Also by this author: The Darkest Part of the Forest, The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1), The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2), Book of Night
on November 19, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 305 •Format: Hardcover •Source: Purchased
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.
I always start the books in this series with a sense of skepticism. Not because they have personally done anything wrong to me, but because I’m 1) Not always a fan of fae books and 2) Always skeptical of a fantasy book that’s under 400-500 pages. But Holly Black always pulls through and manages to write a tale of intrigue, action and simmering tension without all of the boring fantasy fluff, and The Queen of Nothing was no exception. It was a gripping conclusion to a trilogy that focuses on a purposely plotted narrative that gives readers the romance, magic and courtly drama they crave in a digestible, easily devoured format.
I think it’s safe to say that we were ALL reeling after the cliffhanger that The Wicked King left off on. Jude was exiled from Faerie after marrying Cardan in secret (!!!) effectively making her the Queen of Faerie. It was a delicious turn of events to see Jude’s cunning and power pay off in the ultimate way (she’s such a Slytherin, I love it). She’s kicked back into the mortal world and we were all pretty much left wondering if anything that had transpired was real or meaningful, and we all probably had a deep sense of concern as to what Cardan would be getting up to without Jude’s
spying presence to keep tabs on him.
It’s hard to dive more into the specifics of the plot without revealing spoilers, so I’ll have a spoiler specific section at the end of this review. I can say though that I enjoyed seeing Jude (and some other characters) interact in the human world. I loved seeing that Jude didn’t end up changing who she was at her core in this book, that she’s not a hero by any means and always followed her own moral code despite other’s influences. I loved how Black continued to explore complex relationships, especially that of family and how they can hurt you yet you’re still drawn to them (looking at you, Madoc and Taryn). I also love a good redemption arc and found that with a few characters in this novel.
Overall: It was a solid addition to the Folk of the Air Series, but it was more tame than I was expecting compared to the previous books and the bizarre twist at the end was a little too strange for my taste. Still an overall great book and I stan Jude + Cardan.
- Let’s address the snake in the room shall we? I CANNOT with that plot point…all of this hype around the YA cover snake on 2019 books and it wasn’t a metaphor, it was actually literal? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This was going to be a 5 star read up until the snake thing and it was just so absurd that I had to knock off a star.
- I’m not sad that Taryn killed Locke because wow was he a manipulative, abusive troll but I feel like it was sort of glossed over and we could’ve used a LOT more details on that. Taryn and Jude seem to have a LOT more in common than they’d both like to think.
- I do love how Cardan generally cares about Jude. Like throughout the ENTIRETY of the novel, not just at the end for a HEA. He was so sincere and I was not expecting that much softness from him but I adored it, he truly grew into a king.
- I bought the B&N exclusive edition and it had the bonus letters from Cardan to Jude while she was in exile (that his mother was intercepting) and wow they were a great little addition.
- I thought it was a little convenient that the Court of Shadows all survived, especially given the Ghost’s previous betrayal (and felt Jude forgave him a little too easily).
- The fact that Jude inherited some powers from Cardan after becoming Queen and was able to call upon the land to heal her was *chef’s kiss*
- We stan Grima Mog- was so fun seeing another Red Cap to rival Madoc in violence and cunning.
Great review! Yes, I so agree – Grima Mog was so much fun, and tbh I’d quite happily read a novella all about her adventures. I’m really hoping Holly Black decides to return this world because I love how she writes the fae – as this is the Folk of the Air trilogy, I’m hoping we might get Folk of the Earth etc. now?
Ohhh, I didn’t even think about getting “Folk of the-” books for other elements, that would be FANTASTIC! This is honestly such a great series, I love how she’s able to tell such a fleshed out story in a relatively small amount of pages (for fantasy novels) and I’d totally read more in this universe!
I’m totally with you on the whole snake thing…slightly ridiculous. But I loved all the Jude and Cardan moments so it balanced out for me 😛
The Jude and Cardan moments were definitely worth it, but the snake was still ridiculous haha!