Book Review – Queen of Nothing

Written By: Holly Black

Final Overall Rating: 6.6/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

First of all, this review is purely derived from my own personal opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments; I am always up for a good discussion or to answer questions. 

Recommend Yes or No:

Yes. In my opinion, Cruel Prince is still the best book out of the trilogy, but Queen of Nothing is filled with adventure, espionage, action, family drama, betrayal, augury, politics and romance. If you have read the previous two books, you will enjoy the conclusion to this dangerous and magical trilogy. 

(Spoilers Below – Read at your own peril!)

Writing Style: 8/10

Black writes Queen of Nothing in first person and present tense. In this third instalment she focuses primarily on big scenes with big action. Jude’s voice is engaging, and she spends her words showing her audience the story of Queen of Nothing rather than telling it to them. I love when authors utilize active present tense because it helps the reader feel as if they are actively a part of the story. 

Story: 7/10

The plot of this story centers around Jude finding and establishing her place of belonging – her place as the Queen of Elfhame and Cardan’s wife. In an epic chain of events, all the puzzle pieces from the previous two novels fall into place and Jude and Cardan find their happily ever after: Cardan finally finds his soul mate and Jude finally attains ultimate power. You guys cannot tell me that Jude loves Cardan more than power, because I am positive she would give Cardan up for the sake of power. I just thought this was an interesting angle for Black to take on Jude and Cardan’s individual story development, because this is literally a tale as old as time (Man desires woman and woman desires power). 

Character Development: 5/10

I feel very similar about the character development in Queen of Nothing as I did about the character development in Wicked King. In short it was not great. I still feel Jude and Cardan have a toxic relationship built on mistrust and politics – not a great combo if you ask me. I did appreciate Cardan’s more democratic approach to running the Fae kingdom at the end of the book and he does seem to be learning how to truly love another individual other than himself. Choices are always good… if only he and Jude could approach one another with that same mindset. However, this was the last book and I still feel the characters made more progress in character development in the first novel than the sequels. It is a shame really. 

Fun Facts about Black:

  1. Black has a secret library (Holly Black).
  2. “She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor” (Holly Black).
  3. She helped to create the Spiderwick Chronicles (Holly Black).
  4. Black is from New Jersey but now lives in New England (Holly Black).
  5. Black published her first book, Tithe, in 2002 (Holly Black).

Favorite Quote from Queen of Nothing:  

“There are things people shouldn’t get a taste for. I guess magic is like that” (Black, 197).

I feel like this quote describes fantasy readers!

Final Takeaways: 

             Don’t ever give your true name to a fairy. Hahaha! But all jokes aside I think this novel demonstrates how an individual should never be underrated, because the underdog just might rule the world one day. 

Works Cited: 

Black, Holly. Queen of Nothing. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2019. Print. 

Holly Black. “About.”

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