Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for so long! This month I ended up doing a buddy read with Leelynn to get this off my TBR shelf and I’m so glad I did.
First of all I didn’t actually read the synopsis to the book before reading it and in this case I probably should have. The book itself has a very medieval feel, they ride horses they don’t have phones, even the way they speak for the most part. This story in fact actually takes place way in the future where current time is just a story and almost unbelievably so. I found this to be an interesting twist but constantly felt like I had to be reminded of it with how the story was set up.
Now Kelsea I found to be a great main character, she’s flawed and grows into herself as the book progresses, you watch her develop relationships and make decisions that she doesn’t truly understand the consequences of until they come to pass and the times that she does do things exactly right it’s backed up with how she was raised being locked away and educated nonstop.
A big complaint I have, and this is totally personal opinion, is the cursing in the book, it felt really awkward and would pull me out of what I was reading. It’s all swearing as if it were now, I don’t know if maybe that was the authors way of trying to remind us that this does take place in the future but for me it just ruined the flow. Perhaps there is something that could have been done to ease the transitions but whatever it was it failed for me here.
The one character I really am curious about and have some hunches on is Fetch. I’ll likely continue the story just to see if I’m right but I’m in no rush.
Has anyone else read this? What were your thoughts? Was the next book enjoyable? Check out Leelynn’s thoughts on her review here.