The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black fulfilled
the category “Book with
Something Broken on the Cover” for the PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge. The
novel has a broken crown on the cover. This crown has been featured on all the
stories and only cracked in half on the third.
Yes, this is another Young Adult book. I apologize
for two in a row. I had a different romance read for this week, but then I
would have two LGBTQIA books in a row. Since The Queen of Nothing was in
a different genre (or arguably in another sub-genre of romance), I went with
And yes, it’s the third installment in a trilogy. Kinda
a tough sell to give you the last novel as a review, but hopefully, it will inspire
your reading choices. Plus, we all know I’ve done it before. LOL
The Queen of Nothing is about a faerie kingdom
that lives parallel to our world. Humans and faeries cross over all the time
for good or bad. Jude Duarte finds out her mother had lived in Faerie for many
years and her older sister was of the folk. She discovers this when Vivi’s father, Madoc, comes back
for her. He kills Jude’s parents and kidnaps her, her twin, and Vivi back to Faerie.
Jude grows up there and lives the life of a noblewoman, except she’s human. She
must protect herself at all times from the folk who trick and coerce but never
lie. Jude becomes entrenched in a political plot in the first two books that
leaves her (spoiler) the Queen of Faerie but exiled to the human world.
I love a good fantasy book, especially one with a
romantic subplot. But… faeries,
man. They are cruel. (The first story was The Cruel Prince, so there ya
go.) Every tale I read with them, they are just jerks the entire time—always,
every installation I’ve seen of them. And yes, I get this is the folklore
around faeries but geez. It’s tiresome to never know if you can trust a
character. Even at the happy ending, I still didn’t trust those faeries. To me,
that’s not romantic to fall for the faerie prince because he’s going to trick
you, cheat on you, and then outlive you by a billion years.
Another problem I’ve had with recent Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi is the scope
of these books. It seems sometimes these authors have bitten off more than they
can chew. It seems to stem from a realization that royalty actually has to
rule. The authors add political sub-plots, complicated government, and high-stakes
concepts. Jude must fight for the true king of Faerie to be put on the throne.
Cinder must rule over an entire moon of her people. Harry must battle the most
powerful dark wizard since Slytherin. (Of course, in Harry’s case, there wasn’t
as much political stuff he had to deal with.) Readers don’t want the simple “princess
woken with a kiss” and then happily ever after anymore. But these fairy tales
are morphing into political games. Not my cup of tea. It’s too big of a story
for one young woman to stumble into.
I say all this, and you probably think I didn’t love these books. I do.
But with some hesitation. Holly Black is a fantastic writer. She’s written all
over the genre, and I adore her stories. Some days, I long for that young woman
just to get her shoe back and be the princess. And no more mean fairies. They
make me sad.
I give The
Queen of Nothing by Holly Black Four Ragweed Ponies for a ride over the