Review: The Queen Of Nothing by Holly Black

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Review: The Queen Of Nothing by Holly Black

The queen of nothing audiobook

I had to write The Queen of Nothing review a day after completing the book (and the series) to collect my thoughts. 

The Folk of The Air Series is the first young adult fantasy series that I have read. 

So this review is going to be from the perspective of someone who rarely reads fantasy. 

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black is a well-written closure to this magical YA fantasy trilogy. However, there are some things I enjoyed and did not enjoy. 

This review is going to consist of a non-spoiler review, spoiler review and some FAQs on The Queen of Nothing that does not have any spoilers. 

Be sure to skip the spoiler part of this blog post if you have not read the book yet.

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Book Information:

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Title: The Queen of Nothing (Book 3)

Author: Holly Black

Book Series: The Folk Of The Air Series 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 300 pages (paperback)

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Amazon Rating: 4.7

Goodreads Rating: 4.35

The Queen Of Nothing Read Online: Amazon Kindle Edition


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The Queen Of Nothing Summary:

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…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Kinokuniya MY

Non-Spoiler Review: The Queen Of Nothing

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What I Liked About This Book:

1. Jude and Cardan’s Hate-Love Relationship

Honestly, now I understand why people love the enemies to lovers romance trope.

The characters are able to express love for each other while having a certain amount of hate for each other (really complex and I was feeling a bit confused – but I liked it, it seems realistic as most people do not have one fixed emotion, they have many feelings to attend to).

I liked how Jude and Cardan had this really weird hate-love dynamic and that they were able to relate to each other’s pain. 

Both of them have their respective childhood trauma and it was nice to see the character growth in the both of them.

2. Jude’s Character Growth

If you’ve read the first two books, you already know that Jude becomes stronger, smarter and more of a strategist as the story progresses.

She’s “hardcore” and it feels like no one can stop her, no one can tear this character down. 

But in the third book, we see a more vulnerable side to Jude. She lets herself be more “human” despite being raised in a world of faes. 

This takes a different type of strength, and I really enjoyed reading that.

This is reflected in her thoughts and decision making all the way right till the last chapter of the book.

It was truly satisfying to read.

What I Disliked About This Book:

1. Too Short To Be The Final Book

Don’t get me wrong, Holly Black did an amazing job at piecing all the puzzles together to give readers the closure they need about the politics and relationships in this series. 

However, there can be more to the book.

The book was only 300 pages, shorter than the first two and I do feel there could be more to certain characters. 

I also feel the plot was rushed? The second half of the book was not as fun as the first half. 

When I read the synopsis of The Queen of Nothing and it said there was going to be a curse, I was like – YES! Give us a good curse. 

But honestly, disappointing and cringy.

I can’t say no more because I do not want to spoil it for you guys.

2. Rapid Character Growth 

This does not apply for Jude.

Jude’s character growth has been gradual and steady since the first book. 

We can see a steady progress in the way she thinks and acts by the time we reach the end of The Queen of Nothing.

However, Taryn’s and Cardan’s character growth was huge. So huge from the second book that it felt like something was missing. 

Felt like there was some inconsistency in the characters. 

Maybe if this book was longer (or if this series was a quartet instead of a trilogy), it would be more realistic for these two characters to grow into the characters they were becoming.

Related Book Reviews:
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (No spoilers!)
The Wicked King by Holly Black (No spoilers!)

3. The Queen Of Nothing Ending Was Predictable

I don’t know about you,  but the first two books were full of schemes and tricks. As the reader, I was fooled multiple times and did not see the ending coming.

But for the final book, things were too easy to guess (and I’m not even a regular fantasy reader).

I was able to predict the way the “conflict” would be resolved. 

Spoiler Review: The Queen Of Nothing

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Spoiler Alert: please avoid this part of the blog post if you have not read The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing.

