QUEEN OF NOTHING
Characters & their development: 2
Personal enjoyment: 3
-The plot idea
-the major pacing issues
-The drastic change in characters
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.
I have to say it, I was not a big fan of this finale. Which was unexpected as I gave both THE CRUEL PRINCE and THE WICKED KING five stars. In brief, if you want spoiler-free quick thoughts. I loved the plot and thought it had a strong idea behind it, but the characterisation was completely off to what Black had built, and the pacing was a nightmare.
Okay, now into some deeper thoughts. The queen of nothing is the finale to a faerie based series that blew up in popularity thanks to bookstagram. We follow Jude, a human who has been brought up in Faerie by a redcap who killed her parents. We follow her now, after her exile and how she returns to Faerie to claim what is hers.
First, off, let’s start positive. The plot for this was GREAT. Jude sneaking in, pretending to be Taryn? Saving someone who I won’t mention, then scheming for war alongside Cardan? Amazing. The plot had the perfect set up and I was so excited for it once it got going.
Another thing I loved was and skip this paragraph if you don’t want a big spoiler, was how Jude slew the serpent and freed Cardan. That just felt like the classic Disney princess story which I really enjoyed, because this whole series has been the complete opposite, the true, gritty horror stories of faerie and to see it turned on its head to be something that we would see in a movie, was just really smart.
However, those were the two things I loved, the rest of the story I was either Meh about, or actively disliked.
My biggest peeve with this novel was its length. I was expecting 400-500 pages for a finale, however we were given a book that was smaller than the first two in the series. That’s not always a bad thing, sure, but once you got halfway through, you realised how rushed everything was. Fight scenes took only a paragraph, time slipped through your fingers and everything just slotted into place too perfectly. I personally, truly believe, that if this novel was given more room to breathe and more room to develop, it would have done much better. You seriously cannot make the climax of a series and the finale, one page long.
My other biggest annoyance was the characterisation. Now, I’m not saying I know the characters better than the author, however, from what she has set the characters up to be, this novel took a turn. Cardan lost his edges, completely. They didn’t melt away either, they were just gone instantly. He was a cooing boy who was love drunk. On occasion, he would do something dramatic or funny and you held your breath, hoping for all the gods in the world, that he was back, back to his sarcastic and smart self. But he wasn’t.
Jude too lost her edges. She schemed of course but besides that, she was just human. The most iconic quote of her in the series was ‘if I cannot be better than them, then I will be much worse’ or something, and we don’t even see a slow decent into her softening, it’s one minute shes scheming, and the next she’s giving up a battle, bleeding out or acting like a human. ( of course, she is a human, but she has set herself up to act like she wasn’t ) I think, if we had seen a slip into these new actions and behaviours over time, and were given some reasons, it would have been fine! but it just felt, wrong.
So as you can see, I wasn’t a big fan. I’ll admit this has now made me wary of all finales and Holly Black books, but I hope you guys enjoyed this end more than I did.