“Love is stupid. All we do is break one another’s hearts.”
~ Queen of Nothing ~
by Holly Black
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Pages: 308 (Hardcover)
As the quote above says, love breaks our hearts, which in this case works for book series. The Cruel Prince is a book that pleasantly surprised me back in 2018 and instantly became a favorite. The Wicked King snatched the wig right off my head and the wait for Queen of Nothing has been absolute HELL. But what was even more hell was the experience I had while reading this book.
Queen of Nothing is a waste of some trees, that could have gone towards printing a book that actually has plot and character development. A book that is pretty and a book that is actually ,,, ya know ,,, good.
I guess you could say I sort of buddy read this with two friends of mine, Kels and Alana, and all three of us equally disliked this and that was easily the best experience I had while reading QON. It was a great thrill ride of me receiving texts all day about “wow could this be any more disappointing?”
And, aha, it totally did.
But! If you haven’t read The Wicked King and don’t want to be spoiled, I would avoid this review as I’m going to just go in on what this is about and how bad it failed at delivering its main point. There’s obviously going to be spoilery stuff for this book in here as I can’t really get my point across without them. If you want to know what I thought without spoilers here you go; the plot is majorly underdeveloped, the characters have no proper development and everything is so incredibly rushed that the book leaves you with a very bad taste in your mouth and wishing you never even bothered reading it.
Jude is exiled to the human world after her husband, King Cardan kicks her out of Elfhame. And now this book is MAD short, it’s only around 300 pages which was not enough time to deliver any important information. In the previous book, Jude’s dad Madoc, is creating an army to take over the throne to put himself on it and later his son Oak. Jude of course isn’t going to let this happen because that throne is also hers now that she is Queen of Elfhame. And the opportunity provides itself to return to Elfhame undiscovered in the form of Taryn. The most aggravating character to ever exist in this series.
And it’s hilarious because Taryn comes back, apologizes, and Jude’s like okay sis lets be friends again? After Taryn betrayed Jude BIG time in the previous books, and I was like okay sure, Jude’s not using her brain why am I not surprised. SO with that Taryn killed her husband Locke, and she’s being put on trial so Taryn begs Jude to go pretend to be her, Jude does it, she’s back in Elfhame yattayattayatta.
Obviously, Cardan recognizes Jude right off the bat, but no one else does and their reunion is so perfect, and then they instantly have to bone. Which their sex scene by the way is so flat and dull, that Cardan sitting on the throne in The Wicked Kings first page was more sexual energy than that entire last two pages of Chapter Twenty-One. By this point, you’re already about … 2/3rds of the way done. I honest to God truly can’t remember what happens between page 100 and page 200 and that’s because I don’t think anything important really does happen.
That’s the issue with this book is that THERE is big things that could be going on, but Holly Black just doesn’t deliver them well at all. It’s just like “oh btw this is happening, there was no proper lead up, but its happening and it’s a big plot deal.”
So after the Bone Scene, Madoc is closer to the Kingdom and Cardan and Jude are preparing to talk to him and it’s so anticlimactic because their speeches are done so soon, everything goes so smoothly, and then Cardan pulls a stunt out of his rear end because apparently now Cardan is soft and has a pure heart. Which to the people saying that he’s always been soft ? uhm are we reading the same book ? because the titles of the previous books are CRUEL and WICKED so maybe there’s just no character development and Holly Black just decided she wanted Cardan to be pure. And by this point there’s maybe 50 pages left … and I’m thinking to myself ? what’s the point of this entire book because all of this is going so easy that she could have just released what happens in an email instead of wasting all our money.
THEN okay the BIG BIG EVENT that’s supposed to be a shock, the one Cardan pulls out of his rear, is that Cardan turns into a snake. Which … at this point I’m so tired of seeing snakes when the only true snake of this series is still Taryn Duarte. And then SO MUCH stuff happens in a matter of 50 pages that it just doesn’t make sense. Suddenly this snake is turning the island upside down, he’s slithering around causing mayhem, and Jude is getting ready for battle to fight him all the while trying to like decide if she just wants to kill him and take the throne all to herself. AND OKAY THIS IS HILARIOUS, all of these Fae are supposed to be cunning and evil and wild, but these Folk just accept Jude as their Queen so easily that I had to laugh because it didn’t make any sense.
Anyways, Jude saves the day, suddenly realizes the correct way to save Cardan the Snake, and then the ending is perfect, no one dies at all which is a joke honestly, and a huge battle is completely thrown away for no reason at all. Everything that could have been perfect in this book and made it interesting, like Cardan stuck being a snake for a while and Jude having to figure out the correct way to save him could have taken up SO MUCH more page time and it would have made the book better, OR Cardan developing his feelings for Jude and realizing he loves her instead of just suddenly loving her out of nowhere. OR Jude and Taryn’s relationship actually making sense and being developed and not just Jude forgiving her after two paragraphs. OR Madoc actually dying because he’s trash instead of this bull crap of him being sent away, like wow just kill someone because you sure as heck didn’t have any issues doing it in the first two books.
BUT at this point, if you haven’t read the book none of that probably made sense, and if you did read the book I’m sorry you had to live through such a travesty. I’ve said this to multiple friends already, I’m sure Wattpad has fanfic that ends this series, better than the own author did.
Anyways! Thank you reading this long rant, hope y’all are having a great end to your year, and Happy Reading!