Author: Holly Black
Narrators: Caitlin Kelly
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 41 minutes
After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.
When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.
When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.
I cannot believe the trilogy is over! The Queen of Nothing provides a satisfying conclusion to The Folk of the Air trilogy. As this is the end of the series, it is best to read The Cruel Prince (#1) and The Wicked King (#2) before reading this one as it is a continuous story and should not be read as a standalone. I am very thankful that I read this right after finishing the major cliffhanger at the end of book two, as I cannot imagine living in limbo and not immediately knowing what will happen next.
The reader continues following along with Jude and the lovely narration of Caitlin Kelly in the audiobook version. Now that Jude has been exiled to the mortal world, she longs to return to fairyland, but is at a loss for how it will be possible. She creates a life for herself until someone shows up to give her a way around her exile. Jude now returns back to the land of the fae and now needs to figure out her next steps. When she meets Carden again, she must now face her complicated feelings. They, of course, have their issues to work through, but it nice for them to open up more to the other.
The novel is fairly fast-paced and there were moments that I wish it slowed down a little to give more time for the smaller details that made the previous installments great. There are not as many surprises as there was slightly more obvious foreshadowing in this novel compared to the others. Despite these minor drawbacks, the story is still addictive and I did not wish it to end. The reader gets to see the aftermath of some events that take place between book two and three that I wish played out on the page. After these events, the reader gets to see Jude create a new plan to gain the power she thought was lost. I loved returning to her scheming and brilliance as she attempts to think about every angle to get the result she craves.
In its entirety, I loved this series! This installment, though, was a slight let down compared to the previous. It was not bad, but it just did not live up to the higher expectations I would expect from the finale. I feel like the main climax was a little rushed and could have used more time to fully give it the attention it deserved. The characters, such as, Nicasia, Vivi, and Taryn, were still ones that kept my interest as I grew to appreciate them more, even if they were not my favorites. Holly Black continues writing these compelling characters very well as it did not matter if you love or hate the characters, but you will typically have an opinion on them one way or another. I continued to find myself at least forming an opinion, even a tiny one, for every single character, which I do not do with all novels/series.
Overall, this series was captivating and easily could be extended and I would read it. In this novel there are mentions of the letters that Carden sent to Jude when she was banished, but, alas, she never received them as they were intercepted. These letters are not available in every edition of the novel, so if you want to see them, then you either need to pick up one or just do a search. (Here are some that are posted online.) The word choices and settings were well thought out and I love that the series does feel complete, even if I would have liked for it to go on forever. I do not know if it is just the audiobook version that made me love it or if I would have the same thoughts for the print version, but either way this was an excellent introduction to Holly Black and I cannot wait to try more of her novels!