About The Queen of the TearlingA #1 Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads Selection
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead motherís throne, learn to be a ruler and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
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 weapons 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 beguna wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.
About Erika JohansenErika Johansen grew up and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writersí Workshop, and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing. Follow the Tearling series on Facebook and Tumblr.
Dystopian novels are not my thing. I usually don't read them, but I've read so many rave reviews about this series that I wanted to read it. Two elements I like about The Queen of the Tearling is it reads more like a fairytale, complete with a unique princess and magic. There are also elements of Arthurian legend as the Tear people have been looking for the "True Queen." Kelsea also has a guard circa the Round Table led by the chivalric Lazarus, but not all are trustworthy. There's another shady character called The Fetch who's intriguing to say the least!
I love that Queen Kelsea isn't your typical fairytale queen or princess. She's smart, loves books, and knows she isn't pretty (she's described as being plump and plain with long brown hair). She cares about her people's rights and wants to be a fair, strong queen for her country. Her first act upon her return to New London before she's even crowned is disrupting a tribute lottery that sends 6,000 Tear citizens to the dark kingdom of Mortmesne to serve as slaves. Another character trait I love about Queen Kelsea is her self-knowledge. She understands her strengths and weaknesses, and she's willing to work hard to become proficient with a sword...even if it means shredding a few pounds.
I want to warn parents of younger teens that this is not a young adult book. I don't think it's appropriate for younger teens due to violence, sexual themes, and language. The book also contains social satire aimed at "God's Church" (the Catholic Church ~ apparently Protestantism didn't survive the "crossing") and the legal ban of abortion. Due to her being raised by atheists, Kelsea does not believe in God, however, she does develop a kinship with her coronation priest named Tyler, a man of true faith and a love of books and learning like Kelsea. They hope to see the Tear flowing with books after first constructing a printing press.
In the near future, I'll be reviewing books two and three from this series. Have you read The Queen of the Tearling yet? What did you think about it?
Disclosure: I received a copy of The Queen of the Tearling from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.