Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.
Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.
Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.
And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…
The Queen of Nothing is the final book in Holly Black’s Folk of the Air series, following The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. Jude’s been exiled from Elfhame, the Faerie land of which she’s High Queen – but nothing as simple as exile was ever going to keep Jude from the land she’s learned to love… (See my gushes for The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King!)
N.B: this is not intended as a fair or balanced review, but a totally biased and unabashedly enthusiastic squeal on all the things I loved about the book. This is pure, unrestrained fangirling!
❗️Mild spoilers ahead!❗️
👍Though it takes a while, Jude has some serious growth in this book. That actually applies to all the Duarte sisters – and even little Oak, who seems so much more mature in what has to be less than two years. It’s nice to see and good to track.
👍As usual, there are tons of betrayals, and every one has a twist – whether it means you forgive the would-be betrayer, or realise just how twisted they are. As a reader, you’re kept on your toes by never quite trusting anyone – which nicely compliments Jude’s POV, because she doesn’t trust anyone, either.
👍There’s resolution at the end, and it completes the trilogy satisfactorily – but not everything is magically solved. You know Madoc won’t rest easy, and Jude still hasn’t completely won over Faerie – she hasn’t even completely won over the Living Council. It’s nice that not everything is perfect. (And not just because it means I can keep deluding myself that there’ll be another series.)
❤️At the risk of sounding like a broken record… More than ever, in this book, Jude and Cardan. Always Jude and Cardan. My new favourite Holly Black couple, who I am NOT READY to finish reading about. Follow up trilogy, Holly? Please?
🌟Favourite character: Jude just beats out Cardan. (Honorary mention to Grima Mog. A true testament to Holly’s writing, that she can make you like a cannibalistic redcap.)
🌟Favourite quote: ‘I feel like a constellation of wounds, held together with string and stubbornness.’ (And, of course, ‘”I spent much of my life guarding my heart. I guarded it so well that I could behave as though I didn’t have one at all. Even now, it is a shabby, worm-eaten, and scabrous thing. But it is yours.”‘ MY HEART, CARDAN HOW ABOUT THAT?)
🌟Favourite moment: The Duarte sisters (and Grima Mog) stand against Madoc – and Faerie favours Jude. Jude’s sisters have been a complicated bunch, and have divided my opinion, but after that, I was on board.
This book is:
A standalone🔶Part of a duology🔶Part of a trilogy🔶 Part of a series
Charming🔶 Clever🔶 Comforting🔶Creepy🔶 Dark🔶 Emotional🔶Funny🔶Gripping🔶 Haunting🔶Heartbreaking🔶Intense🔶Mysterious🔶Powerful🔶Quirky🔶Romantic🔶Sad🔶Scary🔶Sweet🔶Tear-jerking🔶Tense🔶Touching 🔶Twisted🔶Violent🔶 Witty
Middle Grade🔶YA🔶 Adult