{Review} The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Posted December 8, 2019 by Leah in Reviews / 2 Comments

{Review} The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)


by Holly Black, Kathleen Jennings
Pages: 308
Published on November 19, 2019
by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fairies, Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Also by this author: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, White Cat, The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1), The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

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.

3.5 Stars

The Queen of Nothing was one of my most wanted books of this year. I danced for joy when the publication date was bumped up from January 2020 to November of this year. Not too much of a wait, resolution (maybe?) to that ending. I snagged a copy immediately. While I did get those resolutions I was hoping for View Spoiler », some things happen that brought my overall expected enjoyment to a stand still.

There will be some mild spoilers in my review. Main spoilers will be hidden.

I got what I expected in the world building. It’s still incredibly lush and detailed. It casts its dizzying spell on the reader: Elfhame is still a beautiful yet dangerous world. You can’t trust anyone, and if you’re there, you have to know how to play the game. Jude is pulled back into Faerie and she still knows how to play. She’s as cunning and sharp-witted as ever, and knows she has to get her hands dirty if she wants to win.

One of the things I loved was seeing Jude and her twin sister Taryn work to rebuild their relationship after the events of The Wicked King. Taryn got a lot of hate for her actions. Her reaching out to Jude View Spoiler » while also wanting to reconnect with her twin is moving. There’s a lot of work and they are going to work on it.

The romantic tension between Jude and Cardan is still there, but it’s moved to something more. After all the “I-hate-you-but-I-want-to-kiss-you-too” moments, it’s unexpected, yet I was also swooning. View Spoiler »

Then there are the things that kept me from fully loving this conclusion.

The book clocks it at a little over 300 pages. For the last book in a series that had multilayered subplots and characters you love or hate, after all the buildup to what should have been an explosive climactic event, everything wraps up quickly and (somewhat) neatly. Holly Black’s no stranger to writing heavy material, so this is even more shocking than the change in Jude and Cardan’s romance. I wonder if moving the publication date up a few months played a factor.

There are hints at something more (at least from what I put together). Maybe there will be. If this is the case, I wouldn’t mind reading a book from Taryn’s POV. As much as I wanted more from QoN, I’ll read whatever Holly plans next. Word on the street is that she’s working on an adult series, so sign me up immediately.

Leah

About Holly Black

Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart). She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). Her most recent works are the middle grade novel, Doll Bones, and the dark fantasy stand-alone, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Leah

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2 responses to “{Review} The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

  1. Aw, I’m sorry that this one wasn’t your favourite! Or, er, that it didn’t offer the resolutions you’d hoped for. You know what I mean! It’s always so disappointing when books we look forward to don’t quite live up to what we’d hoped. I’m with you there, though, on Holly Black’s upcoming projects–I am definitely going to be reading whatever she churns out next. I need to dive further into her backlist as well, in the meantime. Great review.

    • Leah

      I highly recommend her Modern Faerie Tales. They’re loosely connected standalones. Valiant, the second book, is my favorite.

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