Review: The Queen of the Tearling

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


Expected publication: July 8th 2014 by Harper

448 pages

Source: Edelweiss

From Goodreads…


On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

I loved this book. I want book #2 like yesterday. This book was perfect for me-a kick ass female protagonist, fantasy but still based in sort of reality, mysterious magic and said kick ass female protagonist is not head over heels in love and acting like a moron.

Kelsea has been raised in hiding to be the queen her people need. She was sent away from her mother as a small child and it is years before she realizes her mother is never coming for her because she’s been killed. We meet Kelsea on her 19th birthday as she leaves her guardians to go and claim her throne. Kelsea is not under the illusion that she will even survive to her coronation, let alone reign long; but still she’s brave and she leaves with her Queen’s Guard-a group of men she’s never seen in her life.

Kelsea knows she’s alone. She learns any one of her Guard could have sold out to kill her and her only remaining family member wants her dead. Kelsea doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for herself or wishing for a different life. She takes action as she can and she is awesome! I am dying to learn what’s up with her necklaces and terrified for her to run into the enemy Red Queen.

The setting of the Tearling really confused me at first and that’s pretty much what keeps this from being a 5 star book for me. This somehow takes place in the future, but what caused the founders of the Tearling to flee America on ships is not explained. They’ve lost all their access to medical knowledge and have no printing presses. While the Tearling was intended to be some kind of utopia, the people are uneducated and desperate. I believe the Queen will change that!

Just a heads up, this is not a YA book in my mind. Not to say a young adult shouldn’t read, but there is violence and violent language. This is not for a middle grade reader yet.

Read this! And Holly this means you too! Word is that Emma Watson is already signed on to play Kelsea in the movie. I love this news-but since the book is ALWAYS better than the movie get the book now!

One last thing because I’m obsessed with this book now-Here’s the Australian cover which is PERFECTION.


Seriously read this book so I can talk about it with you.

4.5 stars!!

Thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for this advance read copy in exchange for an honest opinion.


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