Quotes Galore : Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) By Holly Black

Quotes Galore : Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) By Holly Black

 

For a series that started off rather weak, Holly Black sure knows how to turn it all around and end The Folk of the Air series with a bang in Queen of Nothing.

I mean, come on. Your girl hasn’t really been modest and kind about my dissatisfaction with the first two book The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. I have always felt like the two book could have been amped up into something grander and more intense. Lo and behold, I was correct. I have always believed that The Folk of the Air series could reach a higher highs, and Holly Black proved it in the last installment to the series, The Queen of Nothing. 

It turned a series that was meh, into a series that had me giving it standing ovations by the time I reached the last page. Not going to lie, I enjoyed Queen of Nothing so much that I could go on and on and on about how much I loved it. However I’m not going to go on that train because that’s not why we’re here today. We’re here today to take a sweet, short walk down memory lane by reading some of the quotes in The Queen of Nothing.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it. 

 

Full review of The Folk of the Air series

 

 

 

 

A sinking feeling came over him. He might not shoot true. He might hurt the man. But on the heels of that, angry glee sparked at the idea of doing something so horrifying that his father could no longer ignore him. If he could not get the High King’s attention for something good, then perhaps he could get it for something really, really bad.

 

“We don’t always have a choice in our fate.”

 

“All power is cursed,” I say. “The most terrible among us will do anything to get it, and those who’d wield power best don’t want it thrust upon them. But that doesn’t mean they can avoid their responsibilities forever.”

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

“Wisdom is for the meek,” he returns. “And it seldom helps them as much as they believe it will.”

 

“That’s what mortal means,” I say with a sigh that I don’t have to fake. “We die. Think of us like shooting stars, brief but bright.”

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

“You’re a prince,” she told him firmly when he would shy away from a conflict or fail to make a demand. “Everything is yours. You have only to take it.”

 

 

 

 

I feel as though I am dreaming away my days, restless, never fully awake.

 

 

 

 

“Give me a chance to break every bone in your scrawny body.”

 

“You’re betting on my pride.”

 

“Did I bet right?”

 

First blood is dull. It’s all dancing around each other, looking for an opening. It’s not real fighting. When I answer her, the word rushes out of me. “Yes.”

 

“This world already has enough monsters, enough people who want to take advantage of me or hurt me or take away my rights. I don’t need to know there’s a whole other world full of monsters.”

 

“So not knowing is better?” I ask.

 

 

folk of the air quotes

 

 

Give up, my whirling brain supplies. Cry off while you’re still standing. Give her the cap, forget the money, and go home. Vivi can magic leaves into extra cash. Just this time, it wouldn’t be so bad. You’re not fighting for a kingdom. That, you already lost.

 

 

 

 

“Do you know what makes people love one another? Well, no one else does, either. But scientists study it, and there’s all this bizarre stuff about pheromones and facial symmetry and the circumstances under which you first met. People are weird. Our bodies are weird. Maybe I can’t help being attracted to her the same way flies can’t help being attracted to carnivorous plants.”

 

 

 

 

I have given up on being proud. As Bryern reminded me, I am no one special.

 

 

folk of the air quotes

 

 

At least no one is privy to my thoughts. Stupid as they are, they remain my own.

 

“You’re so beautiful.” He begins to trace patterns on my arms, then runs his hands down my sides. “So very beautiful.” His voice is soft, and I make the mistake of looking into his black eyes, at his wicked, curving mouth. “But your beauty will fade,” he continues, just as softly, speaking like a lover. His hands linger, making my stomach tighten and warmth pool in my belly. “This smooth skin will wrinkle and spot. It will become as thin as cobwebs. These breasts will droop. Your hair will grow dull and thin. Your teeth will yellow. And all you have and all you are will rot away to nothing. You will be nothing. You are nothing.” “I’m nothing,” I echo, feeling helpless in the face of his words. “You come from nothing, and it is to nothing you will return,” he whispers against my neck.

 

 

folk of the air quotes

 

 

He regards me with gold-rimmed black eyes, a smirk hovering at the corners of his mouth. His black hair tumbles around his face, unbound and a little messy, as though he’s recently risen from someone’s bed. I can’t stop marveling at how I once had power over him, over the High King of Faerie. How I once was arrogant enough to believe I could keep it.

 

 

 

 

For what we want most, we will take almost any chance.

 

 

 

 

I don’t think she loved him, but then I don’t think she loved anyone. He was petted and fed wine and adored, then forgotten. But for all that, if he was bad with her, he was worse without her. They are cut from the same cloth.

 

And if I am particularly kind that evening, particularly deferential, if I laugh particularly loudly, it is because I know I will never do this again. I will never have him behave like this with me again. But for one final night, he’s the father I remember best, the one in whose shadow I have—for better or worse—become what I am.

 

 

folk of the air quotes

 

 

I get under his guard, stabbing him in his side, striking where the plates of his armor meet. The metal still takes the better part of the blow, but I see him wince. Cocking back his arm, he backhands me into the snow. “You were always good,” he says, looking down at me. “Just never good enough.”

 

 

 

 

This is the problem with playing defense—you can never be sure where your enemy will strike, so you expend more resources trying to cover every eventuality.

 

 

 

 

Cardan gazes at a rosebush with petals so black and glossy they look like patent leather. “It was terrifying,” he says, “watching you fall. I mean, you’re generally terrifying, but I am unused to fearing for you. And then I was furious. I am not sure I have ever been that angry before.”

 

“Mortals are fragile,” I say.

 

“Not you,” he says in a way that sounds a little like a lament. “You never break.” Which is ridiculous, as hurt as I am. I feel like a constellation of wounds, held together with string and stubbornness.

