The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Queen of Nothing
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Panda Rating:

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…

WELL. I closed this book with a lot of new, mixed and surprising feelings for many characters that I honestly didn’t care all that much about to start with. This was a pretty good conclusion although it was really nothing mind-blowing. Honestly, if I had been more invested in the characters from book one, I might even go so far as to say that I might’ve been disappointed with this ending. But if you like clean happy endings (and I mean who doesn’t?), then I think that The Queen of Nothing will tick all your boxes and leave you feeling satisfied.

I felt the storyline in QoN focused quite heavily on the romance compared to the other books. As I mentioned in my review for TWK, I like witnessing the vulnerability in Jude and Cardan’s characters, so it is no surprise then that I also liked how their romance played out.

“Seelie and Unseelie, Wild Folk and Shy Folk, I am glad to have you march under my banner, glad of your loyalty, grateful for your honor.” His gaze goes to me. “To you, I offer honey wine and the hospitality of my table. But to traitors and oath breakers, I offer my queen’s hospitality instead. The hospitality of knives.”

Which brings me to what surprised me most about this book and it’s the new feelings I developed for the characters by the end of the story. Some might consider what I say ahead MINOR SPOILERS, so fair warning!

If you’ve read my reviews for the previous books you’ll know that while I enjoyed the story, I found all the characters to be a little ‘meh’. They didn’t really evoke emotions, save for one and that was pure rage; but I didn’t really feel connected to any character. That changed quite a bit in this last book. I found myself having “aww” moments when characters showed more appealing (softer? more human?) sides despite being generally awful. When QoN picks up with Jude in the mortal world, I was sure that Taryn’s quick and seemingly “innocent” reappearance meant that there would be even greater betrayals to come. It hasn’t exactly been a hardship to hate her but color me surprised when I found myself not hating her when the story ended. I didn’t like her because she was still an awful person, but I also wasn’t fuming at the mention of her. Same goes for Cardan and Jude. While I still ended up being a little lukewarm toward Jude, I did grow to really like Cardan’s character. Would be it be fair to say that he’s quite the marshmallow?

“Mock me all you like. Whatever I imagined then, now it is I who would beg and grovel for a kind word from your lips.” His eyes are black with desire. “By you, I am forever undone.”

As the conclusion to a series, this was actually a surprisingly quick and short read. The continued storyline was interesting and it initially went into a direction that I didn’t expect with Cardan. For the most part though, it was pretty easy to predict what would happen and I didn’t find myself surprised or shocked by any of the events that unfolded. I was expecting a much bigger blow out so was a little disappointed when that didn’t happen as I thought it might. I found the pacing to be quite rushed at times, as if everything had to be very neatly tidied up as quickly as possible. Then there were also one or two minor characters that were introduced that felt like they would have a bigger role at the end but didn’t… so that also felt a bit odd? Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing but I was just expecting more from the build up to the conclusion.

The world building and plot continued to be amazing throughout the whole series and while I liked the complexity of the characters, I didn’t feel as connected to them as I hoped. That said, I enjoyed this book the most in the trilogy. It’s when I started forming connections to more of the characters and that made it a much more enjoyable read. Will this be a series I go back to time and again? Probably not… But I will keep my copies on the shelf in case I ever change my mind (and also because the naked covers are gorgeous)!

Have you read The Queen of Nothing or is it on your TBR?
What did you think about this conclusion to the series?

14 thoughts on “The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black – #BookReview

  1. Great review, Dini! I think I agree with pretty much everything you said – there was nothing mind-blowing about this finale, but it was really nice to read a book that felt safe and I think it makes for interesting discussions about what it is we look for in books. Does every book have to surprise us? We’d get bored fairly easily if every single book did, I think, so sometimes it’s nice to read something fun and easy, which is definitely what this book was for me. 😀

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    1. I totally agree. It was definitely safe but at the same time I think it was really built up to something like an “epic war” but that didn’t happen and it fell a little flat imo. I mean, as nice as it was to have everything very happily and easily resolved lol But I do agree not every book has to surprise and wow. In the end though, this wasn’t a bad ending and I was pretty satisfied with it and I think that feeling of being resolved is what satisfied me 🙂

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    1. It really does! I quite like the detail in the cover but also the details for the start of each chapter and the text separators in each chapter! 🙂 Did you read QoN or TWK? Coz I remember you were meh about TCP too lol

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        1. Hahaha fair enough. I thought TWK was okay but it’s so hard to enjoy a series more when you don’t really like the characters. QoN was a satisfying ending and probably my fave book of the whole series, but I can see why people who loved the series would be disappointed with it too lol

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          1. Yeah, my sister was definitely disappointed, lol. She told me what happened since I just don’t like the characters xD

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  2. Great review! That’s true we agree on many points but I seemed to have liked the Wicked King more than you did! To me it was one of my all-time favourite ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know a lot of people loved this series a lot but I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters and that’s what made it difficult for me to love it. BUT I did still enjoy it enough and I’m glad I saw this series through to the end 🙂

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