What I did not enjoy:

  • Rushed character growth – Taryn has a sudden realization that she shouldn’t be with Locke and that he basically is a crap husband. Wow, like where did that come from? Maybe because the whole book was written in Jude’s P.O.V and that’s why we couldn’t understand Taryn’s P.O.V and it felt like some big piece of information was missing.
  • Cardan so in love with Jude – and so expressive about it. I mean, I love that he is expressive but something is missing? How did it go from hate to love so quickly? He seems pretty off in the third book when compared to the first two books.
  • The curse – NOT A FAN. Right after Cardan confesses his love to Jude, he gets turned into a Serpent for 40% of the book? I feel like we didn’t need Cardan’s character to go missing. I wanted to see more of Cardan and Jude working together as a power couple especially because they’re finally in love with each other.

For You:
30 Magical The Cruel Prince Quotes
30 Must Read The Wicked King Quotes

What I did enjoy:

  • Jude’s character growth – her struggled of being human in Elfhame has always been obvious. But in this book, there was more of a human side to Jude. I think she allowed herself to let her armor down and not always be “strong” all the time. Multiple emotions were highlighted – jealousy, empathy (towards Oriana and Oak) love, mercy (Madoc’s punishment), fear (the fear to murder) and more.
  • Jude and Cardan’s romance  – pretty much what I said in the non-spoiler section. 
  • Other characters and their side stories – Vivi and Heather’s relationship dynamic, Oak’s character growth. Taryn really redeemed herself by killing Locke (but still, crazy fast character growth here).

There’s probably more but although a spoiler section, I think it would be better if you read the book and experience it for yourself. 

Holly Black has a fantastic way of writing and it will enrich your reading experience.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Kinokuniya MY

FAQ: The Queen Of Nothing

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Note that this section is on general questions readers always ask about the folk of the air series and they are NOT SPOILERS. They are safe to read!

What Is The Order Of The Folk Of Air Series?

The series is a trilogy. The first book is The Cruel Prince (2018), followed by The Wicked Kind (2019) and finally The Queen of Nothing (2019).

What Age Is The Queen Of Nothing Appropriate For? 

The Queen of Nothing age rating is 14-18 years old. 

To be honest, there are intimate scenes between Jude and Cardan but they aren’t your Fifty Shades of Grey kind of intimate scenes. 

I would say it is appropriate to purchase for someone between the above age range.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Kinokuniya MY

Is There Romance In The Queen Of Nothing?

Yes there is! Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil it for you readers. 

But I will say though, the romance has escalated in The Queen of Nothing when compared to The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King.

Since it is the last book in the trilogy, I think the build-up of romance between Jude and Cardan was very much anticipated and the author did deliver.

Is The Queen Of Nothing The Last Book In The Series?

The Queen of Nothing is the last book in The Folk Of The Air Trilogy. 

There is a sequel to the book that is written from Cardan’s point of view since all three books were written in Jude’s.

Is There A Sequel To The Queen Of Nothing?

However, Holly Black wrote How The King of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories which is a sequel to the trilogy and should be read after The Queen of Nothing for best reader experience.

I have not read it as I just finished reading The Queen of Nothing. But I do own the book and will read it very soon.

Which Is The Best Book From The Folk Of Air Series?

Here’s my verdict – The Wicked King.

Many readers also say the same thing, that The Wicked King is their favourite book and that it is preferred when compared to The Queen of Nothing.

Final Thoughts and Rating

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Overall, this book was a good way to complete The Folk Of The Air Series but I did feel it was pretty underwhelming when compared to the first two books.

I felt like the readers needed more insight on certain characters and why their thoughts and actions rapidly changed.

Therefore, it would have been a good last book but it would have felt more justified and complete.

Overall rating for this book: 3.5/5

Overall rating for the series: 4/5

Would I recommend this series? YES. Especially to beginner fantasy readers. 

I enjoyed this series, probably one of my favourites although the third book did not meet my expectations.

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