The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
Publisher/date: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (November 19, 2019)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Folk of the Air (3) (Book 3)
"Maybe it isn't the worst thing to want to be loved, even if you're not. Maybe being human isn't always being weak."
Jude finds her way back to Elfhame and back into the Game of Thrones. Only to discover that she could have come back a long time ago. Now she has to defend her throne against her step father and the throng of fae who will not accept a mortal queen. But per the prophecy, whose blood must be spilled for a great ruler to arise?
"Some prophecies are fulfilled by the very actions taken to prevent them." I particularly liked that quote because it sums up basically every prophecy in every book ever written!
While the ending was somewhat satisfying, I felt that the plot as a whole was lacking in surprise. I expected a major plot twist, or a betrayal at the very least, not just a clear misunderstanding and a war that we knew was coming. It was predictable in most ways, but in others it could have stood quite a bit more explanation. If you've not read it, please be alerted that I will now delve into some spoilers, so SKIP THE ITALICS BELOW!
Here are questions I was left with after reading the book:
What, exactly, was in Cardan's letters? This seems like a crucial part of the book, but only the Barnes and Noble special edition contains the letters. Some googling should yield what you need.
How did Cardan's death as a serpent turn him into a gloriously glowing king? We need more information here! Did he see an afterlife? Was there a prophesy that foretold of a sacrifice? He just kind of magically is resurrected and we don't know why or how, which was highly irritating.
Why was Jude working for the fae, but not living as one? The book clearly states that they could have easily glamoured their way into a place to live for free. Jude is merciless, and I find it hard to understand why she doesn't use their advantages in the human world.
Locke's murder was extremely uncharacteristic of Taryn's character. It's very loosely explained and doesn't make sense at all. There could have been a number of ways the writer could have written this into her actual character instead of just throwing it out there like a crime of passion, so it felt far too convenient.
I cannot understand how Jude's father would just accept his fate. As a redcap, it seems like her sentence would be worse than death to him. His death seemed one of the things that would have to happen for the story to conclude. He did murder Jude's true parents.
Jude is not immortal, but Cardan is. So we should have had some sort of explanation, or even question, as to how that's going to work. We know that Jude has some magic tied to the land. We don't know how far that goes. Will she remain alive as long as Cardan and her hold the throne? Or will she age and die and leave him alone? Why do I seem to be the only one asking this question?
This may be the first time I've ever said this, but this book could have used another 100 pages. There were so many questions left unanswered, and the story was quite a bit shorter than the other two. It made me wonder if anyone is actually editing this book, or if Holly Black has locked up the rights to that too! ;)
3 stars. The finale should always be the best in the series, but that was not the case here.