Review: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black [Folk of the Air # 3]

“By you, I am forever undone.”

We have come to the conclusion of the Folk of the Air series! It’s been a long journey but I would say I am pretty satisfied, for the most part.


Genre(s): Fantasy || Age Group: Young Adult

Published: 19 November 2019 || Read: 20 October 2020

No. of Pages: 305 (hardcover)

Click here to view Trigger Warnings Death, murder, gore, talk of cannibalism, torture

Links: Goodreads || Amazon

He will be the destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

click here to see the rest of the blurb which has SPOILERS FOR BOOK 2: The Wicked King Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to. Jude learned that 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 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 terrible curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…. From #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to the Folk of the Air series.

Series: Folk of the Air (book 1: The Cruel Prince, book 2: The Wicked King, book 3: The Queen of Nothing)

Holly Black really ended the series off with a bang. Once again, the plot did not disappoint. There were a couple of plot twists, though not as major as those in The Wicked King. Nonetheless, the storyline was even more engaging. I think how well it flowed was due to the series of unfortunate events which were all interconnected, most of them were not life changing but in their own ways, together they changed the direction of the book. There were also many references to plot points in the first two books like prophecies, I found that extremely enjoyable!

The only issue about the plot that stood out to me was the ending. Was it just me or was it slightly cliche? In the end, a lot of things started to work in their favour, people cooperating against the huge enemy, and even the way the hero defeated the threat felt quite banal and overdramatic? I’m not too sure about this, as this is my first fae book so please tell me what you all think and whether or not this is “good” with the perspective of the fae world!

“I feel like a constellation of wounds, held together with string and stubbornness.”

Furthermore, I got really attached to our characters in this last book. Especially Jude. She displays a tremendous growth which mostly stems from the struggle of being betrayed but still having *feelings*. Unlike the first book, this internal conflict is raised repeatedly throughout the book at pivotal and/or emotional moments. As the book progresses, I could clearly see how her response changed with the things happening around her, and in turn altering her character and even some of her values.

The theme of self-identity was also prevalent in the later part of the book, one which resonated with me. Jude struggled with her identity in the past 2 books as a mortal, but with book 3 this was taken onto a whole new level. She still has that same insecurities but now her actions have bigger implications. This brought about even more internal struggle which added much flavour to her character.

“Oh, I don’t know,” I say. “Maybe he’d like to hear me scream.” “I would,” Cardan says, standing. “And perhaps one day I will.”

If I talk about the characters and don’t mention Cardan then something must be wrong with me, for he is one of the most captivating and conflicting characters I have met so far. I think I may have lived for the Cardan moments, whether is it his effortless charm, dynamics with Jude and especially those rarities of him being insecure. *tries hard not to start fangirling*

He fits right into the “bad boy” trope, and on a completely unrelated note, reminds me of Keefe from KOTLC. Both with the tragic/dark/sad background and desire to protect the girl. However, unlike Keefe, I regret to say that I was still unable to connect to his backstory, which hindered how I saw his growth as a character. I think that a second POV of Cardan’s, one that is distinct and uniquely his (cough Allegiant) would have been extremely insightful for us readers.

Gosh, I really love Cardan, I’m smitten but I felt that his character was a little inconsistent. I understand that his fluctuating character was intended to show how multi-faceted he is, but it ended up in me being so confused and a bit of a break in his character development.

“My sweet nemesis, how glad I am that you returned.”

That being said, the romance was *squeals*. So I am pretty critical on romances, especially those that copy and paste from tropes. The relationship between Jude and Cardan was undoubtedly the enemies to lovers trope. However, it was made so messy and complicated and engaging that I fell for it. It was so good!

(Heads up, this is not going to be me analysing but a few sentences of fangirling.) Their moments together were so sweet! And that uncertainty and anticipation? Killed me ahhh. Even throughout the book where they were not together, Jude constantly thinks of Cardan, his words ringing in her ears and affecting how she acts and carries herself. *makes weird, excited gestures in the air* (Okay, now to not so crazy mode.)

