Book Review: The Queen Of Nothing by Holly Black

Book: The Queen Of Nothing by Holly Black

Published November 2019 by Little, Brown|300 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Folk Of The Air #3

Genre: YA Fantasy

He will be 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.

I liked The Queen Of Nothing!  This has been a fun series to read, and I am glad we got to see how everything turned out for the characters.

So, I felt like the prophecy/curse came out of nowhere.  It’s been awhile since I’ve read the first two books in the series, so there’s a good chance it came up before and I don’t remember it.  I had every intention of re-reading the series but I didn’t have the energy for it.  Unlike a lot of series, I did have a vague idea of what happened before, so that was a plus.  Still, I’m probably fuzzy on a lot of the smaller details because of not re-reading.

Back to the curse for a second.  I already mentioned I felt like it came out of nowhere and I’m not at all surprised by what broke the curse.  There was some eye-rolling when that happened, because I feel like I’ve seen it before.  Would it have been nice if it had been something different?  Of course, but it had to be done somehow.

I actually really liked Jude in this book.  She didn’t have an easy decision to make, and she very easily could have made a different choice.  I’m glad she made the decision she did, and part of me actually does want to go back and re-read the series just to see how much she changed, and how she got to this point.  There was a time when she probably would have made a completely different decision, and I think Elfhame will be a better place because she and Cardan are ruling together.

I’m glad things worked out for Vivi!  I always liked her, and even though she’d pop up every once in a while, I’m still glad she had a happy ending.  Taryn…I don’t know about her.  Her story felt the most unresolved, and even though she is how Jude is able to get back into Faerie, I felt like she didn’t get a lot of attention or resolution in this book.  I can’t remember if it was the same in the other books, but I’ll find out if I end up doing a re-read.

This has always been Jude’s story, though, and I’m glad things worked out for her.  She seems to be in a much better place now than when we first met her.

3 stars.  I liked The Queen Of Nothing, and it really is a good ending to the series, but I couldn’t love it.

Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

Book: The Wicked King by Holly Black

Published January 2019 by Little, Brown & Company|322 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Folk Of The Air #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.

Jude has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world. 

I liked this one!  Not at much as The Cruel Prince, but I still liked it.  I haven’t been in a huge mood to review books lately, so I’m really fuzzy on the details of this one because of the gap between when I read it and when I’m actually writing it.

The ending surprised me, and I’m not sure why.  I kind of feel like I should have seen it coming after everything that happened in the book, but at the same time, it makes me curious about what’s going to happen next.  After everything that happened and with everything Jude did…maybe I should have realized there would be consequences.  Either way, I was along for the ride, and not expecting it did get my attention.  It definitely makes me want to read the next one.

I really like the world Jude is living in.  I feel like there’s so much more to it than what we’re seeing, and I’m a little sad we don’t see enough of it.  It’s definitely cutthroat and manipulative, but I feel like there’s a lot more world to see and explore.  Who knows what we’ll see with how everything ended?

The characters were okay but mostly didn’t stand out to me.  I’m not sure if it’s because we know them already or I just can’t remember anything at this point.  Jude was pretty interesting in this one, and I’m really interested to see what she’ll do next.  She’s going to have to be pretty careful in the next one.

3 stars.  I liked The Wicked King, and it was a pretty enjoyable book.  I just wish I remembered more than the ending, and that I could talk about the book more.

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Book: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Published January 2018 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers|370 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Folk Of The Air #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

This is one of those books that everyone seems to love.  In general, it seems like people seem to love Holly Black, but this one was not for me.

The idea is interesting- a girl, taken away to Faerie, and living in a world where they hate humans.  There’s a lot of intrigue and deception, and I am interested enough to see what happens.  I think the hype did get to me, though.  I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to what people were saying about The Cruel Prince, though I knew going into it that a lot of people were excited about it and were reading it.  I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s on the meh end of things.

I really thought we’d have more of Prince Cardan, but he wasn’t as important as I thought he would be.  I feel like he might have more of a role in the next one, but he might not.  Really, the book was more about Jude and how she hated being mortal, and wanted to be Fae.

I don’t know, I think I was expecting something more awesome, and in this case, I think I was let down by the fact that apparently everyone else seems to love this book.  Except for me, obviously.

Honestly, though, I couldn’t begin to tell you anything else about the book.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Jude, though her sister Vivi seems to be awesome.  I was expecting revenge on the guy who killed her parents, but that didn’t happen, and it was slightly disappointing.  Maybe she was so focused on becoming Fae that she wasn’t out for revenge.  I can’t say I’m surprised, considering she’d either be out for revenge or wanting to become Fae so she can belong.  It’s pretty predictable but I did keep reading, so it has that going for it.

3 stars.  I liked it just fine, but I don’t seem to have the same love for it that everyone else does.  Still, I’ll probably read the next one to see what happens next.