The Queen of Nothing

!!!Disclaimer!!! Spoilers for "The Cruel Prince" and "The Wicked King" by Holly Black will be present in this book review of The Queen of Nothing. If you have not read those two books and want to-then I suggest checking out either my other book reviews, or my blog posts instead. You've been warned, mortals.

The Queen Of Nothing by holly black~A book review by arabella k. federico
© 2020 Arabella K. Federico All Rights Reserved

Base Summary of The queen of nothing

Jude Duarte, High Queen of Faerie, has been banished to the Mortal World. Furthermore, she was humiliated in front of the High Counsel and many of the prestigious folk of Faerie. Similarly, her twin sister, Taryn, has betrayed her, as well. Madoc, Jude’s adopted father is now her enemy; and the boy she loved has banished her forever. And what else does the first mortal Queen of Faerie do while banished to the dull, boring Mortal World? Firstly, she kicks herself for falling for such an obvious trick. How could Jude not have seen Cardan’s deception coming? Especially after what she’s done to him…making Cardan the High King against his wishes, after all. 

Poor Jude got herself into quite a pickle…and now she is High Queen, but unfortunately nobody knows it and nobody cares.

 Now she’s an outcast, but she can’t help but miss Faerie; and the one who betrayed her, too. To get her mind off how much she misses Cardan, Jude takes on odd jobs that only she can do because she’s familiar with Faerie and all its particular ways. Further more, it helps with her share of the rent. Jude is left depressed and unfulfilled in the Mortal World, but what else can she do? Jude has been banished…until a familiar face comes knocking on her door. It’s her twin. The same twin who betrayed her and lead to her current situation. The High Queen is having none of it, but it’s what Taryn has to tell Jude that makes her consider a decision that could get herself killed. Will Jude take the risk? Or will her sister be doomed to her own fate?

My Overview

To begin, I broke my own rule. I read the damn series before The Queen of Nothing was released. I actually listened to Cruel Prince then Wicked King on Audible when it came out so I had to wait the longest year of my entire life for the conclusion to this story. And I mean, that ending doh!! When Jude got banished from Faerie by Cardan, I about died.

 So needless to say. I, like most people I’ll assume, was highly anticipating this release.

 Certainty I began listening on day 1, and finished the book pretty quickly. It was disappointing to see the listening time was only around 9 hours, which is pretty short for an audio-book and especially short for a finale to a trilogy. But, we’ll talk more about that later. When the book starts it picks up after Jude has been in the Mortal World for a couple months. Life sucks and she’s missing Faerie and Cardan. Their love story has been almost too slow of a burn for me, and I was glad to see she still had feelings for him even after what he’d done to her. Similarly, the book’s pacing was good, it kept going and didn’t really slow down to a pace that bothered me. If anything, it moved too quickly. Though, I’ll talk all about this further on in the review.



  • Seems like to me at least, the book was too short. Come on, I just wanted it to be longer! Unfortunately, I felt like if it only had a little bit more to it, something that raised the stakes just a bit higher than this book would have just done it for me. Not saying that it didn’t have any of those things, because it did. A girl just wanted it to be a little bit longer. When you wait a whole year for a finale book, you want to enjoy it and you want it to last. At least I do! Is that so wrong??
  • Next, the prime antagonist here wasn’t my favorite. This character does do something pretty bad to Jude, which was the only thing that saved it for me because otherwise I would have laughed at the antagonistic force here; but it worked. Furthermore, I just didn’t feel like it was a huge threat, or at least as threatening as it could have been. 

I’m sorry to have to give any CONS at all, don’t hate me! What are your CONS for this book? Leave them in the comments!

  • In the same vein as the point above, I wish the stakes could have been a bit higher. Just…a tiny little wee bit. For a final book…you really wanna bring all the tension to a head. With such a rich, detailed world with sooo many different races and thrones and potential to incite conflict I figured there would have been something other than what was there. There could have used slightly more depth and slightly more weaving of conflict to make it a big banging final book. It was still pretty great though, and I am no way disappointed by it. I just wish it had a little bit more. Does this make me greedy?????
  • Cardan’s explanation for banishing Jude was a little….*shrug emoji*


  • Firstly, the romance was way better and way more fulfilling in book 3. Like I said before, I felt like the romance was a little too slow in the previous 2 books, so to see it finally be what I’ve always wanted was lovely and satisfying. 
  • It was paced greatly. I was into it, I was engaged, and I didn’t want it to ever end. 
  • There is a point in the Climax that I didn’t quite see coming. I knew what was going to happen…and it did, but then BAM and I didn’t expect that! I love being surprised! 

There were definitely way more PROS than CONS for The Queen of Nothing for me. How quickly have you gone through this book? If you haven’t read it yet, do you expect to cruise as fast as I did? Leave your quickest book-reading-record down in the comments. 

  • As far as endings go, I loved the way the book ended. Like with Game of Thrones, a bad ending can ruin an entire series, regardless of how long or short that series is. If you fuck up the ending, you screw up the whole thing. In this book, the ending was perfect. Sometimes these YA endings can become slightly cheesy, relying on broad themes of “loving yourself” or “love conquers all” and I can’t stand it. Thankfully, none of that was going on here. 
  • Characters seemed to stay true to themselves and didn’t randomly change or do stupid shit. Nobody can stand stupid characters, so I was happy that not one of them made me roll my eyes or be annoyed by how utterly stupid they were. Trust me, I know that’s a low bar, but it happens and it KILLS books for me. 
  • All the character arcs were completed in a way that made me feel the character learned something and that the journey they went on was worth it in the end. I’m generally not a fan of character arcs ending flat or incomplete or negative. That’s just my personal preference.
Cardan and Jude from the Queen of Nothing

Arabella's Final Thoughts: The Queen of nothing

Like I said in the beginning, I waited a long time for this book, so I had incredibly high expectations for it. The Wicked King did it all for me, and I think because that book hit it so good on so many levels that it too caused my own expectations to be high. That being said, overall it was a great book with great pacing, character arcs, storytelling, and romance. Wanting a book to go on and on is a good thing. Did it give me the thrashing agony that its predecessor did? No, it did not. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, or that it was a bad book or even a bad ending to a series. Queen Of Nothing was neither of those things. Side note, I will say that the narrator for the Audible version was on point. As I listen to quite a lot of audio-books, a bad narrator can literally ruin a novel, and I really loved the narrator and she truly brought the book to life for me. 


“I think of his riddle. How do people like us take off our armor? One piece at a time.”  Jude Duarte. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black 
“Tell me what I must slay, what I must steal, tell me the riddle I must solve or the hag I must trick. Only tell me the way, and I will do it, no matter the danger, no matter the cost.” Jude Duarte. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black 

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black A Book Review By Arabella K. Federico. © Copyright 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved.

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