Queen of Nothing is the ninth of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 20.3.2021
[Here are my reviews of the other books in the series.]
Rondeau and Pelham are waiting for Marla to show up after her required month in the underworld is over. Except, she never shows and the longer she is late, the more worried they become that something is seriously amiss. After all she spent the last month as a god and something really bad must have happened for her to not stick to the bargain. Rondeau and Pelham go to B to see if he can find out more by conjuring up an oracle, when an unlikely maybe-ally-definitely-former-enemy shows up and appears to help.
Queen of Nothing is the penultimate of the Marla Mason novels and it already feels like things are starting to get wrapped up a little. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing interesting happening anymore, but it does feel a little bittersweet.
A lot of the novel happens without Marla – a rather unusual choice for a Marla Mason novel, but I did enjoy getting to spend a little more time with her sidekicks. Although it also made it painfully obvious for me that Marla really is surrounded by men – Pelham, Rondeau, and B. Especially since Marzi was relegated to the sidelines in the story and doesn’t really get an appearance.
We do encounter Daniel and Jenny again, tying Bone Shop much more firmly into the series. If you haven’t read it, I assume those parts will be a bit much. But if you did read it, like me, it was nice to close that particular circle. Daniel and Jenny also aren’t the only old friends to make an appearance. This part definitely added to the overall feeling of “we are nearing the end now”, though not as much as the novel’s ending itself did – where Marla is at the end has some serious consequences. (It will be interesting to see how things play out in the last novel, but it feels like we will get a good, round ending.)
It also does a lot of work to soften the blow that was the ending of the last novel, Lady of Misrule, where Marla really behaved like an unreasonable asshole. There’s an explanation, there are steps made to fix things. It is good.
Most importantly, Queen of Nothing is funny and entertaining and fast-paced and simply hugely enjoyable to read – everything I have come to expect from this series.
Summarizing: really good.