The Queen of Nothing: The Folk of the Air, Book 3

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Queen of Nothing: The Folk of the Air, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Clever fantasy in Faerie ends with charm and enchantment.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Uses elements of Celtic folklore and mythology as inspiration for tale of courtly intrigue. Plot raises questions about loyalty and family.

Positive Messages

True love sometimes requires sacrifice. Mortality can give meaning to life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jude and Cardan are the original odd couple, at odds with each other but often with similar agendas. Jude wants to protect her family, but she does so by craving and accumulating political power. Caardan can be cruel to those who oppose him, but there is within him an urge to do the right thing.


Sword fights and rough magic occur throughout the book, but there's not a lot of bloodshed. A dragon kills some characters.


Jude and Cardan are married, and there are a few scenes that emphasize, though not graphically, that they have sex.


Two or three instances of "hell" or "damn," and one or two of "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One or two scenes of Faerie revels where alcohol is consumed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Queen of Nothing is the concluding volume in The Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black. Set mostly in Faerie, the plot emphasizes courtly intrigue, but it also includes a lot of physical action. Jude and Cardan continue their tempestuous relationship, but Black does not make the love scenes too explicit. The main characters are often threatened by violence, and there are sword fights and rough magic occur throughout the book, but not a lot of bloodshed, and a dragon kills some characters. Ther's a smattering of swearing, including two or three instances of "hell" and "damn," and one or two of "f--k." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybookisbetter May 19, 2021

Great Book-needs mature readers that can think about the flaws in the characters and their choices

I love the story and world-building in these books. Really interesting with lots of surprises and turns that you don’t expect. However, it’s important to note t... Continue reading
Adult Written bynofrigatelikeabook January 31, 2021


An amazing finale to the series. As usual, Black’s writing is exquisite and the plot capture and hooks the reader from the beginning.

There are mild instances... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byBB8__12 April 6, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written byMarin42 September 12, 2021

Good Series!

This series exceeded my expectations! I thought the second book was the best of the three, but this one was a good ending. I liked where the characters ended up... Continue reading

What's the story?

As THE QUEEN OF NOTHING opens, Jude has been exiled from Faerie and forced to remain in the mortal world, thanks to her husband, Cardan. When she's called upon to rescue her twin sister, Taryn, Jude is pulled back into the deadly court court politics she thought she'd escaped. She vows to get revenge on everyone who betrayed her, and it's a long list. Meanwhile, Cardan's curse comes to fruition, and war threatens to boil over in the various kingdoms of Elfhame.

Is it any good?

After three volumes filled with adventure, romance, and sly humor, this modern-day saga of magical intrigue concludes with surprises galore. Author Holly Black orhestrates a highly satisfying ending, tying up narrative threads with panache. The only quibble might be that Cardan spends too much time sequestered from Jude. Their spiky relationship is what gives the series its oomph. Nevertheless, readers who have experienced the whole series will likely be satisfied by The Queen of Nothing and ready for more from this prolific storyteller.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how leaders are chosen in The Queen of Nothing. Are leaders selected by the governed, or do they take power on their own?

  • Cardan undergoes a terrible physical transformation. How should you react if a friend or loved one changes due to illness?

  • Jude and Cardan are often at odds. What attributes make for a successful romance or marriage?

Book details

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