There is no banquet too abundant for a starving man.

The Queen of Nothing is the last installment of the Folk of the Air series. The highly-anticipated sequel to The Wicked King lives up to the expectations. Holly Black reinforces her status as the Faerie queen as she takes her readers on another roller-coaster ride of the dark and dangerous Faerie world.

The novel starts with a short and crisp prologue about the birth of the wicked king Cardan and his formative years. The royal astrologer prophesies that Cardan would lead to the destruction of the Crown. This results in the alienation of his mother Asha. Cardan’s headstrong personality also causes the death of a mortal close to the High King.

Jude is the real protagonist of the story. She returns to the mortal world after she is betrayed and exiled by King Cardan. She starts living with Vivi and Oak in the mortal realm. Jude starts grooming Oak to become the future King of Elfhame. She does not desist from taking up risky side jobs to support her family. As the story progresses, she meets some Faeries who were exiled from the Folk. Her endearing personality soon wins them over and they emerge as her loyalists.

When she hears about Cardan from one of his encounters with the Folk, she is reminded of the deception he inflicted on her. Her twin-sister Taryn offers her a golden opportunity to go back to the Faerie kingdom.

Much has changed in Elfhame ever since she was exiled. A civil war is about to break out and infighting is rife. A powerful curse is about to unfold as Jude finds herself thrust into the bloody Faerie politics. How she navigates the life-threatening scenario and becomes the High Queen of Faerie has been portrayed in a breathtaking manner.

The plot also explores the relationships of Jude with her sister Taryn, the love of her life Cardan, her stepfather Madoc, and her friends. Her bond with her trusted loyalists  Bomb, Ghost, The Roach, and particularly her inner self, is quite heart-warming. Jude’s struggles, self-doubt and intense feelings for Cardan are so real that readers are compelled to instantly relate to her.

True to her hard-earned reputation, Holly Black weaves magic with her words. Black makes the most of her charm to serve a tantalizing mix of magic, politics, coups and curses. The readers are instantly drawn into the enticing world of the Faeries. All the characters in the novel have a well-delineated character graph. The climax is irresistibly nail-biting and serves as a fitting finale to the gripping story.

Ameya Rating:
4.5/5

The Queen of Nothing merits a rating of 4.5 stars from Ameya. The fast-paced story line and its unexpected twists can send chills down the spines of the most seasoned readers. Jude’s return from the mortal world to the kingdom of Faeries is one part that is bound to intrigue the readers.

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