The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
The Queen of Nothing. The final book in the Folk of the Air trilogy. Wow. Somehow I always forget how much I love Holly Black’s books until I read the next one, and fall back in love even faster than before.
The Queen of Nothing follows Jude as she returns to the Faerie Court, facing Cardan and various other figures from her past. There are duels and betrayal and plot twists and schemes and moments to shatter your hearts into tiny pieces, and I wouldn’t want it any different. Also, Jude pretends to be Taryn for a while and I am a huge fan of characters switching places, I just think it’s great fun.
Let’s start with Jude. Wonderful, powerful, brave Jude. From the very start of this book Jude is doing her own thing, carrying out illicit faerie jobs for money in the human world. I love everything about Jude, how strong and furious she is, how she schemes and fights, how she hates to be powerless. It gives me such a rush when she asserts herself as queen, refusing to bow to anyone else’s wishes (she also uses her period as an excuse to scare off a male guard which was epic). Jude isn’t particularly close with her siblings anymore, but she loves them fiercely, and the complexity of all the relationships in the book are wonderful. I haven’t read a relationship that makes me squeal like Jude’s and Cardan’s in a long time. The innuendo. The tension. The hate and fire and love. The tender moments.
Holly Black is a truly masterful writer. Even the prologue was magical. The action thrilled me, the tension had me on edge and I had to take several moments to process the deadly beauty of the Faerie Court. Holly Black can truly make me laugh, and I smiled throughout the entire book. I am in awe of Holly’s writing of the faeries, especially since they cannot lie so Holly had to find ways to lie without being untrue. The contrast between the mortal and faerie world was brilliant, especially the depth with which growing up human in a faerie world shaped Jude, Taryn and Vivi.
When I came to the ending, I didn’t want to keep reading but I couldn’t stop racing towards it. This was the first time I’d read for a solid hour or so in a while, and it felt awesome. And terrifying because it meant the book was coming to an end. The ending (metaphorically) killed me, such delicious dark beauty and emotions and imagery. The whole book was as intoxicating and enchanting as a faerie glamour.
Would I survive this book? In the faerie world, no. In the human world, yes.