Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Published: July 8th 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Finished paperback edition sent by the publisher for an honest review
"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.
The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen. "
First Line: "Kelsea Glynn sat very still, watching the troop approach her homestead."
Thoughts: For a while now, I've known that THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING is the latest must read for fantasy fans. Isn't Emma Watson going to star in the movie adaptation? Whoa, lots and lots of hype! Anyway, the fact that it's also set in the future made the reader inside me giddy with excitement and the possibility of finding my next favorite book. All in all, while I wasn't disappointed, I didn't necessarily swoon all over this book either. THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING offers many attributes that would entice both readers and non-readers alike, but I found myself stumbling across several issues that left me questioning what kind of world Kelsea truly lives in.
First off, can we please discuss the awesomeness that is a fantasy novel based in the future yet brought back to a Renaissance-esque era? As our world gets more and more modern with each passing day, their world crumbles. I love the concept of having a queen rule, royalty in general rather than an elected politician. President isn't exactly as fun to say as Queen (just my two cents). Don't get me wrong, there's definitely political issues as well as topics concerning wealth and social classes, but if we're going to look on the bright side, there's a queen!
I enjoyed reading Kelsea's story and how she adapted to her environment. Her journey of self-discovery was an interesting one filled with both light and darkness. When I say darkness, I mean DARKNESS. Think Game of Thrones dark. Speaking of which, Kelsea reminds me of Daenerys from Game of Thrones. For those who know me or follow me on Twitter, this is a HUGE compliment and truly shows what kind of a leader Kelsea is. She's young, vulnerable, but has a strength and morals that you inevitably admire.
Now, downfall. Though I enjoyed Kelsea's character overall, I cannot help but wonder where the feminist inside her is. She wants to save women from being raped and save the homeless, but none of these task are easy. You cannot say it and have it be done. Sure, can you save people one person at a time? Of course, and she does, but I feel like her just wanted to snap her fingers and have these issues be resolved. It's not that easy!
Also, what was up with her necklace? It randomly starts shooting off magic, and she seems to act as if it's normal? I understand why the necklace did what it did, but it would've been nice to have her react to it rather than just merely accepting it.
Other than those few quips and a handful of other spoiler involved things, I found myself slowly falling in love with THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING. Imaginative and rich, THE QUEEN OF TEARLING is a novel you'll want to savor rather than devour. I'm interested in seeing what happens next and cannot wait to travel down another road with the Tearling gang.
Giveaway time: Thanks to the fabulous people at HarperCollins, I am giving away your choice of either THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING or THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends three weeks from today.
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