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12 Magical Clean Books Like The Cruel Prince


An Enchanting World Awaits of books like The Cruel Prince by Holly Black…

Got that book-shaped void in your heart because you can’t get enough of fae and intrigue after devouring “The Cruel Prince series“? Boy, do I feel you! It’s like you’re in on the secret handshake—those twisty plots and irresistible dark characters have bewitched us all.

So as your self-appointed bookish guide—I’ve spent more nights than I’d like to admit curled up with fantasy tomes and scouring Reddit—I’m all geared up to lead you through the enchanted forests of literature that vibe just like our beloved Elfhame.

Trust me, I’ve looked high and low for that special spark—those reads that sweep you off to other worlds with the wave of a wand (or, you know, the turn of a page). And because we’re all secretly hoping not to stumble upon anything too… dicey, I’ve sifted through the magical realm to bring you clean recommendations.

The books on this list will give you all that fae royalty drama without making you want to hide the book from innocent eyes.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive into a world of courtly politics, ethereal landscapes, and, of course, the kind of immersive storytelling that’ll have you saying “just one more chapter” until the sun peeks through your curtains.

Don’t worry, I’ve got the map; you just bring your sense of adventure!

Top 3 favorite books similar to The Cruel Prince

#1 Top Pick

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Captivating characters and political intrigue

#2 Pick

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Swoony romance with high magical stakes

#3 Pick

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Lovable characters and immersive faery world

Best 12 romance books like The Cruel Prince

Take a quick look at the awesome books below! You can easily add them to your Amazon wish list too.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn Saga)

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

What books should I read if I liked Cruel Prince? Let’s dive in.

1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Rating: ☆ 4.27 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: Dystopian Fantasy |  Read it!

In a color-coded society on Mars, Darrow, a member of the lowest caste known as Reds, dedicates himself to making the planet habitable. However, he discovers that humanity had already reached Mars, leaving him and his fellow Reds enslaved.

Motivated by justice and fueled by lost love, Darrow infiltrates the Institute where the dominant Gold caste shapes the future rulers. Fighting for survival and the destiny of civilization, Darrow is determined to dismantle the oppressive regime, even if it means becoming one of them.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

The setting and worldbuilding of the book are absolutely mind-blowing! The characters are so captivating and go through some seriously awesome development.

The way it seamlessly weaves in political messages and that whole dystopian vibe? It’s like nothing else in this genre. The execution is top-notch and adds such a unique touch to the overall story.

2. The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Rating: ☆ 3.89 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA High Fantasy Romance |  Read it!

In a realm where spirits are determined to rid the land of humans, a queen emerges as the final line of defense. But even with her extraordinary magical powers, danger lurks around every corner. Enter Daleina, a determined academy student, and Ven, a disgraced champion, as they join forces to unravel the root cause of the spirits’ unrest.

Together, they embark on a perilous journey that tests their bravery and trust. Can they rescue their land before it succumbs to a gruesome fate?

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

This book is seriously amazing in the YA fantasy genre! It takes a plot that I’ve seen a million times and turns it into something totally fresh and captivating.

The setting is like pure magic, and let me tell you, the characters are the absolute heart and soul of this novel. I mean, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with them!

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3. Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Rating: ☆ 4.09 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance |  Read it!

Meet Evangeline Fox, a hopeless romantic whose heart is shattered when her beloved gets engaged to someone else. In a moment of desperation, she strikes a daring deal with the cunning Prince of Hearts, offering him three kisses of free will.

But as their lips touch, she realizes the treacherous schemes he has in store for her. Will she find her long-awaited fairytale ending or be forced to face a heartbreaking reality?

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

This book is enchanting! This is an amazing cozy fantasy series with a meticulously crafted world. The romance will keep you up all night trying to finish it.

And the fairytale vibes will transport you back to childhood, with a delightful twist that captivates.

“I don’t know if I can fix your broken heart, but you can take mine because it’s already yours.”

― Stephanie Garber, Once Upon a Broken Heart

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4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Rating: ☆ 4.01 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Dystopian |  Read it!

In a world where Silvers reign supreme like gods, we meet Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl struggling to survive in poverty. She believes change is just an impossible dream. But fate has other plans for her.

When Mare unexpectedly discovers her own deadly power while toiling in the Silver Palace, her life takes a dramatic turn. The Silvers, terrified of her potential, concoct a scheme to pass her off as a long-lost Silver princess engaged to a Silver prince.

