With any beloved series, I go into the final instalment with high expectations. So did The Queen of Nothing deliver?
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. . .
If someone were to ask me to sum up my experience of reading The Queen of Nothing I would phrase it as an easy read. Now, if the same question was asked for any of the previous books then I would happily explain it in great detail. I enjoyed the conclusion to this story I have loved so much and wouldn’t have it end any other way. But there was still something missing that wasn’t missing in the past instalments.
Jude is now in the mortal world living the best she can, considering she’s not supposed to be alive. I was pleased to see that even in a different setting she is still the bloodshed character we seem to love. She finds a way to make ends meet while living with her siblings and it’s fun reading about her mortal adventures. But that quickly comes to a halt when her twin sister, Taryn, shows up.
One thing leads to another and soon Jude finds herself back in Elfhame in front of her enemy — the person she can’t seem to stop loving. Readers will be happy with Jude and Cardan’s reunion, although it’s very short which made me sad. Honestly, all of their interactions felt quick. It was a shame considering their hate to love relationship has been a solid foundation in this series.
Jude and Cardan are complex characters and their relationship has always remained interesting. I could never figure out if I love or hate them since their relationship has been extremely toxic. I even had thoughts of a different ending for them than the one we get. In The Queen of Nothing it is clear that the two have grown from their first interaction, though. I think seeing their vulnerabilities in a clear light helped sway me to wish the best for their outcome.
Once Jude is back in Elfhame the action comes fast and doesn’t stop until the final page. She is forced to confront all of the things in her life that has shaped who she is. From the battlefield to giving advice to her sister’s girlfriend, Jude tackles everything with her heart on her sleeve. I think this was my favorite aspect of The Queen of Nothing. She truly comes full circle.
Even with all of the twists and turns that one can expect in a world full of faeries, this book felt anticlimactic, especially after the masterpiece that was The Wicked King.
Holly Black is a master at writing compelling stories and bringing readers into an intriguing world through her writing. The Queen of Nothing is no different because her storytelling is still brilliant. I think the downfall is the fact that it was so short. If we got even 100 more pages, I really believe this could’ve been the best book in the series.
Overall, I enjoyed The Queen of Nothing. Like I said, it was an easy read and I was happy to be reunited with characters I have grown to love, despite their flaws. There is a fair share of action and political intrigue to please readers. Most will be happily satisfied with Jude and Cardan’s ending, too! I’ll always recommend this series to anyone who needs some epic fantasy storytelling in their life!