Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling

U.S. Cover
Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Series: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: July 8, 2014 (Originally Published on October 31, 2013)
Source: Purchased
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.

My Review

Emma Watson
I've noticed that there is a lot of hype about this book, especially because the movie rights have already been sold and Emma Watson is set to star in and produce the movie. 

I've also noticed that there are more negative reviews on this book than I thought there would be. That is truly upsetting because The Queen of the Tearling is rightfully a great debut novel by Erika Johansen. 

That being said, I only gave it four stars because parts of it are confusing. I did find myself rereading sections and pages just to make sense of some things and events. I'd say, with certainty, that the book did lack some explanation.

What you need to know is that this book is set in the future, but it is a future that rejects technology. I went into it with a very vague idea of it (I feel like going in blind helps me to really make my own decisions), and at first, I thought it was set in the past. The people in this futuristic society live like people in the Middle Ages, but Johansen claims that they have found a new land. That part is kind of unrealistic because we all know that there isn't any new land to claim. There are references to things that we know in our world, like many of the books that we've read. Those books sit on Kelsea's shelves, and she has read many of the same books that we have (Harry Potter being one of them).

The book itself tells the great and empowering story of Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, the heir to the Tearling throne. She was raised by foster parents (away from the kingdom) for her protection. During her time with her foster parents, she is taught many things about her kingdom, but a lot, like important parts of history,  are left out of her education. They teach her the languages of the bordering kingdoms. They do not tell her anything about her mother, though. I found it a bit odd that her foster parents wouldn't teach her about her mother. If they had, Kelsea could have a better idea of the queen that she wants to be and what she should avoid to win over her people.

This is a book that you really want to take your time with while reading it. I am usually a quick reader, but there is just something about this book that makes you want to savor it so it lasts just a little longer. Once I started reading, I didn't want to stop. It is a seriously great fantasy, and I cannot wait until the release of the second book in the trilogy.


  1. I've been meaning to read this, but was unsure because of the mixed reviews! Nice review. ^_^

  2. Naban,
    Thank you! I really did enjoy it.

  3. I really enjoyed it, Naban! It was a fantasy win for me. :)


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