The Queen of Tearling
The Queen of Tearling #1
author : erika johansen
pages : [hardcover] 448
memorable quote : Even a book can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and when that happens, you blame the hands, but you also read the book.
favorite characters : kelsea & pen
Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…
And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive…
I absolutely loved reading this book and can’t wait to see what Erika Johansen has in store for us in the sequel! Although this book is a little massive so that might be daunting to some readers, that only tempts you to slow down your reading pace so that you can spend more time in this complex, medieval yet somehow futuristic world that the author has constructed for us. Even with all of these pages I still have questions about how the New World came to be the way it is; I don’t really understand the Crossing, which seems to mean that people from America as well as other countries like England came to this new land to start over. A lot of important technology and most doctors were lost during the passage, leading to this medieval world. Oh, and there’s magic.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand it all from the summary; there’s a lot going on in this normal. There’s black magic, and a war brewing on the horizon; there’s a young girl learning to become a queen and a guy who seems more like a ninja with the skills he has than a queen’s guard. Even the tiniest little characters have you feeling something for them because the author takes time to make them human, focusing a certain scene on someone or showcasing an important portion of a character’s personality. I particularly liked the little jumps in point of view that would show the Queen of Mortmesme, giving a peek into what the enemy was doing, or views from other characters that I will not name lest I give anything away.
There were points when I wondered if all of that text to tell this information was necessary; after reading, I didn’t feel that way at all. Reflecting on it, I absorbed so much that I can still perfectly picture the world that was created. While this novel wasn’t packed with action, I didn’t come into it expected it to be that way. I feel like anyone will love this book if they’re a fan of great writing, characters, and ideas, as well as complex kingdom management, watching the development of characters, and little spurts of intense suspense sprinkled throughout the text.
Although the fantasy aspect of this book was not at the foreground, I’m hoping that more of it will come into play in book two. I’m also hoping for a glimpse into the rest of Mortmesme, maybe some more action on that front. I’m excited to see how things will play out; in the meantime, I’ll be recommending this book to anyone who’s looking for something else to read! If you haven’t had this on your radar yet, pick it up now!