I’m a huge fan of YA fantasy – and Holly Black is one of my favorite fantasy authors of all. I was a little late to the game with her Folk of the Air series – but holy did it live up to the hype. Given how much I loved the first two books, the bar was set super high for this third and final book, The Queen of Nothing.
After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.
When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.
When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.
Once again – Holly Black blew me away with her storytelling prowess. She was seriously masterful in how she wrapped up all the loose ends from the series. Not only did she wrap up the loose ends, she also delivered an excellent finale to a great series – I think this was my favorite book of the trilogy. In this book, Jude and Cardan each finished their own very satisfying character arcs – they grew as individuals and they grew together in a way that felt organic and well earned.
The Queen of Nothing is the book that finally realizes the potential and two books of pent up tension between Jude and Cardan. I know this is a fantasy book first and foremost, but holy was the romance between these two is epic. They started the book totally at odds – with Jude serving her banishment and Cardan on the throne – as the book progressed and they were forced to be face to face again, their dynamic had somehow gotten better during their time apart. These two are definitely one of my favorite fantasy couples.
The Queen of Nothing is a perfect ending to The Folk of the Air series – it wraps up all the loose threads, gave full character arcs to all the characters, and overall was a really fun time. If you loved this series and are looking for something new to pick up, check out anything by Tamora Pierce or Sorcery of Thorns. Also, if you weren’t aware, you can actually read the letters that Cardan sent Jude (from a special edition of the book) here. 5/5