As the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is reeling from Cardan’s betrayal and is determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin siser, Taryn, whose life is in peril. Jude myst return to the treacherous Farie Court and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan.
But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing, and she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics. When a terrible curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing Jude to choose between her ambition and her humanity…
“I feel the soft brush of his tail against my ankle, winding around my calf.”
… This is not a scenario I would ever have imagined myself finding totally hot, but such is the power of Holly Black. Or maybe it’s the pandemic enforced isolation.
Probably it’s a little of both.
Queen of Nothing, the final book in Holly Black’s Folk of Air trilogy was everything I wanted.
Did it all totally hang together? Nope!
Were some things too easily resolved? Absolutely.
Did I mind? Not one bit.
With the exception of one off-page death – not to be all blood-thirsty, but I feel like we deserved to see it – part three of this power-grabbing, sexy, magical adventure was the satisfying conclusion I needed.
Escapist, immersive and a little bit silly, this series is one of my top recs for surviving the panny-d.
We have all the necessary ingredients for total distraction: sexy faeries, political intrigue that has nothing to do with actual real life political intrigue (I remain a little unsure why all these faerie clans were so mad at each other and I do not mind at all), complicated female relationships, spies and a really big snake.
If you don’t think a really big snake is a necessary ingredient for total distraction then you have clearly never been faced with one. Nothing focuses the mind quite like a really big snake.
Jude’s story has a satisfying three-act structure that totally pays off in the finale. If in book one she was teetering on the edge of herself and during book two barrelling down the rabbit hole of Roy family levels of manipulation and general evilness (like Succession but with magical kingdoms instead of America’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate), in book three she finds something like balance. While she is not exactly a nice person by the end – thank God. That would have been so disappointing – she has found the middle ground of her humanity and her desire for power, and it is a surprisingly solid place. I don’t get the sense she’s totally ‘clean’ – her and Cardan are still very much the people they started out as (albeit older and wiser, heads of state, etc) – and a potential future that sees her fall off the no-active-evil wagon is not unimaginable, and there is satisfaction in that, too. What has been so attractive about Jude from the beginning is her propensity to make a total mess of things, and she doesn’t shed that tendency to achieve perfection like so many YA special snowflakes before her.
Like I said, she is what she has always been: a human girl in a faerie world. It’s complicated, but she’s figuring it out.
Right now we need distraction, we need satisfaction, and quite honestly, we need sexy times. The Folk of Air series provides in all departments. If you’re looking to be somewhere else for a while, these three books are a great option.
2 thoughts on “Queen of Nothing”
The whole “need for sexy times” made me chuckle. I wonder what exactly we’re talking about in this fairly dark faerie YA novel. 😀 Glad it delivered as the third and final installment though. Nice review as always, Lydia. 🙂
Great review as always Lydia! I totally agree that one of the reasons why you can’t help but love Jude is simply because she is NOT a good person, the way most YA protagonists are shown to be. I love that she is greedy, selfish and frankly…kinda toxic? Especially her romance with Cardan is just problematic on so many levels, but I like that Holly Black neither romanticizes it nor does she chastise it. It is simply what it is, as you said.