With that, I can’t believe I just finished my first series on fae. This was incredibly fascinating as a whole, and apart from the disaster book 1 was and the issues I have like only being able to connect fully, I enjoyed the ride.

P.S. Yes yes, I hope to read ACOTAR soon, I already bought the books and they are on their way!

Have you read The Queen of Nothing? Was it the conclusion you were hoping for? Anyone else head over heels for the romance?

25 thoughts on “Review: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black [Folk of the Air # 3]

    1. Haha, thank you for your comment! Hmmm I think the romance comes in the later half…I am failing recall now ahhh as the whole series is now being mashed together in my mind to become one long satisfying story… 🥰

      Liked by 1 person


    I’m not head over heels for the romance(though I did love the tension) but one of my favourite parts of this book was when Jude was talking to Cardans mom and she reveals that she intercepted Cardans letters to Jude in the mortal world because his mother was talking about how Cardan will tire of Jude when she’s no longer a challenge.
    I loved Jude’s retort when she said, ” Is that why you intercepted the letters he sent? To protect me? Or was it because you’re afraid he won’t tire of me? Because my lady, I will always be a challenge.”

    There are so many more one liners I loved from this book that would make this comment much longer than it already is but with all that being said it was my 2nd favourite in the series behind The Wicked King.

    The Cruel Prince… we don’t talk about her.

    Anyways, loved reading your review and agree that the plot(although predictable) and tension between Jude and Cardan were the highlights of this series!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh mannn ahh I remember that now… my heart was cheering for Jude in that moment😍! I love characters who master witty retorts because I can never…😂
      Thanks Eryn! I’m glad that you agree. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. loved reading your review! and i’m glad you loved cardan and jude in the end 🙂 i agree with the ending being a little cliche, but nonetheless i loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhhhh I loved this review! I loved the Folk of the Air ( Wicked King was my favourite and the faanart that people do are just so awesome ) and really enjoyed reading your analysis! I love reading just mushy reviews but I also struggle to find some really in depth analyses like this – loved it!
    Emma xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words… it means a lot to me. ❤ Yes I have to agree, fanarts are so epic, the icing on the cake for books! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just finished this book too! I agree that including Cardan’s POV would have helped tremendously. I want to know what he was thinking during those big moments. 🙂

    Anyway, this was such a fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yes I see your review in my reader… will be going to read it later… excited to hear and compare opinions haha.

      Indeed, Cardan is too mysterious, Glad you agree. ☺️

      Thanks for commenting! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sanah… Ooh I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt that way… TWK and TQON were books with epic twists so I was expecting a grander and more mind blowing ending. Haha same same, the romance was just too good! 😍Thank you for commenting! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review! 🙂 I did wish the ending of this book was different. The book felt too short for me and I was expecting the final battle scene to have more involved. Other than that, I enjoyed this book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you May… I’m so glad that you agree, with a lot of mind-blowing plot twists, I was expecting Holly Black to have pulled of an epic ending as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review! I definitely enjoyed reading your take on the book. I definitely thought that the aspect of Jude thinking of Cardan and letting him affect her actions all the time adorable and endearing, especially considering how unfeeling she is most of the time. Thanks for the great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, I like your point about Jude being unfeeling… it really did show the depth of the relationship! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Isabella. ❤


  7. Ooo great review!! I love how you talk about Cardan (I mean YES) and I’m sorry you didn’t love it – I understand that we had heard a some of the stuff before. I didn’t want the world to end after this book, so I recently bought the cardan novella. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but I’d definitely recommend! Here’s my review of how the king learned to hate stories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much haha! Ooh I have definitely heard of How the King of Elfhame Learnt to Hate Stories and it’s amazing art, but haven’t gotten the chance to snag a copy of it! I’m glad you enjoyed it, thank you for sharing your review!


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