The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black
He will be the destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.
Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this 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 powerless and 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 dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.
*Thinking really hard* Was it really jaw-dropping though? Like, it HAD its moments. But really though? I must get back to you on that one. IT COULD'VE BEEN LONGER, FOR ONE. And like, CARDAN COULD'VE FELT MORE...THERE. So yes, this is going to be a wonderful rant. AND WHAT THE HECK WAS UP WITH THAT SNAKE?!
RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟⭐ 4.3
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! ABORT IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT YET!
It has taken me approximately 27 days to write this review. Why? Well because to this day I am conflicted about said book. And because, you know, Christmas has killed more than one brain cell this year. Let's begin, shall we?
*Clearing throat* *beginning vocal warm-ups* *placing earmuffs on passerby* WHAT WAS UP WITH JUDE THIS WHOLE BOOK?! I have loved this girl, for so long. Have cheered her decisions (sometimes. Other times, well. Let's just say, that her brain was not present), have cried over some things with her, screeched on her part, felt utterly disrespected FOR her. But the first few chapters of her existence. *Deep breath* My Goodreads update feed has evidence as to how much, at what degree, and where exactly, I felt like smacking her. Repeatedly. Over the head. With my marriage certificate. Because yes, Cardan and I, we are a thing. (I have noticed that I dream of hitting fictional characters at a level that is not quite normalcy certified, so please, forgive my excessive use of those words. People just deserve them sometimes.) I started this book (like so many before) right after I finished The Wicked King. I remember thinking about the repercussions (I honestly don't do it enough) of starting this book at 2 am, but like a smart being that I am...ignored that sliver of wisdom that graces my presence every 67 years.
Beginning this review with how angry, dear June here, made me, might make you think, 'Oh! THAT'S why she gave this book a lower rating than the rest!' However, I feel inclined to justify my reasons as to why this book was a... how to say this nicely...hmmm...a hit-and-miss. I'm sorry, and I feel terribly awful, but I wished the author would've taken a few steps back and realized, maybe the book should've been longer. Or maybe, just MAYBE, Jude and Cardan could've had more...growth. As a couple. I honestly can't tell you if I loved them together.
𝓣𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰𝓼 𝓘 𝓛𝓲𝓴𝓮𝓭 (𝓸𝓻 𝓫𝓮𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓻 𝔂𝓮𝓽, 𝓭𝓲𝓭𝓷'𝓽 𝓭𝓲𝓼𝓵𝓲𝓴𝓮 𝓪𝓼 𝓶𝓾𝓬𝓱, 𝓸𝓻 𝓳𝓾𝓼𝓽 𝓛𝓞𝓥𝓔𝓓):
The main thing that I absolutely adored was how beautifully vicious Madoc became. Like, I know he killed Jude's parents and all, and I UNDERSTAND that he basically threatened Jabberwocky here...for literally EVERYTHING. But when they betrayed each other? And then he betrayed her...then she betrayed him. He stabbed her almost to death. She-- well, the gist is, everyone betrayed everyone, and everyone got somehow in a bigger mess than before. So yes, I craved that aspect of it and was super excited to see it brought to fruition. (AND HE STABBED HER, AND THEN REGRETTED IT. MY BABY HAS FEELINGS!)
Punto numero dos. Cardan. Aren't you tired of me fangirling over him? Well, I'm sorry. But I have to do this. I feel like this is my moral obligation... *cough* 'CAUSE I'M YOUR LADDYYYYYYY AND YOU ARE MY MAAAAAAAAANNNN, WHENEVER YOU REACH FOR MEEEEEEEE, *mumbling lyrics because I don't know the rest* I DO UM...THE ALL THAT I...AMMMMMMMMM. *Close scene* Okay, now that I regained (lost) some of my dignity for writing a review so gosh-darned late, let me objectify my opinion of this grandiose being and inform you of the best points he made in the book.
He was present for one. Not as much as I would've loved, but oh well, the book is 200 pages long, what more can we hope for. *smirks in petty*
At times, he was extremely sarcastic, and I lived for those times. In the span of the whole series, he kind of got more serious, and I got more 'meh' about his new-found character. His grayness was unfortunately diminished, which I understand, but will not accept.
And finally, because I have had enough of squealing (for now, my throat is extremely sore. And like, I can feel my neighbors' glares from over here) His love for J... His love for Juuuuu... okay, his love for Jabberwocky. I'm sorry, but no. She was not 'it' for me, in this book. He, however, he was alllll the---
So, closing this mild appreciation (which is not enough, mind you. However, I'll have mercy on all of you) of my husband let's move to the final 'punto' which will be the following.