Little do they know that Mare secretly aids the Red Guard, a brave resistance group fighting to overthrow the oppressive Silver regime.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

The characters in this book totally captivate me! They have such incredible depth, existing in shades of moral ambiguity, each dealing with their own internal conflicts and driving motivations.

The worldbuilding is seriously top-notch, drawing you in and enveloping you completely. Get ready to feel that irresistible urge to devour the entire series in one go!

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5. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn Saga)

Rating: ☆ 4.48 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: Epic High Fantasy |  Read it!

In a world where the Lord Ruler’s tyrannical rule oppresses everyone, a scarred and broken-hearted half-Skaa named Kelsier emerges as a Mistborn with extraordinary powers. He gathers a team of skilled allomancers to pull off an audacious plan – not only to execute the greatest heist in history but also to overthrow the divine despot.

Amidst this perilous mission, Kelsier crosses paths with Vin, a mistrustful orphan with hidden potential. Together, they must navigate a treacherous world of betrayal and learn to harness their powers to bring about the change they desire.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

Brandon Sanderson rules the fantasy realm! Seriously, this list would be so incomplete without his mind-blowing saga. The characters go through these crazy-amazing transformations and embark on epic adventures throughout the story.

And let’s talk about the magic system… it’s seriously one-of-a-kind! This series is like a never-ending joyride that you can read over and over again, and it never gets old.

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6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆ 4.09 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance |  Read it!

Catherine, a talented baker in Wonderland, has big dreams of opening a shop with her best friend, despite her mother’s objections. But then she meets Jest, the court joker, and everything changes.

Their secret courtship begins, filled with true attraction. Cath is determined to shape her own destiny, even in the face of magic, madness, and monsters.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

I absolutely love a good retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and this book totally lives up to expectations! It brilliantly weaves in beloved characters from the classic tale while adding a unique twist and an engaging storyline.

With a combination of a society that suppresses women and a forbidden love story, this book is truly a fantastic read.

“Impossible is my specialty.”

― Marissa Meyer, Heartless

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7. An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Rating: ☆ 3.65 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance |  Read it!

Isobel, a brilliant portrait artist, finds herself tangled up with the mischievous fair folk when she unknowingly paints a vulnerability in the eyes of the autumn prince, Rook. As punishment, she gets whisked away to his realm for a trial, but they quickly realize that something dark and sinister is in the works.

With their lives on the line, Isobel and Rook must depend on each other, forming a forbidden alliance that could defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts. In a world where beauty conceals corruption, they embark on a dangerous journey where survival comes at a great price.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

If you’re a fan of clean and cozy fantasy romance novels, get ready to be enchanted! This story takes a refreshing spin on fairy folklore, setting itself apart in a genre that can sometimes feel overly familiar.

The worldbuilding is immersive, the characters are relatable, and the prose is vibrant and awe-inspiring.

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8. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Rating: ☆ 3.88 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance |  Read it!

Life has always felt a bit chaotic for Meghan since her father disappeared when she was young. She never quite fit in, but now, with the arrival of a mysterious stranger and her fiercely loyal friend, Meghan senses that her world is on the brink of transformation.

Little did she know, she is actually the daughter of a faery king and finds herself caught in the midst of a perilous war. As she confronts danger head-on and unexpectedly discovers love, Meghan unearths her true strength and fights fiercely for those she holds dear.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

While this book may seem similar to other YA fantasy romance novels, let me tell you, it brings a whole new perspective!

The characters are so relatable, and the dialogue is absolutely captivating. Trust me, adding this to your reading list is a no-brainer if you’re into books like The Cruel Prince.

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9. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Rating: ☆ 3.99 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance |  Read it!

Scarlett Dragna, living with her sister Tella on a secluded island under their wicked father’s rule, thinks she’s missed her chance to see the mysterious Caraval performance. But then, out of the blue, an unexpected invitation arrives, leading to an exhilarating adventure.

With Tella taken captive by Caraval’s genius, Legend, Scarlett must navigate a world of love, magic, and deceit to find her before the game ends. As the stakes get higher, Scarlett must act fast to prevent dire consequences and save her sister.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

The characters in this book really drive the story forward! They’re complex, engage in witty conversations, and go through captivating character journeys.

The romance is wonderfully sweet and makes your heart flutter. And let’s not forget about the enchanting setting!

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10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Rating: ☆ 4.33 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Dystopian Fantasy |  Read it!

