Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Queen of Nothing - Holly Black

I didn't mean to take a 2-week break from blogging but it's taken me longer than I hoped to recover from covid, and that mixed with work, the record-breaking heat this week, and writing thank you letters for wedding presents hasn't left me with much energy. Basically, I've been asleep for as much time as I possibly can be. 

My reading has been patchy as well; a lot of dipping in and out of things for work but none of them have really held me - which in bookseller speak is "I've just started this one and it's really good so far...". There are a whole lot of started books next to my bed which I really need to do something about - either finish or pass on, as much to get the space back as anything else. 

Holly Black's 'The Queen of Nothing' wasn't part of that pile, I actually read it when it first came out but never got round to writing about it. It was free on audible though so I listened to it again and remembered how much I liked it (I find it's a waste of time listening to books I haven't read, I don't take them in properly, and then struggle to read them because it all seems vaguely familiar).

As someone who doesn't read masses of fantasy or young adult fiction, I'm genuinely a fan of Holly Black's work. I love her world-building, the way she uses folklore and fairy tales, her characters, and I guess her morals for want of a better word. The Folk of the Air series was fun from start to finish, and though everything feels nicely resolved I'm quietly pleased to see there's a duology in the offing that picks up the story of a couple of the younger characters a few years down the line. 

In the very best fairy tale tradition our heroine Jude, the exiled Queen of Fairy fights monsters, breaks curses, finds a bit of magic for herself, and gets a happy ever after. She also gets the character development and growth that she missed out on in the second book - because crucially it was love interest/hero, Cardan who was doing all the growing up in that book. 

I don't want to give spoilers here even though the books been out for ages, but be assured that it's suitable reading for younger teens with adult themes but not too adult, well written, and the sort of thing that anybody might like - as long as they like fairytales. Holly Black has become one of my go-to's for when I'm feeling under the weather and want something absorbing but not heavy to lose myself in.

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