketterdam, and readers were weaved alongside a tale of adventure in morally grey pursuits,  a fantastic group dynamic and peppered with prime romance plots.

A group of six outcasts plots a heist in a dangerous world of magic, and each with their own motivations. 

Bardugo’s character work is a work of art, and readers fell in love with all the main characters. Something that readers also seemed to appreciate was the diversity Bardugo brought into this series.

We have POC, LGBTQ and gendered representations, not to mention Bargudo’s inclusion of neurodivergence and disability.

It’s a no-brainer why readers rave about this read, and it’s definitely one to recommend.

Read More: 12 Books Like Six of Crows to Read Next

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

What are the readers saying? 

This is another action-packed series from Sarah J. Maas. 

A series for all ages, we follow Celaena, a beautiful and ruthless assassin, who is forced to pay her dues by joining a competition and eventually win her freedom in the years to come.

All of this is offered by the Crown Prince and Celaena decides to take on the offer. 

While older readers felt that the story lacked depth and maturity, we (and other readers!) personally reckon that’s what makes TOG an easy, guilt-pleasure fantasy read.

 The themes of TOG were headed towards more of the light, chick-lit style fantasy, and we would recommend this as books similar to The Cruel Prince with the dark fantasy turned down a notch.

 7. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong 

What are readers saying? 

These Violent Delights is a thrilling retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai. 

Gong brought in POC and queer representation in this classic Shakespeare spin, and it’s very much akin to books like Six Of Crows.

Juliette and Roma both come from renowned gangs whose reputations run deep in the streets of Shanghai. 

When a horror disease comes to light and brings their fellow gangsters down with them, Juliette and Roma must put their long-standing family feud aside (and attraction) to work together to take down the disease-bearing monster. 

Many readers thought that this classic spin was the perfect balance of new and old. Something that readers also loved is how Gong expertly tackled colonialism, portraying the haunting tale of Western influence. 

TVD is the first book in this duology, and it’s a solid recommendation for books to read if you liked The Cruel Prince.

Also, this book is for you if you’re one for rekindling first loves with a knack for historical fiction. 

8.  The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

What are the readers saying? 

Weaved in mesmerizing storytelling, Ahdieh crafts us a sensuous, hypnotic story set in the Middle East inspired by One Thousand And One Nights

This is the first book of The Wrath and the Dawn series, and readers felt this was captivatingly fresh and delightfully original. 

It is a tryst of love, passion, and political intrigue; peppered with Persian folklore legend and immense mystery to keep readers enchanted. 

Characters were motivated by devotional love for one another that drives the course of their actions. Not to mention, what started Shahrzad’s (Shazi) quest for revenge slowly evolved into the pursuit of truth.

Readers felt that both Shazi and Khalid (and the other characters!) are extremely complex and well-built characters.

TWATD provides us rich backstories building from childhood that gave these characters an essence and an authentic flair that a lot of other books miss. 

9. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

What are the readers saying? 

Described as “grotesque Wonderland-like world where the Mad Hatter calls the shots”, this is a tale of mystery and enchantment, of love and loss, of grief and elation.

A refreshingly original story, this story follows two sisters, Scarlett and Donatella as they navigate love, adventure, freedom, heartbreak, and unconditional sisterhood.

Caraval, a magical faraway performance that’s only held once a year, is ran by the mastermind Legend. Nothing is quite as it seems in Caraval.

With a roller coaster of a pace, Scarlett ventures into Caraval to find her sister.

Peppered with unforeseeable twists and jaw-dropping reveals, it is almost impossible to put this book down until the truth is revealed. 

The romance presented between Scarlett and the love interest is one with a pervasive sense of mystery, but perfect with plenty of slow-burn, teasing and tension. 

Read More: 12 Enchanting Books Like Caraval to Read Next

10. From Blood And Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What are the readers saying? 

If you’re looking for books like The Cruel Prince, we’ve got books like From Blood And Ash. 

This a page-turning romance with enthralling fantasy and plenty of spice.

The chemistry between Poppy and Hawke is undeniable. Both characters were very well penned with their histories and motivations, thus letting the readers have a first-class seat into the characters’ minds and providing an immersive experience.

Armentrout does not disappoint with this literary masterpiece. It’s about a young woman breaking free of societal expectations and chooses what sets her soul on fire, but at what cost? 

Read More: 15 Best Books Like From Blood and Ash

11. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

What are the readers saying? 

Another dark, juicy turn on a classic favourite, The Little Mermaid.

Except for this time, it is a tale of two killers and it is dark. Two destined killers from two very different worlds colliding.

Readers were carried through a tale deeper than romance; it is a tale of family duty, purpose, and introspection – all interwoven within themes of adventure and lethality. 

We have Princess Lira of siren royalty, and she makes it a point to be the most lethal siren of them all with seventeen princes’ hearts in her collection.

Prince Elian, heir to the throne of Midas, but his heart belongs to the sea and his chosen destiny to putting an end to siren killings. 

Readers felt like the romance took a backseat with this one, and only driven forward with character development.

As slow as Elian and Lira’s relationship developed, readers enjoyed the journey Christo took them on when showing the main characters’ snarky wit and banter with one another, which really just adds fuel to the anticipated fire. 

As books like The Cruel Prince, this one is for you fairytale fans out there who also enjoy the dark twists of fantasy.

12. Serpent And Dove by Shelby Mahurin

What are the readers saying? 

This series starts off with a fantasy enemies-to-lover trope done right.

Lou is a witch, whereas Reid is witch-hunter; both finding themselves in unlikely holy matrimony when each’s existence poses a threat to their own – bearing much resemblance to books like A Court Of Thorns And Roses.

This French-inspired fantasy world brings us back to a time when witches are hunted and killed by the Church.

With magic and history in the mix, this story is sure to cast a spell on romance lovers. 

Between crass, irreverent Lou and prim and proper Reid, there’s definitely some hot and steamy stuff to be ignited.

Furthermore, the main characters navigate love, loss, trauma, tragedy, and war between feuding groups. 

13. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

What are the readers saying?

The first of The Shadows Between Us series delivers us pages of villainous delight and anticipation, and is described as a ‘Slytherin Romance’.

It is dark, broody, brimmed with conspiracy, and one filled with illicit relations and intended betrayals. 

Alessandra’s plan seems to be one for the books – woo, marry, kill. Then, inherit her supposed husband’s kingdom. A brilliant plan, if not for the fact she’s starting to like him alive more than dead. 

This is a book storied around the perfect couple matched in viciousness and skill, and it’s perfect if you’re fan of books with characters like Cardan from The Cruel Prince.

While some felt that the plot has so much more potential to develop into something stronger, they were not able to deny that The Shadows Between Us was a fun, easy, and addictive read. 

Definitely a book with dark and steamy romance, political intrigue and betrayals that parallels The Cruel Prince.

Final Thoughts

And just like that, books like The Cruel Prince delivered to you fantasy fans out there on a silver platter.

Here’s 13 fantasy books for your enjoyment, and not just limited to the world of Fey.

From witches to evil kings, there’s a fantasy out there delivering a dark, magical and mind-bending world.

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