 

“I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He grabs my hand, possibly to keep me from hitting him again. Our fingers lace together. “No, it’s not that, not exactly. I didn’t think I could hurt you. And I never thought you would be afraid of me.”

 

“And did you like it?” I ask. He looks away from me then, and I have my answer. Maybe he doesn’t want to admit to that impulse, but he has it.

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

“I suppose I am not an easy person to trust. And maybe I ought not to be trusted, but let me say this: I trust you.”

 

She takes some bandages from her coat and turns to Cardan. “You should go.”

 

“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.” 

 

 

 

 

“There’s a ball tonight to welcome guests from some of my Courts. Heather, I hope you and Vivienne will come. The last time you were here, we were poor hosts. But there are many delights we could show you.”

 

“Including a war,” puts in Grima Mog.

 

“What could be more delightful than that?”

 

 

 

 

His eyes are very dark, pupils dilated. He’s so beautiful, so perfectly, horribly, inhumanly beautiful that I can barely breathe. It’s okay to want something that’s going to hurt, I remind myself. I move toward him, so we are close enough to touch.

 

I slide to my knees in front of him. “Is this what you imagined I’d be like, back in your rooms at Hollow Hall, when you thought of me and hated it? Is this how you pictured my eventual surrender?” He looks absolutely mortified, but there’s no disguising the flush of his cheeks, the shine of his eyes. “Yes,” he says, sounding like the word was dragged out of him, his voice rough with desire.

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

“We have lived in our armor for so long, you and I. And now I am not sure if either of us knows how to remove it.”

 

“Is this another riddle?” I ask. “And if I answer it, will you go back to kissing me?”

 

“If that’s what you want.” His voice sounds rough, unsteady. 

 

“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.”

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

“I want—” I say, but I am too shy to say the words. I kiss him instead. Kiss him until he understands.

 

 

 

 

“Mock me all you like. Whatever I imagined then, now it is I who would beg and grovel for a kind word from your lips.” His eyes are black with desire.

 

“By you, I am forever undone.”

 

 

 

 

“I don’t understand how you do it,” she says. “I don’t understand how you can be so calm.” I’m not sure what to say. I don’t feel calm at all. I am a maelstrom of emotions. All I want to do is scream.

 

I am suited to the shadows, to the art of knives and bloodshed and coups, to poisoned words and poisoned cups. I never expected to rise so high as the throne. And I fear that I am utterly unsuited for the task.

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

In all the time I gazed at Eldred, high upon his throne, or at Cardan, tipping back yet another goblet of wine at a revel with a forced laugh, I didn’t understand the horror of being so powerful and so utterly powerless all at the same time.

 

I miss him, and the pain of it is a yawning chasm, one into which I yearn to let myself fall.

 

 

 

 

With my whole heart, I wish Cardan was here.

 

 

 

 

“So promise me,” she says. “Promise me you’ll help him.”

 

I think of the golden bridle, about the future the stars predicted. “I don’t know how to break the curse,” I say, all the tears I haven’t shed welling up in my eyes. “If I could, do you think I would be at this stupid banquet? Tell me what I must slay, what I must steal, tell me the riddle I must solve or the hag I must trick. Only tell me the way, and I will do it, no matter the danger, no matter the hardship, no matter the cost.” My voice breaks.

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

I know how to drive a knife through my own hand. I know how to hate and be hated. And I know how to win the day, provided I am willing to sacrifice everything good in me for it. I said that if I couldn’t be better than my enemies, then I would become worse. Much, much worse.

 

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. Only out of his spilled blood can a great ruler rise. Let me have everything I ever wanted, everything I ever dreamed, and eternal misery along with it. Let me live on with an ice shard through my heart.

 

 

 

 

“You were very brave,” I tell him. “You just have to be brave a little longer.”

 

 

 

 

“I haven’t worn anything in days,” the High King drawls, and if there is something brittle in his eyes, nearly everyone is too awed to notice. “I don’t see why I ought to start now.”

 

“Modesty?” I force out, playing along, surprised he can joke about the curse, or anything.

 

He gives me a dazzling, insouciant smile. The kind of smile you can hide behind. “Every part of me is a delight.”

 

“I love you,” I say, the words coming out in an unintelligible rush. Cardan looks taken aback. Or possibly I spoke so fast he’s not even sure what I said.

 

“You need not say it out of pity,” he says finally, with great deliberateness. “Or because I was under a curse. I have asked you to lie to me in the past, in this very room, but I would beg you not to lie now.” My cheeks heat at the memory of those lies. “I have not made myself easy to love,” he says.

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

I take a ragged breath. “I hid a lot, I guess. I thought if I didn’t, if I let myself love you, I would burn up like a match. Like the whole matchbook.”

 

 

 

 

Maybe it isn’t the worst thing to want to be loved, even if you’re not. Even if it hurts. Maybe being human isn’t always being weak. Maybe it was the shame that was the problem.

 

 

 

 

“I’ve loved you from the first hour of our meeting. I loved you and despaired. Before I die, I want you to know that.”

 

“Cardan was not an easy child to love, and he’s only grown worse with time. He would scream to be held, and then once picked up he would bite and kick his way out of my arms. He would find a game and obsess over it until it was conquered, then burn all the pieces. Once you’re no longer a challenge, he will despise you.”

 

I stare at her. “And you’re giving me this warning out of the kindness of your heart?”

 

She smiles. “I am giving you this warning because it doesn’t matter. You’re already doomed, Queen of Elfhame. You already love him. You already loved him when you questioned me about him instead of your own mother. And you will still love him, mortal girl, long after his feelings evaporate like morning dew.”

 

 

queen of nothing quotes

 

 

“I love you, Jude. I’ve loved you for a long time. I will never stop loving you.”

 

 

That boy is your weakness.

 

 

 



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