The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black is the third and final book in a YA fantasy series. I’ve been eagerly waiting to read this and devoured it within 24 hours of buying it. Because it’s the third book in a series, I’m going to do my best to write a non-spoiler review. If you’re keen to try this series for yourself start with The Cruel Prince and then The Wicked King.
This series is all about faeries, and the few mortals living with them, and is set in the Shifting Isles of Elfhame. The main protagonist is a human girl named Jude. Her mother was once in a relationship with a faerie general named Madoc, but she ran away from him into the mortal world when pregnant with his child (Jude’s older sister). Jude is completely human, as is her twin sister. When Jude was a child, Madoc came and killed their mother and then took all three sisters to Elfhame. Being mortal in a faerie realm is not a good thing so Jude has had to learn to be sneaky, dangerous and as cut-throat as the faeries around her. In the first two books, she plots and schemes to become the power behind the throne in the Faerie Court.
A twist at the end of book two sees Jude’s circumstances drastically change as she is banished from the faerie realm by the person she has a love/hate relationship with. Jude needs to find a way to get back where she belongs. In this conclusion to the Folk of the Air series, there’s lots of plotting, scheming, conflict and high stakes. Jude is a morally questionable character but so are all the characters in this book. You can’t help but cheer for her and want to see her succeed.
The relationship between Jude and King Cardan is one that keeps you guessing so I’m glad that it’s finally resolved in this book. I also love Holly Black’s faerie world which is dark and twisted, beautiful and sinister.
Verdict: A stunning conclusion to a very enjoyable YA series.