The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black
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.
Jude is no longer living in the Faerie Kingdom. Only her big sister, Vivienne, and the King, Cardan, know her role as Queen. She has decided to do her best to exist in the human world where she was born. Her new life is fairly working out until her twin sister shows up with a strange request. Taryn’s life is in danger. She asks Jude for help, and Jude decides to give it.
Jude returns to the faerie kingdom where war is brewing. She does her best to move among the enemy and people who want her dead. Jude’s bravery grows with each chapter until her luck runs out, and she must face the one who betrayed her. Cardan, the King of Elfhame.
This final book has a lot of action I love. Jude’s fragility plays a huge role as she faces her father, and even Cardan and the people who would take his crown from him. I admire the fact that despite Jude’s fragility, she somehow manages to seem the strongest, the least frail despite her obvious weakness. Her determination to live through so much bullying has given her a hard shell. She has learned how to stand up to the worst and come out of it with a positive outcome.
The romance between Cardan and Jude is a very interesting bond to explore. It’s surprising to discover. Cardan has a serious reliance on Jude’s ability to handle the crap that comes at them in the palace. Jude on the other hand grows dependent on Cardan’s trust. She doesn’t acknowledge it at first, but she does view him as one of her people. As the last book ended, when Cardan betrays her, Jude does have this moment of feeling the loss of him. Which is where The Queen of Nothing starts out. Jude won’t acknowledge this loss, but it lingers in the way she looks at him, thinks about him, in what she does. The relief is immense when they find each other again and I love the surprise of finding hints of their romance.
In the end, I feel that The Queen of Nothing is a great conclusion to a story in which a mortal girl becomes the queen of the Faerie. Despite her fragility and her weaknesses, she emerges as the strongest in a kingdom filled with the strongest creatures.