The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

A quick review (I hope) of the last book of The Folk of the Airs series. Warnings: spoilers ahead!

Themes: fantasy, romance, revenge, politics, betrayal

The synopsis

Jude has been exiled in the mortal world and is now seeking revenge. When she has the chance to briefly go back in Elfhame she seizes it. But she soon discovers that Cardan’s throne and so her’s is threatened. She will have to deal with her conflicted feelings for Cardan and become the first mortal High Queen in order to save everything she has worked for.

The review

First, I just want us to take a moment to admire Holly Black’s titles. The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing are just the perfect titles for these books: simple, efficient and perfect summaries of the books’s plots.

Now that it’s done, I have a confession to make: it took me a long time to get through this book (compared to my usual reading speed). But it’s not because the book was bad, oh no, it’s just because I didn’t want to finish this wonderful series!

I couldn’t have dreamed for a more perfect ending book. Holly Black manages to go on with her amazing worldbuilding and plot. Betrayals are still here and again, they are accompanied by duels and murders. Jude discovers her new role as a queen which is very different from the politics she was doing in the shadows. She now has to gain the trust and loyalty of her subjects, who are not keen in considering mortals as their equals as we have seen it since volume one. She is still cunning and I loved that she again hesitates to take immoral choices to gain power and despite her feelings for Cardan. This entire series is a portrait of power and the thirst for it, which change people and make them take actions they would not have considered before. I enjoyed the way the author shows that the crave for power is infinite unless you lose or decide to put an end to it.

If you’ve read my previous review of The Wicked King you know that the only weakness of it was the lack of scenes with other characters, and particularly Jude’s sisters. Well, The Queen of Nothing solves this issue as we have new subplots surrounding secondary characters and they are all presents and active parts of the book. I must say that the one who surprised me the most was Taryn and I finally almost liked her (even if she was as selfish as ever). It was such a satisfaction to learn what happened to Locke and to read Taryn’s justification.

Finally, the romance. It was not truly present in the first two books since it was a very slow-burn romance. Cardan and Jude speak honestly about their feelings to each other at last! but their characters still make their relationship very funny 😀 It was so interesting to see how they balance each other and to be with Jude when she realises the depth of her feelings for him (even if I hold my breath towads the end).

In brief: it’s definitively one of my favourite series of all time. If you’re here but you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for ?! 😉

My rating: 5/5

Trigger-warnings: murder, bullying

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