My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)
Author: Holly Black
Format: Hardcover (owned)
Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Political Intrigue, Romance
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.
The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.
This was my most anticipated 2019 read and I finally got my hands on it and the series is over. And that’s all I want to read for 2019. 😂 It was everything I anticipated and more. It left me happy, sad and yet oh so satisfied.
I read the two other books in this series before I started this blog, so maybe one day I’ll write mini reviews for them – and I was attempting to reread them before QoN came out, but failed. I didn’t have enough time and when my copy got delivered yesterday I couldn’t wait and read it.
Just a recap, Jude is a human girl raised in Faerie. She always knew her place in the pecking order of things in Faerie but Jude wanted more. And if she couldn’t be a faerie, she wanted them to fear her. This starts a whole chain of twisty events, we watch her rise in The Cruel Prince and we watch her fall in The Wicked King, so here we are in The Queen of Nothing.
Jude is exiled from Elfhame, her husband, Cardan, the High King, has banished her. Jude starts off The Queen of Nothing trying to survive in the mortal world and wondering when and if she can ever go back to faerie. Has she lost everything because she reached too high? Did Cardan toy with her as fae are known to do with humans? And what of her sister Taryn and her betrayal? Jude thought she had the upper hand but maybe she really is now the Queen of nothing.
“Perhaps I will never live without fear, perhaps power will slip from my grasp, perhaps the pain of losing him will hurt more than I can bear.”The Queen of Nothing by. Holly Black
- I love Jude. She’s not a likable character but I find her ambition and focus admirable and real. Jude is absolutely flawed but that’s what I love about her. She is ambitious. In the previous books we see Jude become a spy, play the game of political intrigue, she makes some amazing boss moves, and some mistakes too. She is human and she may be ambitious but she is also fueled by fear. In QoN she shows her bravery again but this time, Madoc (her foster dad) is right, she has a weakness. When Cardan’s prophecy stares her in the face, Jude has to ultimately decide if she will be like the fae and do the ruthless thing to realize her ambitions or will she do the right thing in the end?
- Cardan. I mean…he was such a punk in the first book, and I hated yet loved him. But we get to know more about his story and the prophecy at his birth in QoN. I loved seeing Cardan reach his potential, with Jude by his side. I also love that he was braver with admitting his feelings to Jude.
- Jude and Cardan together. Two flawed people who found a way to squirm through each other’s walls and barriers. Jude and Cardan brings heat to this story with their undeniable attraction. These two people who don’t know much about what love is, they stumble and figure it out, in not the most easiest or romantic ways (which I love about them). But I did buy the Barnes & Noble edition where there is extra content in the back of the book. And Cardan’s missing letters are the extra content. 😍😩 When I read it I was like….AHHHH. My heart. Reading Cardan’s words to Jude almost made me cry. A happy cry though!
- The political chess game of this whole series is what kept me hooked. Jude with her scheming and everyone else trying to scheme her! Who can Jude trust? And on the other hand, how can anyone trust her? Madoc always worried me, he was so good at this game, he could have easily won. He just underestimated his human foster daughters. Madoc basically made the person who becomes his downfall. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
- The world of Elfhame is magical and…scary. I love Holly Black’s faeries because they are not sweet. They are scary, they are wicked and I love it. A species with that kind of elemental power would be scary to us humans and I get that in Holly’s writing. It’s why I’ve always loved her world of faerie, in whatever book she’s writing. It’s also why I understood that Jude had to do what she had to do to rise in the world of faerie, even if it made her a villain as well.
- The twist and turns of the story: Taryn, Cardan, Madoc, Ghost, Grimsen…Jude – the story ties up loose ends nicely and there is a happily ever after at the end. This doesn’t end dark like how it starts in The Cruel Prince and in The Wicked King and I’m happy about that because Jude and Cardan starts off with darkness in their lives already. I needed them to have a turning point where something good was going to happen for them.
- Taryn. Did she get off lightly? I think she was punished enough with her own choices and she did redeem herself by helping Jude in the end. I mean they are sisters, twins! Their relationship was shaky with jealousy and betrayal as part of their history but ultimately, I was happy with how it turned out. Their family is complicated and Jude isn’t an angel either so I’m all about second chances. Also is it bad of me that I liked that Taryn showed she could be underhanded too? 😂
- Triggers: violence (of course, this is Jude we are talking about!)
This was my most coveted read of 2019 and when Holly Black moved up the date of release I was ecstatic. Usually books gets pushed further back, not moved up! Did this story satisfy me? Hell yes. I got my Jude and Cardan fix. I got things explained like Cardan’s prophecy, Ghost’s betrayal, Taryn’s betrayal and Madoc. Other than Jude’s relationship with Cardan, I think I was always fascinated with her relationship with Madoc as well. He killed her parents, but raised her to be this force and she bested him. I am satisfied with her punishment of him because even through all of it she did love him, and also despite defeating him, he was proud of her. And I shall miss this world of Elfhame! I’ll miss all the characters so thank goodness I have the box set! It’s one of my favorite series to date and I could go on and on in this post but I won’t. I’m so happy this is on my bookshelf, I’ll be rereading it for years to come.
Also, if you love Jude and Cardan as much as I do, get the Barnes & Noble edition. ♥️ Trust me on this.
“By you, I am forever undone.”The Queen of Nothing by. Holly Black