The Queen of Nothing

Holly Black

The final installment in the The Folk in the Air trilogy begins with the arrival of Taryn in the human world after Jude’s exile with a dilemma. A big one. Locke is dead and she’s pregnant. Jude has been sent to the mortal in exile after murdering the High King Cardan’s brother Balekin. Little does anyone know, Jude and Cardan secretly got married the night before her banishment, making Jude the High Queen of Elfhame. Jude must risk going back to Faerie in Taryn’s place during the questioning of Locke’s death. 

But when she gets there, Faerie has changed and life as she knows it will forever be changed. With twists and turns you won’t see coming, we watch Jude make sacrifices and promises that will alter her relationships, and herself, forever.

There are not enough words in the world to describe the amount of love I have for this series. The writing is so beautiful and otherworldly. It’s the perfect example of writing that transports you to another time and place and helps you escape the mundane in your life. The way Holly Black describes the world, actions, sounds, and feelings is incredible. She’s seasoned this made up world to be extra believable. I know a lot of fantasy is like this, since they have to compensate for their worlds being fake and everything, but I don’t think I’ve wanted to live in another world as bad as this one. Having the human world be incredibly modern made it feel possible. Genius.

This one was a tad bit slow in the beginning for me. I don’t like it when the main characters are together, let alone not in the same realm. I’m reading this for the scraps of Jude and Cardan. Having Jude away for so much of the first half was boring for me. I was looking ahead to when they would have any sort of interaction. I like them together and so many of their walls were broken down in the past two books, and then to have them separated was so upsetting and I kept reading to get the satisfaction of them finally admitting that they were absolutely head over heels for each other. I could feel Jude slowly starting to let herself be open to love. And she states that it’s okay to love something that might hurt you. Like come on! She’s so desperate to have any piece of Cardan, she’s willing to get hurt. She stops wanting the worst for him and starts trying to actually protect him, not knowing if he truly cares for her, in any way. And Cardan, that sneaky little bastard. He drops so many hints to Jude that he’s obsessed and she’s too busy with her own self doubt to notice how love struck he is. Nicassia can tell! Everyone can tell, except Jude. 

Alright, so I was wrong about Locke being meaningless haha. He deserved everything he got in this book. (SPOILER) An off screen death is exactly what he would’ve hated. Not having the audience witness his demise and learning that no one really mourned him would’ve been upsetting for the Master of Revels and the story teller. I think he would’ve liked that his death was how this book started and was the main plot for about half. And he would’ve liked that Jude had a hand in some part of his downfall. For how much trouble he put her through and heartbreak, she should’ve killed him. I was slightly bugged that Taryn got to have the final swing at Locke. I think it should have been a tag team match; two against one. 

And I am so over Madoc. Every book he came back with some BS about Jude being his favorite daughter and how she should be fighting with him, not against him. But he makes it ridiculously hard for her to try to be his daughter. He deserved a lot more than the punishment Jude gave him. I had so much hope for him in the beginning. I love step fathers. I think they play a huge role in the lives of children. He took responsibility for these human orphans when he didn’t need to. I do think being banished to the human world weaponless will give him a new appreciation for mortality. 

Let’s talk about the Court of Shadows for a minute: I’m so in love with them, all of them. Yes, even the Ghost. He redeemed himself and I want to hug him. The only way I’ll accept Taryn into my heart 1000% is if she ends up banging the Ghost. Couple of little traitors with little spy babies would be cute. His little side glances and meaningful looks at her sent me. I think that’s an interesting match, but at least we all know she would be protected. And the Bomb and the Roach need to be married right this instant. I declare them husband and wife; y’all are married now, live happily ever after. The ending coronation where Cardan gave them their gifts of masks had me in tears. It was such an important scene to this ragtag group of outcasts. And I did forget Taryn was pregnant until Cardan brought it up at the end haha.

These three books took me through a rollercoaster of emotions and I’m so incredibly grateful I bit the bullet and read these. The intrigue and romance and suspense leaves you not knowing where you’ll be in five pages. When a book is all you can think about during the day, when you’re not actively reading it, it’s a good one. And this was a good book. Good plot, good characters and character development, good villains. A true masterpiece and an easy classic for the future. I will not be forgetting this one any time soon.