Review: Queen of the Tearling

Queen of the Tearling is a face paced novel with a strong heroine and funny, multidimensional characters. Those 500 pages will fly by fast.

My reading slump is over (sort of) thanks to The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I purchased the novel a couple of years ago during a Kindle sale and it languished in the cloud. Lucky you, it’s currently on sale for $1.99, so grab a copy now. I devoured Johansen’s 500 page novel in two days. Two days. It’s been awhile since I’ve read through a book that fast.

Queen of the Tearling can easily be classified as an epic fantasy, but Johansen includes familiar references of our present day America. The Tear was founded by William Tear, who left the Americas to found a socialist utopia in what history refers to as “The Crossing.” He and his followers took minimal supplies as they searched for a land to call their new home. During the journey, the ship carrying most of their scientists and doctors sank. Thus Tear develops mostly as an serfdom nation due to the lack of resources on their land and the lack of doctors and scientists.

Generations and a war later, Tear has become a corrupt nation filled with poor, hungry people. Kelsea, who was raised in isolation, takes over the crown on her nineteenth birthday. A magical sapphire hangs around her neck as proof of her claim to the crown. Her uncle the Regent has ruled with careless decadence after her mother’s death. Inexperienced and insecure, Kelsea tries to clean up the mess that her mother created and her uncle exacerbated.

Her first major act is defying an old treaty with the neighboring Red Queen. It’s basically an act of war. Kelsea and her Queen’s Guard must thwart the corrupt nobles’ attempt to follow through the horrifying treaty. In order to defeat her enemies, she must learn to reconcile her vision of her mother and the former queen’s actions. All while under threat of invasion by the Red Queen.

My summary does not do justice to the novel. It’s action packed with multidimensional characters. I especially loved the chemistry between Kelsea and some of her Queen’s Guard. Johansen offers enough crumbs about Tear’s past and Kelsea’s sapphire to keep readers turning the page.

Trust me you want to read this book.

I think The Queen of the Tearling is the first of a trilogy so I was worried about how the novel would end. Luckily, there’s a satisfying closure. I’m kind of glad that I discovered the novel much later than everyone else because now I can dive into the next book, Invasion of the Tearling, which is also on sale for $1.99 on Kindle.

I’m also glad to hear that Emma Watson is slated to play Kelsea in the movie adaptation of Queen of the Tearling.

  1. October 13, 2015
    • October 13, 2015