Review: Queen of Nothing

This series though.

If you want a quick recap on my feelings about this whole ridiculous series so far then I talk about The Cruel Prince here and The Wicked King here, basically though all you need to know is that it has well and truly gotten under my skin and I love it. I pretty much just spent all of 2019 being impatient for The Queen of Nothing to arrive and then doing a small happy dance when it finally (finally, because there ain't no impatience like a bookworm impatience) did.

This, the final installment in the trilogy, for which my expectations were so very high, did not disappoint.

So we finished book two with Jude's grand plan having gone massively awry and her finding herself back in the human world, she'd been betrayed by pretty much everyone, including her twin sister and the asshat faerie Prince she'd found herself falling for and things could definitely have been going better.
Book Three starts in the mortal world where Jude is trying to just get on with things and forget about Prince Cardan and her deceptive sister and the fact that her not-dad will do all he can to get her tiny little brother Oak on the throne hence her spiriting him away to the mortal world with her and it's kind of still not going great but then her (deceptive) sister shows up and it turns out things are going worse in Faerie, everything is super chaotic and a big fat mess and so what does banished!Jude do? She sneaks back.

Of course she does. She's Jude Duarte. And the shit hits the fan.

As you would expect.

Anyhow. It's kind of glorious, again as you would expect..

The thing I loved about the first two books in this series is the obvious effort Holly Black has made to make her story jump off the page. The worldbuilding and the characterisation in these books is so. freaking. good. It's fully-realised enough to feel as real as it feel unbelievable and the story is sharp and witty and edge of your seat kind of fast-paced and I am so here for that. These are the kinds of books that make you believe in faeries. Then, in addition to that excellent world-building and top notch character work, there's the story and the subplots (of which there are several).

There's all the Jude / Cardan tension you've come to expect after books one and two and then Cardan is a snake - like literally not figuratively - which is an unexpected and brilliant plot twist and I am so here for these two ridiculous beings and their ridiculous relationship.

There's a shedload of Jude and Madoc stuff going on too which I loved because I am so big on nurture not nature and if this isn't a messed up version of that then I don't know what is besides which we all know how I'm here for a villain with a story, and basically, it's just excellent watching Jude navigate all these relationships - parental, sibling, romantic and figure out who she is and where she fits and what she's worth outside of all of them.

The ending was a bit....can I say cheesy? Do people still say cheesy in 2020? Whatever, I'm saying it, and I won't lie, The Wicked King is still my favourite of the series, but that's fine.  Honestly this book could have done with slowing down just a teeny bit (and certain things happened off page between books 2 and 3 that I wish had happened in book 3 so I could have witnessed them *cough*Locke*cough*) but overall,  this was lush and it had all the things I have come to expect from Holly Black and all the things I wanted for these characters and this series and its just...its been a really fun read - this entire series has been escapism at its very best and is that not what a good book is all about, really?