*Taking deep inhale* Lockanalay is dead, killed by T-witch here (which did not also die, another thing I disliked.) AND yes, I am quite aware that she is pregnant. Put the baby for adoption. *gasp* HAVE CARDAN ADOPT HIM. I CAN BE THE BABY'S STEPMO--okay, you're done here. *being dragged away from the computer by common sense* NO, MY BABY, I NEED HIM, JABBERJUDE DOESN'T DESERVE--noo *microphone ripped away* noooooooo *fades to silence* (I honestly don't know how I come up with these things, just follow the flow. Wait, follow the flo-- Oh! Go with the flow. I literally thought my first phrase was correct )
𝓣𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰𝓼 𝓘 𝓭𝓲𝓭 𝓝𝓸𝓽 𝓛𝓲𝓴𝓮 (𝓸𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰𝓼 𝓘 𝓲𝓶𝓪𝓰𝓲𝓷𝓮𝓭, 𝔀𝓸𝓾𝓵𝓭 𝓯𝓵𝔂 𝓽𝓸 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓹𝓲𝓽𝓼 𝓸𝓯 𝓗𝓮𝓵𝓵, 𝓫𝓮𝓬𝓪𝓾𝓼𝓮 𝔀𝓮 𝓿𝓪𝓵𝓾𝓮 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓮𝓷𝓿𝓲𝓻𝓸𝓷𝓶𝓮𝓷𝓽):
Oh yeah, I've been waiting for this. Yep, let's get to ranting gentle ladies, men, and everything in between!
The rushed aspect of the book was frankly, lost on me. Kind of like my mouth filter. But lost nonetheless. As I've mentioned before, I would've loved for the book to be longer. For the SOLE reason, that I felt like I was running a race without even walking first. And I don't run unless being chased. And it depends on who's doing the chasing. So yes, I ~disliked~ that aspect quite a bit. Moving on to the next point:
JABBERWO--I mean, Jude: She was whiny at the beginning, didn't really grow out of that phase. Actually annoyed me a bit (very small, very minuscule, but I'm going to rant about it like it's this HUGE problem. But it's not) her interactions with the rest of the characters made me interpret her like a glass pane. Yes, sturdy and effective in its firmaments and just a pain when wanting to have an emotional conversation with her. Being all: Oh, I don't want to break down in front of these people, because I do NOT want to seem weak. So let me just go take a walk (I actually don't remember if this is what she did, therefore, feel free to roast my uneducated rambling, if you will) in the middle of a WAR and sob passionately. Like, dude, you have people that CARE about you. What in the heck are you doing out and about, like it's nothing?!? This brings me to the second point that I disliked.
The ~romance~ annoyed me to such a measure I cannot explain it properly. But I still will. It felt nonexistent. I had maybe three pages where neither of them was being killed, tortured, threatened, or bribed. I just don't know how to read into it, guys. It's painful to admit it (it's honestly not) that they didn't even get a chance to FALL in love. They just kind of FELL in a grave of despair together and in less than 6 emotional conversations, grew attached to each other and said: I love you. I certainly will not put my petty hide on display and negate any swoony feelings I had on any of their 6 conversations *smirk*. Because I DID have swoony feelings throughout each and (almost) every interaction between the two. It just wasn't enough. I bet he doesn't even know her favorite color. Or favorite sword. *gasp* HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HER FAVORITE BOOK--I'm done. Yeah, they need more time together. Oh, and don't even get me started on THAT chapter of both of them. I love my Cardan, I truly do. But dang, that man said some next level cheesy lines. Love him, but no. If I were in her position, well, I wouldn't be in her position, to be honest. *laughs in antisocial midget*
The truly final pint--I mean, point. I truly need a pint of something after finishing this. Chocolate. Hot chocolate, diabetes, here I come! (I really don't know at what frequency my brain operates in) the whole 'battle' at the end. I expected for a full-blown scale of bloody sewage mixed with disturbing dismemberment and obscene amounts of 'HE'S DEAD, OH MY GOSH HE'S DEAD'. What did I get? A simple battle. That got Cardan turned into a snake. You heard me right. His tale and his nature have been combined. Woah, I just noticed that. So yes, do I believe that end could've been better? Yes, yes, I do. Do I believe Jude could've killed Cardan for the SOLE reason that he be banished to the mortal realm and be apart from her and learn to live as a human? Yes, yes I do. That would've been amazing honestly.
In the beginning, when Jude has to go in place of her sister (witch) and Cardan pretends to be all angry and ish, and THEN reveals that he knew it was her all along? THAT, that cured something in me.
Lockanalays death. I have done well with my influence.
The moment everybody realized: Wow, let's just send Madoc to the mortal realm without writing a book about it. Because that's VERY smart.
Here you have come, my children. To the end of this mess of a review (which I tried to make more organized, browny point?) I have wished for your souls to have been entertained and brainal systems to have been nourished. Adieu. Goodbye. Till next time. Um...CARDAN! (I just had to)