The Folk of the Air Wiki


May contain plot details

The Queen of Nothing is the third book in The Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black.


The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.

When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world. 

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.


After two books of palace intrigue, some serious family drama, skilled spies, personal betrayals, threats of war, and one enthralling hate-to-still-hate-but-sort-of-love romance, Jude will once and for all have to figure out if she has a place in the Faerie world.

The Queen of Nothing opens just after Jude has been pronounced Queen of Faerie, only to be abruptly exiled by King Cardan. Jude finds herself unmoored in the mortal world, spending her time with Vivi and Oak, watching her fair share of reality television... and trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world. But when her twin sister Taryn shows up asking a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan. When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and figure out how to break it — or she will risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.


Teaser 1:

"'Along with some begging on your part. A little light grovelling.' He gives me an embarrassed smile. “My fantasies were rife with overweening ambition.'" [1]

Teaser 2:

The screen door bangs. Then Taryn rushes in front of me, her gown blowing in the morning breeze. If I didn’t know what a real princess of Faerie looked like, I might think she resembled one. For a moment, it seems impossible that we’re related, no less identical.

“What happened to you?” she asks. “You look like you got into a fight.”

I don’t speak. I just keep walking. I am not even sure where I am going, as slow and stiff and sore as I am. Maybe to Bryern. He’ll find me a place to crash, even if I won’t like the price later. Even bunking with Grima Mog would be better than this.

"I need your help,” Taryn says.

"No," I say. “No. Absolutely not. Never. If that’s why you came here, now you’ve got your answer and you can leave.”

"Jude, just hear me out." She walks in front of me, causing me to have to look at her. I glance up and then start to circle around the billowing skirts of her dress.

"Also no." I say. “No, I won’t help you. No, I won’t hear you explain why I should. It really is a magical word: no. You say whatever bullshit you want and I just say no."

"Locke is dead,” she blurts out.

I wheel around. Above us, the sky is bright and blue and clear. Birds call to one another from nearby trees. In the distance, there’s the sound of construction and road traffic. In this moment, the juxtaposition of standing in the mortal world and hearing about the demise of an immortal being — one that I knew, one I kissed — is especially surreal.

“Dead?” It seems impossible, after everything I’ve seen. “Are you sure?”

The night before his wedding, Locke and his friends tried to ride me down like a pack of dogs after a fox. I promised to pay him back for that. If he’s dead, I never will.

Nor will he ever plan another party for the purpose of humiliating Cardan. He won’t laugh with Nicasia nor play Taryn and I against one another again. Maybe I should be relieved, for all the trouble he caused. But I am surprised by feeling grief instead.

Taryn takes a breath, as if steeling herself. "He's dead because I killed him." [2]

Teaser 3:

“I, Jude Duarte, High Queen of Elfhame in exile, spend most mornings dozing in front of daytime television, watching cooking competitions and cartoons.” [3]

Teaser 4:

"I have secrets aplenty. There are so many things you don't know, daughter of Madoc. And I think you crave a little violence yourself."[4]

⁠— Grima Mog

Teaser 5:

"'Is this another riddle?' I ask. 'And if I answer it, will you go back to kissing me?'" [5]

Teaser 6:

"'If you’re a huge jerk and a threat to Elfhame, I’ll pop your head right off.'" [6]

Teaser 7:

"Then it's Locke standing over me, water spilling from his mouth. 'Let's be sure she's really dead.'" [7]

Teaser 8:

The prologue and the first two chapters of The Queen of Nothing. Read it here..

Teaser 9:

“He looks every inch the spy from the Court of Shadows, down to the sneaky smile pulling at a corner of his beautiful mouth.”[8]

Teaser 10:

“His tail is visible, curled to one side of his leg. I suppose he has decided it is no longer something he needs to hide.” [9]

Teaser 11:

"'You didn't come to bed last night,' I whisper." [10]


  • “It’s you I love,” he says. “I spent much of my life guarding my heart. I guarded it so well that I could behave as though I didn’t have one at all. Even now, it is a shabby, worm-eaten, and scabrous thing. But it is yours.” He walks to the door to the royal chambers, as though to end the conversation. “You probably guessed as much,” he says. “But just in case you didn’t.”
  • “I missed you," I whisper against his skin and feel dizzy with the intimacy of the admission, feel more naked than when he could see every inch of me. "In the mortal world, when I thought you were my enemy, I still missed you." "My sweet nemesis, how glad I am that you returned.”
  • “This is my room,” he points out, affronted. “And that’s my wife.”

“ So you keep telling everyone,” the Bomb says. “But I am going to take out her stitches, and I don’t think you

want to watch that.”

“ Oh, I don’t know,” I say. “Maybe he’d like to hear me scream.”

“ I would,” Cardan says, standing. “And perhaps one day I will.”

  • “Well, even if the serpent bites off your head,” says Tatterfell, “the rest of you will still look good.”

“ That’s the spirit,” I tell her.”

  • “And if the serpent grows in monstrousness and corruption, if it poisons the land of Elfhame itself, then let me be the queen of monsters. Let me rule over that blackened land with my redcap father as a puppet by my side. Let me be feared and never again afraid.”
  • “I start to speak, but he stops me with a gesture. “And you.” He looks at me, his lips curving in something that’s not quite a smile; it’s more and less than that. “I knew little else, but I always knew you.” And when he kisses me, I feel as though I can finally breathe again.”



  • The first few pages in the book are not set in the present. [11]
  • Holly has said that Cardan gets exactly what he deserves in the final book [12]


Main series Companion books
The Cruel Prince The Lost Sisters
The Wicked King How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories
The Queen of Nothing
Extra content
A Visit to the Impossible Lands