Review: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

“I think of his riddle. How do people like us take off our armor? One piece at a time.”
– Holly Black

Title: The Queen of Nothing
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of Air #3
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 300
Rating: 2/5 Stars

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He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne. 

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… 

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I just don’t even know where to start with this review. I’ve been putting it off for months honestly. I finished this book a few days after it came out and I was so disappointed in it. The Cruel Prince started with such potential, The Wicked King was good but it was incredibly short and presented some weird problems plot wise but I still liked it. The Queen of Nothing was an easy read that didn’t wrap up parts of the plot form the previous two books, presented problems that were easily solved a few pages later, and turned Carden into a cream puff with too many happy feels.

The Queen of Nothing starts where The Wicked King left off; Jude has been banned by Carden from Elfhame and is now living in the human world with Vivi and Oak. To help support herself and her siblings she takes fae side jobs that one else will touch. This helps keep her training up and allows her to be connected to the world she was exiled from. Then one day she comes home to find her twin needing her help. Taryn needs her to return to Elfhame and pretend to be her, it’s a matter of life and death. Chaos ensues and thrusts Jude back into the deceptions and battles being waged at court.

It started with such promise and was all downhill from there. Jude and Carden’s relationship was turned into this mushy human and not at all fae one that just didn’t fit in with the other two books. Don’t even get me started on the banishment scheme Carden cooked up that Jude so easily overlooked. WE KNEW how she could go back to Elfhame, she told us how at the beginning of the second book so it was disappointing that this was dragged out for as long as it was. There were some sweet moments between the two that I enjoyed, but while I liked them it just didn’t fit in with the fae-ness of it all. The sex scene was over in like half a page, which considering the steamy scenes we got in the last book was highly disappointing. Like I didn’t even realize the gig was up and had to go back and re-read it again because I thought a few pages were missing from my copy. Joke was on me.

Jude has always struggled with her relationship with Madoc and that was front and center in QoN. They were locked in a battle for the throne, both doing what they thought was right for the other. Their relationship was always one of my favorites, the relationship between a girl and the murderer of her parents who also loves her like a daughter and who she loves back. So complicated but do the fae ever do simple? I mean in the rest of this book they do, but never this relationship. For one to win the other has to lose. Toss that into an already complicated relationship and it was fun to read. Madoc and Judes’ storyline was one of my favorites. I just wish they had gotten a real battle scene against each other, they deserved more than they got.

I’m going to cut myself off here because I don’t want to be too spoiler, but I think I got my unhappiness across. I needed more chaos, more problems that couldn’t be so easily solved. My biggest problem was how short and quick it was, just like the sex scene. I think all of this could be contributed to the fact that the release date was moved up. Black needed more time to cultivate her craft before releasing it into the world. I don’t mind waiting, as long is it’s not like a George R.R. Martin kind of wait. The whole licensing thing also left a bad taste in my mouth and I’m not sure where Black is going with all this but I can say I’m officially done with this series. I will be avoiding any spin-offs that are sure as hell coming and since there is no more fan-art or merch I guess I’m done with all that too. Jude and Cardan deserved better.


2 responses to “Review: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black”

  1. Dude it took me forever to write my review too and at the end I had to combine it with my review of Toll and eat cookie dough and cinnamon rolls while I did because isssa mood. I just. Yeah.

    I feel you. She just neutered Cardan and destroyed Jude as a character. Its in my review and I’m sorry I’m not saying that as a ploy for you to read it I’m saying that bc I’m tired and I can’t get into it again. Holly Black is a brave writer and I just I wanted her to be brave for us. For them FOR HER. yeah.


    1. No I’ll totally check it out. Even months after reading it I am still super upset and feel like my review is a tad all over the place because of it.

      Totally agree that she neutered him though. I was definitely in a deep depression of cold stone when writing mine.


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