Queen of Nothing, Holly Black

December was a busy month for all, but to start off the new year on a high note here is a review for the popular book, Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. This conclusion to the epic The Folk of the Air series, will see Jude and Cardan in more danger than ever.

After the shocking events of The Wicked King, Jude may be the Queen of Faerie, but she is exiled to the human world. Now living with her sister, Vivy, and younger brother, Oak, Jude struggles with the peace and lack of purpose in her mortal life. After living almost her entire life in Faerie, it’s not surprising she feels out of place in the human world. And when an inquest into murder threatens her twin Taryn, Jude is almost keen to disguise herself as her sister and return to the court of Faerie.

Despite her understandable hate and sense of betrayal, Jude can’t help but be both nervous and excited to see her husband. And regardless of his cruel act, Cardan seems just as excited to see her. I really enjoyed how they kept up this intense love/ hate style relationship even during this final instalment (regardless of how unhealthy this is). Even when the pair can put aside their hate and anger for a few moments, the heightened emotions leads to a mix of love, lust and emotional pain, sometimes even physical. Still, this dysfunctional relationship withstands more than anyone could imagine and the two make for a fearsome pair – ready to charm, scheme and kill both friends and foes alike.

Finally, we get to see Jude versus Madoc in complicated battles of wits and blades. After his skill and experience being built up throughout the trilogy, I wasn’t sure if he would be a disappointment. Thankfully, he isn’t. He is an intelligent and cruel strategist and a fast and powerful swordsman. Some of my favourite scenes in this book was when Jude and Madoc would clash, they both have such fast, clever comebacks and are excellent fighters.

I loved the development of the world, court politics and legends that all came into play in this book. What seemed like an unrelated side comment could be foreshadowing a life-threatening challenge to overcome – which made theorising what was about to happen all the more fun. The climax was so absorbing, I had to hold my breath and wait. Cardan’s story arc was especially intriguing, and I loved seeing him be a true king of Faerie, more than capable of taking of any enemy. Tricky fae bargains, battles and ancient magic, everything you could want in a fae adventure.

I had the audiobook and the narrator paired with the beautiful language, made for a great listen so I’d definitely recommend getting it. Clearly, I loved this book, and give it 5/5. Though I’m sad the trilogy has ended, it has been one of my all-time favourite fey novels and am excited to see what Holly Black does next!

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