In the nation of Panem, a harsh and cruel Capitol governs twelve outlying districts. To maintain control, the Capitol forces each district to send one boy and one girl to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a deadly televised event.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sister’s place, she enters a fight for survival. As Katniss navigates the Games, she must grapple with choices that pit survival against humanity and life against love.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

This series-turned-movie has totally captivated me since I first read it as a teenager back in 2008! The characters are seriously captivating, and the dystopian world-building is just so well done.

The plot is super fast-paced and gripping, leaving you with a whole new perspective on government control by the end of the series.

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11. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Rating: ☆ 4.18 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Mystery |  Read it!

Avery Grambs’ plan for a better future takes an unexpected twist when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne leaves her his fortune. To claim her inheritance, Avery has to navigate the enigmatic Hawthorne House, packed with riddles and inhabited by the determined Hawthorne grandsons who are eager to uncover her motives.

Trapped in a world of privilege and peril, Avery must play the game to survive.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

If you’re a fan of The Cruel Prince, trust me when I say this book is an absolute must-read! It’s like a perfectly crafted jigsaw puzzle, with a captivating narrative unfolding within the intricately portrayed Hawthorne Mansion.

And let’s not forget about the compelling love triangle! It starts off as a subplot but effortlessly adds just the right amount of drama.

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12. Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

Rating: ☆ 4.08 out of 5 Stars |  Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Pirates |  Read it!

Alosa’s mission is all wrapped up, with the map pieces recovered and her pirate captors captured. Now, with first mate Riden under her command, she’s ready to face off against the villainous Vordan and retrieve the hidden treasure.

As the daughter of the Siren Queen, Alosa is confident they’ll come out on top, even in a deadly race against the feared Pirate King. But when a secret from her father’s past comes to light, the stakes get higher than ever.

Why should you give fantasy book a read?

This book is the second installment in the Daughter of the Pirate King duology. Let me tell you, the storyline is absolutely captivating! It’s packed with action that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. And the best part?

The characters evolve beautifully and engage in clever and spirited conversations throughout this sequel. It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean meets enchanting creatures (think mermaids!), creating a truly magical experience.

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FAQs about The Cruel Prince series

Can a 12 year old read The Cruel Prince?

Oh, The Cruel Prince and tweens, that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? I’d say, yes, sort of—but with a little heads-up. This fairy tale’s got more twists than a pretzel factory and deals with some serious themes and a dash of violence that might be a bit much for the younger crowd.

If you’ve got a mature 12-year-old who loves diving into fantasy worlds with complex characters and politics, then go for it! But personally, I’d feel more comfortable with a 14+ age range. Just keep an eye out in case they need to talk about the tricky stuff, you know?

What genres is The Cruel Prince?

The Cruel Prince is a mix of Young Adult, fantasy, and romance. It’s perfect for readers who enjoy action-packed fantasy adventures with a touch of romance. The book also deals with themes of politics, family, and self-discovery. So if you’re a fan of any of these genres, this book is a must-read!

Is The Cruel Prince similar to ACOTAR?

Absolutely, if you’re into the whole magical political intrigue and enemies-to-lovers tropes, then The Cruel Prince will likely hit the same sweet spots that A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) does. Both have fierce faerie leads, sizzling tension, and courts as packed with drama as a reality TV show.

But while ACOTAR is definitely an adult book with spicy scenes, The Cruel Prince dials up the cunning and power plays perfect for readers looking to avoid the spice.

Is The Cruel Prince high or low fantasy?

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is totally high fantasy—and I’m not just talking about the faerie realm high! We’re talking elaborate magical systems, political intrigue that’s sharp as a thorn, and realms so richly imagined that you’ll be wishing you could escape our mundane world to join in on the fae shenanigans.

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Did you discover the best books like The Cruel Prince?

And there you have it, my fellow bookworms and fantasy fans! The enchanting, heart-racing world of The Cruel Prince has more to offer than you could cram into a backpack for a journey through the magical woods. But fret not, because we’ve all been there—longing for just one more page before bedtime turns into “Oops, is that the sun rising?”

Before you scurry off to your book nook, why not take a piece of this magical quest with you? Click that shiny button below to download the PDF version of this post. It’s like a treasure map leading to your next favorite book similar to The Cruel Prince with less chance of encountering a fae… unless you’re into that, of course.

Whether you’re cozied up in your favorite reading chair or squeezing in one last chapter on the morning train, I’ve got you covered.

Read it later, share it with your friends, or even use it to swat away those pesky goblins of boredom.

Happy reading!

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