Title: The Queen of Nothing
Series: The Folk of the Air, #3
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: YA fantasy, paranormal, romance
My Rating: ★★★★★
There are spoilers in this review. I can’t hold them back.
After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.
When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.
When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.
[ This synopsis is from Goodreads. ]
You guys. You GUYS. YOU! GUYS! This book! Is! EVERYTHING! I don’t think I’ve been this obsessed with a YA series in a hot minute. As you know, I’ve been rather indifferent about Holly Black’s books throughout the years, but this series has changed that significantly. I don’t know what it is about The Folk of the Air, but I can’t seem to put it down. I had half the book left to read last night and I stayed up until two in the morning to finish it. That’s how good it was. Despite needing to wake up early the following day, I stayed up to read. Honestly, the thought of sleeping didn’t even cross my mind until after I finished the book.
The book starts off with a prologue, highlighting the event of Cardan’s birth and the prophecy that was given to him that will unfold throughout the book. The actual first chapter follows Jude, who is still in exile from the previous book.
There is never a dull moment in this story. It’s constantly either action, fighting, scheming, or a combination of the three. When I say this book was hard to put down, I really mean it. I mainly read at night right before I sleep. It was only when I was so tired that my eyes couldn’t stay open long enough to read a full sentence that I decided to call it a day and go to bed. I did that for several days straight until I finished the book, and I do not regret any minute of it.
One thing I found a *little* strange (but totally not mad at) was how Cardan’s tune towards Jude shifts dramatically in The Queen of Nothing. In the first two books, it appears he hates Jude (or hates himself for liking her). In this book, he seems to have come to terms with loving Jude. Reading the notes that he had written to her while she was in exile (which is included in the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition) gave me a sense of how much time had passed since the second and third book. I didn’t realize (up until right this moment while writing this review) that he had time to miss her. The more I think about it, the more I’m recognizing the time without Jude forced Cardan to realize that he can’t live without her. Okay, I totally take back the statement that it was weird for Cardan to suddenly be so receptive to liking Jude. When I first read the book, I thought it pretty much picked up right where it left off from The Wicked King, but I was wrong.
Can we talk about how Jude almost dies more times than I can count? Honestly, that girl is like a cat with nine lives because she will not go down. I like how, despite how tough she is in a fight, she is out of her element when she tries to rule Elfhame. She can’t be good at everything. She’s already a relatively good liar, schemer, and fighter. She can’t also be good at ruling when she isn’t experienced in that field other than controlling Cardan from the shadows in The Wicked King. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad that Holly Black made Jude act human. There is so much talk in the books about how Jude is a mortal and not a faerie, but sometimes I feel like she acts more faerie than mortal. Granted, she was raised among faeries, but it was nice to see hints of human qualities in her.
One of my favorite TV shows is Sherlock because of all the different little parts come together to solve a crime. The plans are elaborate and well-executed. I think the reason I love this series so much is that it gives me the same vibes as Sherlock. There are so many schemes going on that it’s hard to keep track, but they all come together to reveal themselves in the end. It’s so satisfying to see how all the little details throughout the story plays out to effect the conclusion.
You can call me a hopeless romantic, but I’m glad Jude and Cardan got their happily ever after. I saw on some other people’s review that they didn’t know how they felt about Jude and Cardan’s relationships, but I ship it. They both get each other pretty well, and honestly they’d be bored without each other. I also like how the author implicated something between the Ghost and Taryn. Or more accurately, the Ghost has a crush on Taryn. I don’t know if that is a hint to a spin-off series or not, but if it is, I’m totally here for it.
Go off, sis! The Queen of Nothing turned herself into the Queen of Everything!
I like him on paper, but I would stay far, far away from him if he was an actual being.
I like how Taryn and Jude are opposites. Throughout the series it felt like their personalities and priorities clashed, but in The Queen of Nothing, they played to each others’ strengths and complemented each other.
He’s a formidable foe. Not only is he a great fighter and soldier, he taught Jude everything she knows and now she has to go against him in a battle of strength and wits. If that doesn’t sound like pure nail-biting entertainment, I don’t what does.
I didn’t like her in the first two books, but I think she redeemed herself in this one.
I give The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black 5 / 5 unicorn horns! I honestly can’t think of a better way to end an awesome series.
Until next time….