The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the TearlingPublished: July 8th 2014 by Harper

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: Hardcover, 448

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An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.


My review:

Here’s the book I’ve been looking for! I’ve been waiting and searching and looking for a book that would hold my interest long enough to get through it. While I listened to the book instead of reading it because of the little time I have because of school and work (six classes plus 20 hours a week, why do I do this to myself?) plus trying to train my new puppy, I just haven’t had enough time to sleep, let alone read a book. So listening to books on my 1 hour + commute to and from school and work six days a week was the only option.

I’m so glad I found this book because I could borrow it right away from the library. I had seen it, decided a few times not to buy the book because of the books I still haven’t read, so I just jumped at the chance.

So, let us start at the beginning. It was slow to start. I wasn’t connected to any of the characters, I didn’t have much of an interest other than just entertainment. There were a lot of people introduced at once and I had a hard time keeping them straight at first. Over time the characters got sorted out and each had their own personality.

This book was told from a few different perspectives, but for the most part it added important details to the story. It was interesting to see the thoughts of some people other than Kelsea, and it rounded out the story better than if it would have been just her perspective.

However, with the change in perspectives I found that I had a few issues with one character in particular. Javel is a complicated character, and not in the way most people like. His inner monologue has him come off as a strong character, one that doesn’t take crap. His actions and words tell a completely different story. Javel is a weak man. I was very unimpressed with his character and his story until the very, very end. He only had that one redeeming quality, but it paled against everything else about him.

Kelsea is a character I can defiantly stand behind, though there are two things that irked me. This is more about the writing of the book than it is about Kelsea herself, but that fact that she’s plain, not beautiful, was mentioned so often that I got very annoyed. She’s not as beautiful as her mother was, so what? She looked plain standing next to this woman. Yeah, so what’s your point? I get that she is plain but it doesn’t need to be mentioned multiple times in the first chapter and at least once in all the other chapters. The second was that she sees beauty as vanity. Just because a women is beautiful doesn’t mean she’s automatically a rival or that she’s worthless. It annoyed me that every woman was more beautiful than Kelsea could have imagined. Yeah, well get used to it. You’re the queen now, you’re going to be surrounded by beautiful people.

The one other issue I had was with the timing of everything. I can’t get a sense of how long it was from the begging of the book to the end, and it jumps forward weeks ahead with little explanation.

Despite those problems that I have with the book I really enjoyed it. Very rarely do I get to read about queens taking their keep by storm and upturning everything in her wake. Usually Princesses or other random girls are the main character, and this made me happy. It gave me an insight to what her life was like as queen without boring me.

The plot twist was rather predictable, I had it figured out from halfway through the book, but the way it was handled in the end was interesting.

This author isn’t afraid of killing her characters or going into details most would just briefly skim over. It was refreshing. I can’t wait to listen to or read the next book to see what happens from here!

★★★★.5

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